Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Rockland Road in Oakley

Western Plains Arts Association opens their 54th season Sunday, Sept. 17 at 3 p.m. CDT with Rockland Road
, six musicians of the Martin family representing four generations of musical heritage. All members of this Nashville family sing and play a combined 23 different instruments. Oakley High School auditorium will be the venue for the first program. 
Admission is by WPAA season ticket or single program tickets, adults $20, students $10 at the door. Season tickets may be purchased from any board member or at the venue. This program is made possible by generous business and individual sponsors, including major grants from the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, Logan, and the Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation- community Grant for Logan County and Thomas County, Bird City.
Rockland Road is a street just outside Nashville. It’s a studio where countless hit records have been recorded. It’s a crossroads where country, gospel, pop, R&B and Americana music has coexisted and thrived for years. It is also a vocal- driven, melodic band with a signature sound as rich and authentic as its namesake.
Rockland Road is a powerhouse group featuring soulful vocals imbued with a pure, exuberant joy worthy of the talented blood that flows through this family’s veins. As they prepared to enter the studio, the Martin family was pitched songs from some of the top writers in Nashville. One song in particular, "Mountains Up
Ahead," was brought to them by their producer Greg Bieck, and they felt an immediate connection and knew they had to record it.

"We had no idea just how relevant the message would become a few months after recording it, when the world seemed to change overnight," said Jamie Martin. "It's all about having hope in tough times."
Paul and Jamie Martin began singing together in 2010 with their four children: March, Kell, Texas and Tallant. Quickly realizing that the kids all showed an uncanny knack for hearing harmonies, as well as for playing instruments, they began performing shows together.
“Our house has always been like a live jukebox, with an all-you-can-play selection of musical instruments,” Jamie said. “Music completely engulfs our lives, so our kids have never known a day without it. And that’s just how they want it.”
Paul added, “We are a real family and we knew there would be an unpredictable nature to working with our kids. But they are filled with such passion, essentially breathing through the music we are creating,” he says. “It’s a given that we’re proud of them as parents, but, very quickly, we found ourselves appreciating the musical talent and the vocal skills that they contribute as fellow performers, not just as our kids. There was no other choice; we knew we had to do this with them.”
So where did it all begin? Grammy-winning artist Paul Martin, lead singer/guitarist of country-pop supergroup Exile, met and married Jamie Allen, daughter of Duane Allen, a member of Country Music Hall of Fame gospel group The Oak Ridge Boys, and Grand Ole Opry background singer Norah Lee Allen. Individually and collectively, Paul and Jamie’s four children were exposed early to a rich musical existence, and they watched as each child demonstrated God-given musical talent early on.
Regional performances began to boom, leading to appearances on national television shows like Huckabee, The Oak Ridge Boys’ “American Legion Christmas Special,” The Marty Stuart Show, Country’s Family Reunion, Gaither Homecoming and Larry’s Country Diner, and Jimmy Bowen & Friends. They’ve taken their stage show to venues as varied as the White House, the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Cruise and countless fairs, festivals and performing arts centers across the country. Additionally, Rockland Road has performed the national anthem for many major sporting events.
After a rousing performance of “Elvira” to a packed house for The Oak Ridge Boys’ 2015 induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, Billboard Magazine heralded them as “singing to the rafters,” bringing a crowd of seasoned performers and industry insiders to their feet.

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