Michael Kevin Martin (born June 1, 1967) is an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has played a variety of musical styles, including roots rock, blues, americana and country.
Early life and career
Martin was born in 1967 in Buffalo, New York. At 6 months he was adopted by Robert and Christine Martin of Avoca, Pennsylvania, USA. At an early age, Martin listened to all types and genres of music including rock, blues, country and jazz. He learned to play the guitar when he was eleven. He played in many local clubs with a variety of bands, most notedly, The Breeze. While playing with The Breeze he shared time on guitar and bass within the group. Martin performed live in many clubs around Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
The Aztec Skulls (a term coined by Billy Brandenberg, ex member of the Breeze) has existed for some time evolving out of the area’s eclectic scene. The early 1990’s lineup included David Pugliese (b. May 30: drums, percussion, vocals, ex-The Breeze, Ground Zero, and other notable groups), Kevin Martin (b. June 1, guitar, bass, vocals, keyboards, ex-The Breeze and other not-so notable groups) and Billy Brandenberg (b.unknown: guitar, bass, vocals, ex-The Breeze). While the lineup enjoyed moderate success, Brandenberg soon moved on and the group took a much needed rest to pursue other interests.
After a lengthy hiatus, Pugliese and Martin began working together again in February 2009. Initially, the Aztec Skulls had planned to join a growing swell of cover bands however they quickly moved on to writing and recording their own music. This allowed them a greater flexibility in expressing themselves musically and exposed them to a much wider audience – and was also a lot more fun.
An off-handed comment by a local musician led to the title of their debut recordings “You Can’t Sing”. This musical collection includes songs that defy the typical industry labeling standard but instead move up and down the airwaves somewhere between hard-rock, country and classic rock. In another unprecedented move by the band, they release the tracks directly to their Official Web Site (www.aztecskulls.com) as they are completed instead of compiling them for a CD release. This has allowed them to interact with their fans throughout the recording process and give the fans some input into crafting their sound. In fact, “You Can’t Sing” includes two of their more humorous tracks, “How Long” and “Leave Me Alone”. The content of these songs indicate that the Aztec Skulls are playing for their fans.
In between efforts by the Aztec Skulls, Martin has continued his writing and recording in a solo career. A prolific writer, Martin has hesitated to publish many of his works. This changed in 2016, after the success of the Aztec Skulls. Realizing that there was an audience for his music, he released his first solo effort, Junction and Acoustically Sound only a month apart.
“I was writing new tracks and recording some old ones and it just kind of came together at the same time. I didn’t see a reason to delay the release of one of them so I decided to let them both go when they were complete.” ~ KM
In May 2017 he released his 3rd album, Not Again. This was the most successful release to date. For this album, he also enlisted the help of Bruce Barbini from the Maruce Project and the Triple B Band.