Dan Martin: Hoka He
I Was a Dan Martin Fan and I Didn’t Know It
You know how [Sidenote: The twelfth installment in our Woodyfest 2018 reporting features Tulsa singer-songwriter Dan Martin.] sometimes you see a movie, and you’re positive that a favorite actor appeared in it, and later you discover it was someone else entirely? Well, something like that happened to this writer as regards Tulsa singer-songwriter Dan Martin.
I had created a SoundCloud playlist featuring Oklahoma musicians to stream on my home music server, and one of the songs in that playlist was a recording of Martin singing “You Don’t Know That Town Like Me,” [Sidenote: I came across the track on Nathan Poppe’s Middle of Nowhere playlist. Poppe, an entertainment writer at The Oklahoman and videographer, photographer, and editor at LOOKatOKC, made the recording in when he came across Martin playing for passersby in downtown Okemah during Woodyfest. Martin had set up in Woody Guthrie Park; he would make his official Woodyfest debut.] a heart-wrenching description of a small town in its last throes. The kind of place where pumpjacks sit idle, food stamps support half the town, and Friday Night Lights are about the only thing keeping it all from blowing to dust. The kind of place, in other words, that dots the plains from North Dakota to the Texas-Mexico border.
The thing is, at some point I had forgotten the song’s provenance and was convinced that it was a Ryan Adams-penned song from the eponymous Whiskeytown. I persisted in this error even after Martin sat for my OKIE-X portrait series . So when I heard Martin performing it as part of his Woodyfest set on , I assumed he was performing a cover — a cover I was mighty glad to hear, mind you. I realized my mistake when I began research for this article.
She’s a daydream lost in the dollar bin / Ain’t seen her out since she had twins / Food stamps only come with custody …
If you want to hear the song, you’ll have to catch Martin at a show — it’s not on his debut, Hoka Hey, [Sidenote: The title comes from the Lakota phrase usually translated,
It’s a good day to die. Martin thought he was recording a demo, but things went so well during the sessions that he and fellow musicians Cody Woody, Kevin Smith, and Jacob Flint decided the tracks were polished enough to deserve release as they were. Even though “You Don’t Know That Town Like Me” isn’t on the album, you should buy it.] and the recording I was streaming from Nathan Poppe’s Middle of Nowhere playlist is no longer there. There is one YouTube video recorded at Tulsa music venue The Colony, but that seems to be it. [Sidenote: While I was writing this article Martin told me he was in the studio working on his second long-player. He is recording the official studio debut of “You Don’t Know This Town Like Me” for the as-yet-untitled album.]
Martin was joined on the Lou’s Rocky Road Tavern stage by Gene Williams on electric guitar. An alumnus of the Stillwater Red Dirt scene, Williams has recently been playing with younger Tulsa acts. When he’s not providing great support for singer-songwriters, he’s writing songs himself.