by: Thomas D. Mooney
The last time we heard Lubbock singer-songwriter Dave Martinez released an album, it was 2014’s lean, but strong Two Wolves, an extended play filled with five Martinez-penned acoustic ballads that was a fulfilling listen despite being over in 15 minutes.
It was built around the stark balance of Martinez’ acoustic guitar arrangements and his vocals that bounced between tender glows and timid warmth.
Two years later, the Lubbock artist is readying his next undertaking, an EP titled Panhandle Confessional. “The whole idea behind Panhandle Confessional is me describing the everyday scenes and life I’m experiencing in Lubbock, Southland, Amarillo–whatever part of the Panhandle I’m in at the time,” says Martinez.
This time around, Martinez is building an EP that’s going further into the full band sound. “I’m proud of the first EP, with its’ stripped down sound, but I’ve grown as an artist since Two Wolves,” says Martinez. “The fuller sound reflects where I’m at in my songwriting better. The challenge now is finding the balance between my solo acoustic roots and the full body sound that we found in the studio.”
To kick Panhandle Confessional off, Martinez has recorded the first single from the project titled “Gravity,” a smooth sailing country song. Recorded with Alan Crossland at Route 1, Acuff Studios, Martinez enlisted the help of fellow Lubbock musicians (and No Dry County members) Jonathan Dunlap, Dub Wood, and Matt Newsom to create the full band sound.
“Dub Wood actually came to me with the initial idea and chorus of the song,” says Martinez. “We worked it out over an afternoon. It’s basically the feeling you get as drinking progresses at a bar and you slowly realize you need to be going home alone.”
Martinez was initially set to finish Panhandle Confessional later this spring in Stephenville with Josh Serrato and Ben Hussey, but unfortunately, Martinez sliced open his hand causing some nerve damage and a surgery date.
“It’s been pretty frustrating,” Martinez admits. “I had all sorts of dates and timelines in place. As it stands with surgery coming up, that’s on a hold. Now plans are being reworked.”
Listen to “Gravity” below. “Gravity” will be released on iTunes the first of April. Go to Martinez’ Panhandle Confessional GoFundMe page here.