Eric Martinez’s music has been summoning spirits for 20 years and it continues to do so to this day.
His latest release - Caldera - calls upon collaborations from friends here and in the great beyond.
Every song carries a genuine emotive quality and resonance as Eric and his collaborators distill visions of life, love, and loss in this collection of superbly written and produced rock n roll tunes.
It’s one thing to write a bunch of songs and put a record out. It’s altogether different to collaborate with songwriting and musical behemoths and engineer and produce the record too. That’s what Eric has done.
Eric’s quiet, calm demeanor is belied by the musical ferocity that’s on display at points in time on this album - as he captures and croons his own words and those of Daniel Hutchens, among others, and weaves each of these individual influences into a cauldron of incredibly crafted songs. After 15 years of writing songs with Danny Hutchens, Eric Carter, and more recently with Jerry Joseph and Jojo Hermann - Caldera represents a culmination of Eric’s songwriting - both on his own and in a collaborative sense.
Eric makes no attempts to be anything other than a rock n roll enthusiast. His devotion to the craft is evident in the songwriting, performance, arrangement, and production of every finely crafted tune on this album. The addition of Micah Munro’s backing vocals provide a connective tissue of harmony that provides the perfect complement of evocative and emotive sonic qualities to further enliven each track on Caldera. Each musical contributor added a necessary sonic tapestry reflective of their individual years of working musically with Eric. Years with Eric Carter and Jon Neff in Bloodkin or Spanky McCluer and Tori Pater in the Dyrty Byrds or Ethan Ice, Paul Cohen, and Mario Pagliarulo as staples of the Denver music scene for years or Josh Stack in the band CubanStack, and even long time banjo pal, Eric Rhett Schweitzer for just the right sound on Beautiful Death, help to form the sound of decades and even now that’s woven throughout Caldera. From the writing, to the playing to the production and engineering, every aspect of Eric’s 30 years of musical relationships are on display with this album.
It was no accident that Eric was able to write with guys like Todd Nance, Danny Hutchens, and Eric Carter, and in the more recent past, Jerry Joseph. His sincere devotion to professionalism and his tireless studying of the methods and madness of musicians he admires made Martinez a sought after commodity to those guys. And as Danny and Todd would say, “he’s a damn good hang.” Or you could quote the legendary Stones’ sax man, Bobby Keys, when he said Martinez was about as useless as Ronnie Wood. I’ll take it, he said.
The most striking aspect of all of this is that Eric has been trusted to do the right thing when it comes to creating and crafting music. That’s not something to scoff at. Maybe this album could be called “decades” because it brings years and years of a musical journey into the present.