Fox News Segment | Grand Band Slam

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 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!

Fox news showed up and did a sweet little interview with us for the 11 o’clock news last night and here’s the video segment!

Some love from the Advocates! Oh & come to the show!

Daphne Lee MartinDaphne Lee Martin (September 18, 2012)
By Mike Sembos11:28 a.m. EDT, September 18, 2012

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.

(more HERE!)

Come out to any of the next batch of shows, starting with the CT Band Slam show at Black Eyed Sally’s! HERE‘s the event page for more info!

New London takes 3 CT Music Awards!

Daphne Lee Martin wins Best Country Artist

Our own Daphne Lee Martin took the prize for Best Country Artist at the inaugural Connecticut Music Awards at the Bushnell in Hartford this past Wednesday, September 12. Accepting the award, Martin was joined on stage by producer and occasional bandmate Jim Carpenter.  Launched by Chip McCabe ofChip’s Unnamed Local Band Show and and inspired in part by New London’s ownWhalie Awards, the awards ceremony was an extension and celebration of the Grand Band Slam sponsored by the Advocate newspapers and celebrating musicians throughout Connecticut.  Martin wasn’t the only New London act to being home a statue as The Suicide Dolls took the Best Rock Act prize andApathy landed Best Hip Hop.

CT Music Awards!

Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent are up for Country Band of the year! Come check out the ceremony!

Winners of this year’s Grand Band Slam will be announced at the 1st Annual Connecticut Music Awards, a Grammy-style ceremony held at The Bushnell in Hartford on Wednesday, September 12th.

In addition to awards, the show will feature performances, guest presenters and more!

Tickets for this event are available to the general public. The price is $10. There are two ways to get tickets…

1) Call The Bushnell at (860) 987-5900

2) Order online at the Bushnell’s website:

This will be a great event and we hope to see you there!

Cover Girl!

From our wonderful friends over at The Day and Grace Magazine!

(check out more here!)

Singer Daphne Lee Martin stays true to her roots

By Faye Trafford

Seth Jacobson photo
Daphne Lee Martin loves a double entendre, and as the lead singer/songwriter for the American roots band Raise the Rent, has a lot of fun crafting lyrics that offer a sly wink to the attentive listener. Literary references also abound — from Langston Hughes to Henry Miller, Martin honors her artistic influences. Look for updated information on Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent’s appearances and upcoming releases, including “Moxie” at or follow them on Facebook.

Hear Daphne Lee Martin and Jim Carpenter perform live at The Day.


The home singer/songwriter Daphne Lee Martin shares with her husband, Rich, in downtown New London is historic, artsy, lovingly painted and bright.

But their basement is right out of a rock ‘n roll documentary.

Strands of lights hang down over posters behind the stage, casting glints of light on the drum set. Stuffed sofas are arranged around a low coffee table. It’s the kind of setup a teenager dreams about.

“Everyone says, ‘when I grow up I’m going to do this,'” Daphne smiles, glancing around.

“Well I grew up, and I did it.”

That’s not all she’s done. A homeschooled student, she finished high school at 16. She left college to move to New York City in 1998. She spent two seasons living and working at sea. Now, in addition to being the lead singer and songwriter for the American roots band Raise the Rent, she serves as treasurer of the Hygienic Art performance venue and gallery and co-ownsThe Telegraph record store and The Telegraph Recording Company on Golden Street with her husband.

“New London is lucky to have her,” said Sue Menhart of the Sue Menhart Band, adding that Daphne leaves a “lasting impression” on those who work with her.

“She’s all music all the time, and inspires others, including myself, to push harder, go deeper, and strive for excellence.”

While Rich grew up in Mystic, Daphne hails from Roseville, Ohio. But in separate interviews, both said they fell in love with the artistic climate and energy in New London.

“Neither of us come from a background where we had a lot given to us,” said Rich, who serves as Hygienic’s managing director.

“We really had to make it for ourselves. And that’s something we find attractive about our lives and living here. We do have to do the hard work. But the satisfaction of that is you’ve got something wholly of yourself and your community that a lot of people can celebrate in.”

“Our lives here — this is by design,” Daphne said. “We live downtown; we walk to work. The Hygienic and the shop are within 40 feet of each other. This is all very composed. We wanted our lives to look like this for a long time and we put those pieces into place.”

Her parents and sister are now all living in Florida. Daphne also has a two-year-old nephew there, and is “plotting and scheming a tour” to visit them.

In the meantime, she’s figuring how to marry the running of a small business with the life of a performing musician.

“We’ve got a few interns at the shop to help out with things,” she said. “Although we have had to resort to ‘rock n’ roll emergencies,’ where we just put a sign up on the door at the shop and say ‘Due to a rock n’ roll emergency, we are unable to be open. If you really need to get in, call our cell phones.’ We try not to do that more often than we have to.”

They also get by with a little help from their friends, including Daybreak’s Saturday columnist Stephen Chupaska.

“I think what surfaces with Daphne is that she’s authentic,” Chupaska said. “She’s been playing folk music for as long as she’s been alive — but she doesn’t stray into the closed off and boring world that some traditionalists inhabit. She also is good at atmosphere in a song. I think “Saratoga Rain” is perhaps her best song and I haven’t once listened to the words, which is odd for a writer. There’s an exquisite, gemlike shimmer to it.”

Grace caught up with Daphne to find out how she’s following up “Dig & Be Dug,” Raise the Rent’s first album. What we got was a dialogue about what it really means to have a vocation in life — to see and know your purpose, and the personal, even spiritual commitment it requires on the part of the artist.

Grace: You’ve said that you see yourself as a translator for bygone sounds — gypsy, Appalachian ballads, tin pan alley tunes, etc. How did you arrive at that place where you said, ‘This is where my heart is.’

Daphne Lee Martin: Growing up I listened to a lot of traditional music … I loved the traditional forms, and I could see it years ago, that there was this huge disconnect between the music I grew up playing, and the music everybody seemed to be listening to. I felt like a whole lot of people really needed to bridge that gap and I would definitely be one of them.

I knew I was going to be bored out of my skull if I tried to do one kind of music for the rest of my life. I never wanted to get pigeon-holed into a particular genre or style.

Is there a price to pay for going against the grain?

My folk music community growing up freaked out — like, Dylan ’65 freaked out — when I picked up an electric guitar for the first time. When they heard my record they were like, “What are you DOING?” Not that I’m blacklisted, particularly, but it’s definitely not their thing.

It must be odd when you can identify a gap in culture, where you feel like ‘I’m not hearing this kind of sound or seeing this kind of writing…’

Right. There was the folk revival of the 60s — people like Pete Seeger and Joan Baez and those guys … but then you wonder what’s happened to the Appalachian folk stuff — no one is performing these songs, no one is performing them since that big movement. This year is the 100th anniversary of the birthday of Woodie Guthrie — so now there’s a resurgence of Woodie Guthrie tunes which is awesome — but it takes an anniversary to bring that to people’s consciousness? That’s not how it’s supposed to work. Some of these songs have been around for 300 years and the only way they’re going to be around for another 300 years is if young people do them.

King James translated the Bible into English. Do you think that people would be reading the Bible the way they are today if it was still written in Greek? And I feel an urgent, religious power behind those songs that they need to be kept alive in the same way. And if that means giving it a different stylistic treatment, then that’s what it means.

Why is it personally important to you that these songs are kept alive?

They are universal storytelling songs. People 150 years ago aren’t so different from people living now. The human experience is a universal thing. People were just as lonely; people were just as frightened; people were just as righteous. [Through music] the continuity of the human experience becomes a lot more accessible.

And it’s tough because I could make a lot of money if I played pop songs. Cover bands make sooo much money. And they play such great venues. But — they’re not going to leave anything of note behind.

It takes a long time to convince people that your art is worthwhile if it doesn’t speak to what they’re used to seeing or hearing. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, it just means it’ll take awhile.

When you’re in the process of songwriting, how do you know when you’ve “arrived” at whatever it was you wanted to communicate?

I don’t think I ever arrive. Like even when you get a recording in the can, and you feel like “OK, this song is as done as it’s going to be for right now,” that’s really all it is.

And I feel that way about the old songs too. They’re still changing. Almost like the old folk tales from any culture, they get embellished by each new narrator.

So how do you reinterpret your material — does this happen during live performances?

One of the things that I like to do is write songs where the verses can be sung in any order and still make sense. So I’ll play around — of course sometimes accidentally, because I’ll just have forgotten the order (laughs) so it’s also a safety device, in a way.

It’s interesting that you see your work as always evolving. In life — it seems people want to feel like we’ve arrived — whether it’s with art or in a relationship, like, “OK! We’re here! The work is done.”

It’s about living right day after day. You have to wake up and make the decision to live right. People do that about marriage. Like: “I’m married now, I guess I can be [terrible] to him. Or not care, or not work on it.” But it doesn’t matter what you do in life. You have to approach it every day as if you’re trying to earn it all over again.

That’s beautiful. You’re very quotable.

I’ve had a lot of coffee. (laughs)

But that approach — it keeps your focus on what’s important…

If you enjoy having to work hard for things.

So as you’re doing the work, what sustains you, as an artist?

Collaboration is it, actually. Because I grew up doing traditional music, it’s always been a social practice for me. I can sit and knit for five hours and not look up once. But I can’t make music like that. It’s not a solitary thing.

Something else that we were wondering — what was it that drew you to the ocean?

My mom is such a romantic — a complete romantic about the ocean. She grew up in Ohio and took off when she was 18 or 19 and ended up Virginia Beach, where she met my father. My grandfather too — he was a wild and crazy guy. He would take off for chunks of time, not really tell anyone where he was going, just say, “I need to get some sand in my shoes.” One of the places he would go is Virginia Beach, and I think my mother picked up his wandering spirit. … She took us up to Connecticut when I was 8 — my stepfather had family here. The visits out here were always our best times. … and because of that we did a lot of traditional maritime music. We picked up sea shanties and that kind of stuff.

So where are you going with your music? What do you want to see happen?

The last record we did was very organic — lots of acoustic instruments, very traditional sounding. But I knew that these [new] songs we were working on would not be best served sticking to those things. And it would kind of be a boring follow-up. The EP that we’re working on right now is a lot more 60s and 70s psychedelic folk kind of a vibe. A lot of organ and a lot of synthesized sound — a lot of ear candy floating around.

I try with my lyrics to be as timeless as possible, I try not to throw in pop culture references; I would like it to be transferrable to any time, as much as possible. But yeah, the sound on this one is a lot more modern. Maybe I’m working my way up through history? (laughs) I don’t know what’s next. I just have to let it unfold.

Traditions: Kristin Hersh, Daphne Lee Martin, Girls, Guns & Glory, Milksop:Unsung, Chuck E. Costa, GraveRobbers

New London Music Festival presents its 6th annual installation of TRADITIONS at the beautiful Hygienic Art Park in downtown New London. The day long festival has become a true snapshot of the full American Music Experience right here in downtown New London. Traditions began out of a deep respect for the multi-national storytelling and wisdom of the traditional music that immigrated here while warmly embracing the evolution of those musical forms as they build and define our own unique culture. At the Hygienic Art Park, this Saturday August 11th! FB EVENT INVITE

3pm GraveRobbers
4pm Milksop:Unsung
5pm Girls, Guns & Glory
6:30 Chuck E. Costa
8pm Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent
9:30 Kristin Hersh
Kristin Hersh
Kristin Hersh has released over 20 records solo, with Throwing Muses and 50FOOTWAVE. She’s a singer, songwriter and guitarist. She’s also the author of an acclaimed memoir — based on her teenage diary — about a particularly eventful year, titled “Rat Girl” in the USA (published by Penguin), and titled “Paradoxical Undressing” in the UK.
www.kristinhersh.comDaphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent
Wrung from the rags of New London’s speakeasies, Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent stir together a wicked musical cocktail, drawing from the deep well of the American songbook. Fusing honky-tonk torch vocals with swing and gypsy tunes, swirling jazz-pop, and ragtime harmony singing, they bring together the gems of their own original songs with a top-shelf selection of beloved American broadsides of a bygone age.

Chuck E. Costa
Chuck E. Costa is our CT State Troubadour, an ambassador of music and song to encourage cultural literacy and promote the State of Connecticut. Chuck also performs with The Sea The Sea and Mon Monarch.

Girls, Guns & Glory
Girls Guns and Glory is a celebration of sweet and tasty, fun lovin’ and hard timin’, honky tonk music that is simultaneously casual and complex. The band combines elements of early rock ‘n’ roll, country, and rhythm & blues to deliver its own brand of American Roots music that satisfies like homemade apple pie.

Dan Carrano, Tj Jackson & Gary Velush make up New Haven’s own “psycho-folk” acoustic trio. With hints of Gogol Bordello and the Pogues, performed bluegrass style, their live shows are nothing short of a riot.

The band leans more towards a classic “Alt-Country” sound with songs in three-quarter time. They balance blustery electric guitars with steady acoustic strumming and mournful accompaniments. They write powerful, emotional songs that fall somewhere amongst the pantheon of balladeers. Singer James Maple has a lonesome sounding voice that locks into harmonies with his fellow bandmates with an end result of haunting, honest and true Country music that is stately in its way.

Daphne & Raise the Rent on TV & You can be in the audience!


Join us on Friday, July 20 at The Arch Street Tavern in Hartford for the next installment of our series Live & Local! As always the show will be filmed and will air on WCCT (channel 11 or 20 on most cable systems in CT).

Sunspots ~ If you pulled the rusting factories, odd urban centers, and dairy farms of Connecticut into a sound, you’d come close to a band like Sunspots. The group has been described as a combination of “rootsy rock with soulful pop hooks” (Eric Danton, Hartford Courant) and is especially known for their dynamic live performances, which range from richly-harmonized pop songs to fuzz rock singalongs. Maintaining a relentless performing schedule, the band is based in Hartford, CT, where they are ardent supporters of the emerging, tight-knit music community, while branching out to perform frequently across New England and southward on tours down the East Coast.

Daphne Lee Martin & Raise The Rent ~ Wrung from the rags of New London’s speakeasies, Daphne Lee Martin & Raise the Rent stir together a wicked musical cocktail, drawing from the deep well of the American songbook. Fusing honky-tonk torch vocals with swing and gypsy fiddling, swirling jazz-pop, and ragtime harmony singing, they bring together the gems of their own original songs with a top-shelf selection of beloved American broadsides of a bygone age. Whether you’re in the mood for an easy evening of sweet melodies or a night of swinging tunes, Raise the Rent is a band you must pull over to hear!

Paper Hill Casket Company~ Formed in the fall of 2011, Paper Hill Casket Company is a gothic americana band hailing from New Haven, Connecticut. The group consists of five members with vastly different musical influences. Classical style violin combines with clanging rhythmic banjo to drive songs exploring such topics as arson and natural disaster. PHCC absorbs New England antiquity and incorporates it into a music that is sometimes melodic and lilting, sometimes driving and raucous. The band is currently deeply immersed in recording their first full length album, Undertow. Paper Hill Casket Company’s shows combine the intimacy of traditional string music with the high energy dance-ability of a rock show. They are best paired with whiskey.

Doors at 8 pm, Show starts at 9:00, 21+, $5 cover (all money goes to the bands!)

Here’s the Facebook Event Invite!