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Guitarist achieves “Turning Point” with second CD release.

By Melissa Chavez
Paso Robles Magazine, May 2005 (original publication date).

Local musician Martin Paris recently announced his latest CD release, “Turning Point,” featuring original instrumental compositions that span five years in the making. The acoustic fingerstyle guitarist debuted “Influenced,” his first recording in 2000, which paid homage to his late father, Ed Paris, an accomplished guitarist.

“I see ‘Influenced’ as more of a collaborative effort with other instruments. ‘Turning Point’ is more of a solo piece,” says Martin. “The main body of the whole album is just one guitar without any overdubs, and only several songs have the flavor of bass, percussion, and violin.” Martin’s musical style doesn’t fit into a convenient genre, although one cut gives a nod to bluesy influences. Rather, it can be more generally described as easily enjoyable and certainly thought-provoking, but with a bite to it. “Musically, this album is more of a solo fingerstyle guitar piece that takes you on a journey,” he adds.

Not only has Martin been reckoned to living guitar legends Peppino D’Agostino and Grammy Award-winning artist Laurence Juber, he’s a devout fan of both musicians and has enjoyed the opportunity to open concerts for them several times. Through mutual friend and musician Aaron Palmer of Castoro Cellars, he also had the pleasure of receiving a substantial discount on his signature series guitar, the Laurence Juber Limited Edition OMC-28 by (coincidentally) C.F. Martin & Co. As a thank-you, Martin has included one of Juber’s selections on the new CD.

Keeping the creativity localized, his second recording has been produced by Sutton Sound in Atascadero and art/photography by Studio 101 West in San Luis Obispo. “Turning Point” will be available for purchase at Castoro Cellars, Zenaida Winery, Central Coast Framing in Atascadero, The Parable, and Boo Boo Records. While Martin is satisfied with the reception of “Influenced” (1,000 sold in North County), Martin would like to try his hand with a national base of listeners. He is also investigating the possibility of securing a major distributor and making accessible his talents for film scores.

Married to wife and creative consultant Roxanne, they have four children, Tiffany is 20, Brittany is 18, Derek is 13, and Breana is 11. He works full-time with UPS in the North County, so his new CD has had plenty of time to evolve and develop over the last few years in stolen hours and weekends between regular gigs at wineries, festivals, and area concerts. When Martin isn’t performing solo, he plays with The Martin Paris Band and remains deeply involved on the worship team at Atascadero Bible Church.

“Some of the songs I’ve written have a spiritual overtone to them,” finds Martin. “My faith and walk in life seems to draw parallels with my music. The song ‘Perfect Gift’ was written one afternoon when I was sitting on my front porch. Our youngest daughter, Breana was playing and doing cartwheels under a shady tree. I was inspired and began playing this progression. Before I knew it, I had a song,” he discovered. “And then, I put a complete verse of ‘Amazing Grace’ at the end. It made sense to me – I view our children as a gift from God. He gave His son to us 2,000 years ago as the perfect gift.”

Always understated, Martin sees his musical gifting this way: “God has give me a small talent. When people respond favorably, I feel good giving something musically of myself to share with them. My hope is that, while there are no lyrics, it will speak to the listener instrumentally on a personal level.”

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© 2007 Martin Paris