Daphne & Raise the Rent had the privilege of playing at Black Eyed Sally’s in Hartford last night as part of the Grand Band Slam & Ct Music Awards! We took home Best Country at the ceremony and were jazzed to be able to play with Bad Rooster and Forgotten By Friday last night! Big thanks again to Chip McCabe at CT.com for all of his hard work and dedication to the local music community! GO show all of these folks your love, their names are linked to their awesomeness!
Best Country: Daphne Martin & Raise the RentDaphne Martin grew up in Southeastern Ohio where the sounds of Appalachian ballads, classic country and fiddle/banjo music were always nearby. She moved to New York City when she was still a teenager to get involved with the Folk Music Society of New York and hone her chops on city stages — before running off to travel America’s waterways on schooners. By 2002 she was ready to settle into a drier, more permanent location, and she decided on New London where she’s been ever since. These days, Martin and her husband Rich Martin own the Telegraph, a vinyl-centric record store. Out of the shop, they run the Telegraph Recording Company, a label documenting some of the plentiful, high-quality local acts that deserve more attention. Martin and her band Raise the Rent are the culmination of her musical experiences to date. It’s country-Americana at its best, mixed with some New Orleans flavored jazz and a little help from her musically talented friends.
The Whalies are the New London equivalent of the Grammys. A full-on event incorporating the glitz and glamour that comes with your typical award show! The 2012 Whalie Awards will be a benefit for the New London Music Festival Organization, which funds I Am Festival!
The people’s choice categories have been announced and the nominees are up for your listening pleasure at Wailing City, so go check out the fantastic music made right here in New London County and show some love by voting for your favorites! Oh yeah, and we’re up for several categories, including best Music Video, Best Americana, and Album of the Year! We’ll see you at the Whalies!
“I’ve been sitting with the latest CD release from Connecticut-based musical alchemists Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent, desperately attempting to come up with some clever catch-all phrase that will accurately describe the 10-track offering, and thus in the process do it justice. Sure, the words Americana and rootsy immediately come to mind. But the broad interpretations of those genres prove inadequate after putting Dig & Be Dug in the CD player, or on the turntable as the case may be, vis`- a-vis´ a limitededition blue vinyl LP. But I’m getting ahead of myself here….
In a jazz-tinged voice ever-so-subtly reminiscent of Patsy Cline, Daphne Lee Martin displays her vast musical, and often geographical, journey throughout this collection of self authored material. Raised on the indigenous musics of the American heartland such as fiddle infused bluegrass, Appalachian folk and white gospel, the Ohio native began her career at 17, recording an album of traditional songs with her mother. Soon thereafter, armed with little else than her guitar, Daphne left hometown familiarity behind and began a musical expedition in quest of further inspiration. Her sojourn initially led her to New York City, where she quickly assimilated into the local folk music community.
Working now with experienced folk artisans through live shows and songwriting workshops, her sharpened skills parlayed into a steady gig on the open seas. Singing on vessels which traveled around the four corners of the country, Martin, like Guthrie and Seeger before her, continued the true folk tradition of musical troubadour. Quite a musical journey indeed.
And all of this serves as both backdrop and backstory to “Dig & Be Dug,” which begins slightly off kilter, with a rumba entitled “Rosalita.” The least convincing song in the lot, the track’s melody and chord changes seem somewhat predictable, resulting in lounge music fare. However, things immediately turn for the better with a bluegrass-inspired twostep “Pull My Daisy.” The authentic barn dance romp would have almost certainly been deemed risque in 1920’s America, “I won’t stay lonesome long, not with all that I’ve got going on – stuff so good make a dead man want to… ” “In Lieu of Flowers” is a perfect example of Daphne Lee Martin’s strong songwriting chops, as well as her predilection for combining Old Timey melody with contemporary imagery: “June is holding a smoking gun over the dying breath of May – It’s a piss yellow moon and I’ve been crying wolf..”
Any review of “Dig & Be Dug” would be remiss if it did not point out the near-perfect musicianship provided by the disc’s backing band Raise The Rent. Made up of alumna from Roomful of Blues and Johnny & The East Coast Rockers, the band also performs sans Martin, and vice versa. The tight outfit sways in perfect harmony with Daphne, demonstrating an obvious passion for and knowledge of Western Swing and the hip boogie of the Big Band era. One such number, the mid-tempo shuffle “Let’s Stay In Bed All Day” effortlessly combines both styles, incorporating trombone and fiddle in a manner reminiscent of Asleep At The Wheel.
Like roots music itself, “Dig & Be Dug” cannot be easily defined or pinned down to one style. Not swing. Not folk. Not country. Rather, these songs unfold like some tapestry of America’s great and complex musical traditions. If this record is any indication, Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent are not mere arbiters of this tradition. Much more than that, they raise it to a new level, thus ensuring its endurance into the 21 st century and beyond.” http://www.motifmagazine.net/
Album of the Day 11/10/11: Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent ‘Dig & Be Dug’ By Chip McCabe
“New London, CT has been an important contributor to the CT music scene for a long time. One of the best bands to come out of that scene in recent years is Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent. Their new album is one of the many reasons why.
Dig & Be Dug is the new full length album fromDaphne Lee Martin and her band of troubadoursbetter known as Raise The Rent (released on her co-ownedTelegraph Recording Company label). I’ve been anticipating this album for quite some time and after seeing them live I expected a barrage of different sounds and influences that the band proudly wear on the collective sleeve. Truth be told that I was also slightly nervous that all the styles they incorporate into their live set might not translate completely to a full length album. Well, whatever fears I had were unfounded because a) the production on this album is excellent and b) this is an immensely talented set of musicians that have come together for the greater good, so to speak.
This album perfectly captures the essence of their sound. It’s a collection of blues, dixieland jazz, folk, and ragtime swing. Front-woman Daphne Lee Martin’s sultry, alluring voice swings and sways through each song inviting the listener to times and places long lost but often remembered. To be honest, a lot of bands call themselves “Americana” but very few live and breathe the styles of music that first put popular music on the map in the U.S. At certain points this is music you would have most certainly heard in a Chicago speakeasy during the Prohibition Era. Much like that proverbial long ago venue the music is a little dirty, a little dangerous but a hell of a good time.”
Check out more about these wonderful folks at CT.Com and like them on Facebook!
Tonight’s the night! We are officially celebrating the album at Hot Rod’s Cafe on Bank Street, in the downstairs lounge at 8pm. Don’t forget, the entrance is back on the Water Street Side! It’s $5, 21+ and we’ll have the Awesomeness That Is John Fries & the Heat open the night, as well as Sexual Healing rounding it out with some rap madness. Can you tell how excited we are?!
The amazing folks over at The Day did a feature on us as well, for our song ‘Pull My Daisy’. Check it out below!
Daphne Lee Martin and Raise the Rent perform their song “Pull My Daisy” during the New London Americana Festival on Sept. 17. From left are Sandy Allen, Danny Motta, Daphne Martin, Bob Burt and Brad Bensko.
Peter Huoppi/The Day
Daphne Lee Martin of Raise the Rent performs “Pull My Daisy” during a video shoot for The Day on Oct. 6.
This episode of our Song Spinner series, which takes you into the hearts, minds and hands of local musicians and their creative process, reveals the story of “Pull My Daisy” by Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent.
BIO: A burgeoning New London musical force, singer-songwriter Martin enjoyed a folk-music-happy upbringing in southeastern Ohio. It provided a solid underpinning for the array of sonic exploration and saturation once she settled into our diverse musical community. She’s utilized many of the scene’s finest musicians as core players as Raise the Rent’s persona has evolved, and counts on vocalists/multi-instrumentalists Sandy “Sandman” Allen and Jim Carpenter, bassist Brad Bensko, keyboardist John “Wayno” Waynelovich, trumpeter/vocalist Danny Motta and drummer Robert Burt as current Raise the Rent principals. Craig “Honeyboy” Edwards and Matt Gouette have also contributed substantially.
SOUND: There’s a very firm base of easy-flowing Western swing to the band’s identity, and Martin’s evocative voice hovers playfully betwixt Patsy Cline and Dinah Washington. But as typified by their brand new CD, “Dig & Be Dug,” Martin and the boys are fascinated by and fluent in such archival Americana sounds as Louis Armstrong and Buddy Bolden, pure honky tonk, Waits/Newman barroom confessionals, and even wisps of Appalachian front porch music.
HOW “PULL MY DAISY” CAME ABOUT: Martin had come across an online interview wherein Bing Crosby and Ella Fitzgerald were discussing the magical components of children’s songs. She was reminded of her own youth – particularly playground “double dutch” tunes and hand-clap games. A lot of those gradeschool tunes had a slightly risque quality, with puns that you definitely didn’t want the teacher to hear. Martin thought it would be fun to write an adult version of those songs, one that incorporated the repetitive simplicity of the childhood melodies and rhythms into the naughtier quality of decidedly adult, double-entendre jazz-blues.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT: Martin firmly believes in the stand-alone essence of a song in its starkest form. If she can’t sing it a capella in the shower and have it work, then no amount of production or layering or complex arrangements will save it. Once she was happy with “Pull My Daisy” in its natal form, she was ready to take it to the band. Since the guys are so stylistically versatile, they easily tapped into Martin’s concept, fleshed it out, and brought significant choppage and wit to the table. Raise the Rent has been doing some very nice major label showcases in New York, and “Pull My Daisy” is certainly emblematic of their sound.
FOR MORE FUN: A CD release party for “Dig & Be Dug” takes place Saturday in the basement lounge at Hot Rod’s Café, 114 Bank St., New London. Albums will be available for sale along with cool merch such as commemorative Hatch Show posters – and Halloween costumes are encouraged in the spirit of the season. As a bonus, John Fries & the Heat provide ideal musical support. Cover is $5. (860) 447-2320, raisetherentmusic.com.
The album is finally done! The CDs look great, and there are posters, buttons and all manner of other swag to go with them! Thanks so much to everyone who helped make it happen with pre-orders and Kickstarter support. Keep your eyes peeled this Thursday in The Day for reviews, and on Friday for The Day’s Song Spinner, they’ll be hosting a video about our little ditty, “Pull My Daisy”!
Join us this Saturday, October 29th at Hot Rod’s Cafe on Bank Street in New London to celebrate and score your copy! We’ll be enjoying the tunes of John Fries to warm up the night around 8:30, then Raise the Rent will play for a bit, and finally, the premier of the ‘Nostradamus Remix’ by Skobie Won & Erik Lamb aka Sexual Healing. There’s great food and drink, and the club is giving us the whole basement to do with as we like. Wear a costume if you’re so inspired, we will be! Wear your dancing shoes, though, it’s going to be a great night! We’ve been looking forward to this for almost 2 years now, we can’t wait to celebrate with you!
In the meantime: Our friends over at WailingCity.com have done us a solid, taking time to review the record and here’s what they have to say… Review by Adam Wujtewicz
“There is a certain amount of struggle between modernizing a style of music in order to evolve the genre and staying true to the roots and original intention of it. This struggle is especially true when you’re playing Jazz, Country and or Folk. There are Jazz purists that would call the music of Cecil Taylor noise, Country purists that say Hank III is a disgrace to the family name and Folk purists that still curse the name Bob Dylan. With Dig & Be Dug, Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent have made it clear that they have no intentions to playing to the purists.
There are 4 Tom Waits-esque songs that land somewhere between The Heart of Saturday Night and Blue Valentine that set up the framework for the album. They have a loungey vibe but with an electric and more lush instrumentation. The intricate mix takes the songs out of the smoky basement bar and puts them on the silver screen. It’s not so much about the authenticity of the sound as it is using the sound to tell a story with grand, vivid images. The other songs on Dig & Be Dug run the gamut between the southern swing pop of “Pull My Daisy” to the New Orleans trumpeting of “In Lieu of Flowers” and floating country ballad “Saratoga Rain”.
Confused on how these sounds all fit together? The simple answer is Daphne Lee Martin. Her voice and charisma pull you through the album easing your mind about the different sounds and structures you’re hearing behind her. There is a full range of emotion on the album but Daphne never loses composure and allows a boisterous chorus to pull her out of her range or a somber verse to dull her to whisper, she shows control rather than restraint.
The work ethic of both Daphne and her orchestra of Americana musicians shine like a beacon to those wondering how to make a good album. The sounds on Dig & Be Dug are not a shot in the dark. These are the sounds of effort, vision and drive.”