"Razed and Reconstructed" England's First Solo CD
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
September 29, 2010
Photo by Josh Pickering
Marty England can’t read music. Never could. But that hasn’t kept him from making it.
England has been making it--writing it and singing it-- for years as front man with the rock-roots band Pondering Judd. And now, he’s doing it on his own with his just released solo-CD “Razed and Reconstructed.”
It’s a step the Computing and Information Services writer calls both terrifying and liberating.
“There’s a brotherhood to Pondering Judd that I didn’t want to upset but I would have sold myself short as an artist if I hadn’t given this a shot,” England says of signing the 2009 record deal with Lost Sailor Records.
He wrote and recorded 18 songs in six weeks. The record company selected 11. On Friday, Oct. 1, 2010, England will perform a selection of them to a nearly sold-out Hackmatack Playhouse audience during the CD release party.
“I love having a CD with my name on it but it’s more than that,” England says. “Before, when I wrote songs for Pondering Judd, there was a specific genre. Now, it’s more liberating. I just write. It’s really opened me up as an artist.”
England’s songwriting has been compared to that of Gram Parsons; Johnny Cash;
Steve Earle. His lyrics have been called “emotionally charged, fueled by rich personal anecdotes.”
“Before, I tended to lean on the dark side. Now it’s like stepping out of the shadows,” England says.
The loss of his father five years ago has impacted his life, and his music, more than any single factor.
“It made me realize we only have a finite amount of time. I want to waste as little of it as I can,” England says. “It’s also made me more grateful for the people in my life, especially my wife.”
As to where a solo career might take him, England says it is anyone’s guess. More doors are opening, he says, because there are more places to play. He spends much of his time performing in nontraditional venues: people’s living rooms, for example. Once you bring music into a public place, something is compromised, he says.
“The best times in my life are usually unplanned moments, when I don’t have any expectations. When you put music in places where people don’t expect it, it opens them up. It creates memories,” England says.
And that’s why he’s the songwriter.
He acknowledges that it is tough to pay the bills with music, and that “there’s something about a day job that keeps you honest.”
“I don’t know if everything in life happens for a reason but if you’re open; if you’re observant and ambitious, you can grab hold of opportunities that present themselves,” England says.
One of those opportunities could come through selling one of his songs for television or a movie.
“TV is constantly looking for hip music,” he says. “There are different costs. If they want a Led Zeppelin or a Ray LaMontange song, they’ll going to pay more. But if they want to buy a Marty England song, I’m willing to negotiate. “
For concert information, CD purchases, or to book a house party, visit http://www.martinengland.com/. The “Razed and Reconstructed” CD also is available through iTunes and Amazon.com.