Dan (III) — 21st Annual Woody Guthrie Festival, 2018

Woodyfest 2018: Dan Martin

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.

Dan Martin — “You Don’t Know That Town Like Me,” Live at the Colony, Tulsa,

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 …

Dan Martin, “You Don’t Know That Town Like Me”

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.

Gallery: Dan Martin


About Chris J. Zähller

International Man of Mystery. Cocktail Nerd. Occasionally designs websites. Sometimes snaps a picture or two.

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