Upcoming concert to rock the pews in Irondale
By Angela Long
Published Aug. 23, 2016
If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to church, here’s your chance. On Saturday, Aug. 27, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar will rock the pews of Irondale’s historic church with a mix of southern gospel, soul, blues and rock n’ roll.
When speaking to the Echo, Martin and the other band members are just finishing up brunch in Red Deer, Alta., drinking copious amounts of what Martin calls “life in a cup.”
The band needs all the caffeine they can get. The night before, they played a house party gig. The next day they played in Calgary. By the time their mini-van pulls up to the church doors on Saturday, they will have played in Winnipeg, Salmon Arm, Penticton, Kingston, Peterborough. The band has been touring the festivals and music venues of Canada non-stop all summer.
“That’s what I signed up for,” says Martin. “You take your down time when you can get it.”
On the day of the interview, down time is bacon and eggs at noon and getting ready to hit the road.
For the past 10 years, 33-year-old Martin has hit the road more times than she can count, performing throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe. A music career that began in Grade 4 with the Sound of Music’s My Favourite Things has transpired into top singles such as My Crown, which recently featured in the Netflix series Bloodlines, and nominations for four Maple Blues Awards at Toronto’s 19th annual awards ceremony.
The band has been winning awards and accolades on a regular basis these days.
CBC arts journalist Bob Mersereau says Martin’s voice is one “that comes along once in a generation, and only on a blue moon.”
After listening to Send the Nightingale, the band’s 2015 album, Scene Magazine says, “One can only wonder why Toronto-based singer Samantha Martin isn’t already a major star.”
But Martin is taking it all in stride. She’s worked hard for more than 10 years to get where she is.
“You continue to build and continue to build,” she says, one gig after the other, until a decade later you’re standing on the stage of Massey Hall, or at her favourite venue in Toronto, the Dakota Tavern. “When you’re doing what you love,” she says, “all the hard work is worth it.”
This year will mark the first time the band members are able to quit their day jobs and work full time doing what they love. It will also be their first time playing in cottage country.
“We’re really looking forward to it,” Martin says.
Born in Edmonton, she now calls Toronto home, and like many Torontonians, has felt the pull toward the land of Canadian Shield and white pine.
Bark Lake Cultural Developments, the charitable organization hosting the band, is also looking forward to their visit.
“I first saw them at The Painted Lady on Ossington Street and they tore it up. The sound just grabs you by the cortex,” says Bark Lake concert series production manager Douglas Rodger in an email to the Echo. “I think we booked them just in time – next year we won’t be able to afford them.”
The concert venue, a church dating back to 1887 set in a meadow, has transitioned from an Anglican place of worship to a cultural and educational centre, hosting workshops and seminars, a community garden and museum, and a concert series. All proceeds from the concert will go toward the preservation of the historic building.
Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased online at www.IrondaleOntario.ca, or at Stop 503 in Irondale, Highland Meats in Gooderham, Agnew’s in Wilberforce, Lang’s Grocers in Kinmount, or On The Spot Variety in Minden. For more information, call or text 705-457-8438.