Thirsty Thursday Featuring Branden Martin
Thank you for chatting with us! You recently released your new single, "Drink to Remember," that you also co-wrote. Tell us about the writing process and where the idea came from. I started the song a long time ago as I was watching a 2 or 3 day long thunderstorm bring Slate Creek closer and closer to the pavilion I was sitting under. I was having deep thoughts about passing time and just writing things down. At some point I decided to stop and put it away. I knew the song wasn’t ready and something didn't suit me about it. A few years later, Joel Jorgensen, Christopher Monteverde and myself were sitting in East Nashville grasping at straws for a song to write. For some reason, I remembered the couple verses I had written, and threw them out there. In minutes, Joel and Chris had a chorus and a bridge on paper. And within the hour we were in Joel's home studio cutting a work tape. How was it filming the video for "Drink to Remember?"The whole video making process was a trip! The director Patrick Tohill took point and created the theme of the video. He'd asked me what kind of direction I wanted to go with it, but I said I did my part already and that he should create what it meant to him. He nailed it, because Drink to Remember seems to have struck a lot of people in the same way. And putting it in video form really brought it home for my fans. I have been involved in filming music videos before, but there was something really cool about this. Everything was structured, with people running around doing their jobs, acting, setting up lights and cameras. People who were working for their supper just like me. And all of this was happening because of some words I'd wrote down on a piece of paper years ago, drinking bourbon at noon and watching it rain.
Where did you grow up and how has that influenced your style of music? I was born and raised in northeast Kentucky. I am fortunate because I was raised in a musical family and area. Naturally, I had bluegrass, which was my first musical direction. I was far enough south that I had blues and southern rock at my fingertips. I was raised around people that were more than 20 years my senior, so I always had traditional country around me. Of course, growing up in the 90s and early 2000s, I had my own music to feel nostalgic about. I took all of those influences and mashed them together with my own experiences. The combination of influences and experiences is what I learned to pour out on notepads and is reflected in my music. Did you always want to be a musician or was there a specific moment that something happened that made you think "this is what I want to do with my life." If so, what was it? I always wanted to play music and I loved writing, whether it was stories, journal entries, or poems. And once I learned to play guitar, I realized that if I put the poems and the guitar together, I could make a song. But, it never dawned on me that writing and performing music was something I could do for a living. Thankfully, my manager Ira and his wife Ambie Kilburn opened a door for me that I didn’t know was possible. They encouraged and supported me, and even dragged me kicking and screaming towards opportunities a couple times. All while giving me enough room to make my own decisions and mistakes. The moment I realized I was supposed to be doing this, I was performing on stage at a local music festival called Hoedown in the Holler, with a few hundred people singing alongside me. That felt more right than anything I had ever done. Where do you draw inspiration from when writing? I find inspiration everywhere. It could be a word or a phrase from a conversation, a bird on a water pump handle, or a sunset. Once, I was inspired by a little kid wrestling a guitar out of a case. Living and experiencing life is the inspiration for my writing.
What is your favorite dish to cook? Believe it or not, I love to cook gumbo. I don't remember where I picked it up, but I love Cajun cuisine. How do you drink your coffee? My papaw would've called it cowboy coffee. I drink it "black as night, strong as death, and hot as hell."
Best food that comes in can? In my opinion, it would have to be Vienna sausages. They taste good and they're portable. They also make good bait for fishing or trapping. I'm all about functional foods. Have you ever eaten two meals at the same restaurant in the same day? I definitely have. And more than once, Every time I'm down around Austin, Lockhart, New Braunfels, or San Marcos in TX, I'm definitely going to Black's Barbecue as often as possible.
Finally, if you could be sponsored by one food/drink brand who would it be and why? That's a tough question. I don't know that I could pick only one really, so I’ll narrow it down to two. The reason why is that they're both local to my home state of Kentucky. The drink would be Ale-8-One, a soft drink made in Winchester, KY, and the food would be Mingua Beef Jerky, made over in Paris, KY. I grew up enjoying both. And coincidentally, they pair fantastically.
Website: Branden Martin Music
Spotify: Branden Martin on Spotify
About Branden Martin
Branden Martin is a singer with a big, soulful voice and refreshingly retro sound. Branden was featured on NBC’s The Voice Season 12, giving him a strong start in music. He built his chops performing in local bars and music venues, opening for artists such as Jason Michael Carroll, RaeLynn, Mark Chesnutt, Confederate Railroad, David Allan Coe and The Steel Woods. His brand of music draws rave reviews earning him dedicated fans who only show up for raw talent and hard work.
Branden Martin is a seasoned veteran of country music. Writing vulnerable, authentic songs about real life, this Kentucky native is a self-taught guitarist who never considered compromising his roots to find success. He found an opportunity to follow his passion in 2014 when he was convinced to compete in the “Hoedown in the Holler,” an annual, homegrown country music festival in Kentucky with a legacy of launching acts like Morgan Wallen & Dylan Scott. He competed against highly experienced musicians and won.
In between festivals, opening for major label artists and playing honky-tonks, Branden released his hit singles Drink To Remember (2021), accompanied by a cinematic video, and Drunk Again (2020) alongside other EP projects.