Interview with Gordon Giltrap (MBE)’s protegee, Carrie Martin

by | Aug 27, 2019

Carrie Martin

Born in Hull, Carrie developed something of a local reputation while still in her teens, as an acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter. She fronted bands in the 90s before casting her music aside in order to raise her children. Her guitar went untouched for some two decades (!) until a chance meeting with guitar virtuoso Gordon Giltrap, MBE changed her life. Close mentoring from Gordon saw her take a huge leap forward, attracting endorsements from Vintage Guitars, G7th Capos and Martin SP Strings. Her latest album Seductive Sky features guests Gordon Giltrap, keyboard maestro Oliver Wakeman and legendary guitarist Elliott Randall, along with Daniel Karl Cassidy, younger brother of the late Eva Cassidy, with whom Carrie has sometimes been compared herself. The album is a magnificent snapshot of an artist at the peak of her creativity and gaining her fine reviews and a second tour of Canada. 1 In Music catches up with the guitarist and songstress.

1 In Music: Hi Carrie. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview. I am sure many people have tried to describe your music but what do YOU think is unique about your music?

I’m a very a very lyrical person so many of my songs are about something or somebody that has touched my life.

1 In Music: What/who shaped your music and who supports you?

I am lucky to be mentored by Gordon Giltrap MBE, one of the finest acoustic guitarists in the UK. This has lead to me working and writing in many different open tunings and experimenting with partial capos. Vocally my influences are Anne Wilson (Heart). Her wide vocal range encourage me to have vocal training for three years with a trained opera singer. Eva Cassidy was another female vocal artist that captured my imagination.

1 In Music: When did you realise you were going to make music professionally?

About 4 years ago. I had been a freelance hairdresser and had taken a huge break away from music too raise my family. After returning i realized just how much i had missed music in my life. Gordon encourage me massively,helping me with the many pitfalls of music.

1 In Music: What type of music do you listen to?

I like all types particularly Rock music and Folk Rock such as Fleetwood mac.

1 In Music: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

Simple – Gordon Giltrap!

1 In Music: Just watching your lovely live performance on air…

That song is a first for me … it’s a project with writer Louise Beech… and her new book Dust (soon to appear alongside her other books at… I have worked with Lou before with my song Maria in the Moon and her book of the same title but the reason this was special was because the words to the song come from her book about a musical … I re arranged them for her and put them to music … a first for me as the words are usually mine but a lovely project to be involved with and an experience just writing the melody and chord work 🙂 .

This at least seems to be just the one guitar. How do you prepare for performances in venues?

I like to get all my guitars into their individual tunings and set up any partial capos I maybe using. I try to arrange my set list so that I don’t have too many guitar changes. I can have up to five guitars on stage with me. So i don’t travel light!

1 In Music: What do you do when you don’t do music (creative or otherwise) and that you are passionate about?

Carrie MartinI like nature, being outdoors, walking.

1 In Music: Success to you is…

… People taking some of my music home with them. Joining in a song or touching someones heart with my lyrics.

1 In Music: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?

Don’t take knock backs personally. I used to get disheartened and still do but to a lesser extent when I apply for events and hear nothing back. Its easy to take it personally when actually it’s the sheer volume of musicians versus the ever diminishing music venues which actually pay artists.

1 In Music: Any upcoming projects?

A new album which will be my 4th. Further trips abroad, which Ii love. I have few in the planning!

1 In Music: Where do we find you music / music project?
Carrie on Youtube