Aidan Martin has a peculiar command of the guitar: you’d think there is a ghost hand playing those melodious lead guitar parts over mad, intricate strumming.

Interested by jazz during a gap-year in Edinburgh, Martin, then 19, became a self-taught guitarist by studying jazz records he’d laid his hands on at the time. Upon his return he started jamming with his brother, the acclaimed guitarist and vocalist Johnathan Martin, with whom he recorded the albums In My Blood (2007) and Machete (2010). The two brothers – often considered by keen observers to share some kind of musical telepathy – have been playing together and sharing stages ever since. Today, ten years down the road, Aidan Martin has not let go of the same intensity with which he had first excelled as a young guitarist. The results have produced one of the country’s most exciting new rock guitarists and vocalists, as he now performs with his own blues rock trio. The band is comprised of Aidan Martin on guitars, mandolin and vocals,Jorik Pienaar on drums and Andre' van der Merwe on bass guitar. Despite the group’s youth, there are years of experience amongst its members.

 Aidan Martin’s newly released debut solo album “Inside Out” is full of haunting, heavy-layered riffs that carry the album throughout. Martin’s vocal and songwriting abilities are also deeply affirmed on this debut recording.

There is no hiding behind the influences: whilst jazz artists like Wes Montgomery and Grant Green are at the heart of Aidan’s formative years, it is no doubt that Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Rory Gallagher led him away from stifled corporate gigs and down the road to bars with bad lighting and blasting amplifiers. His keen interest in West-African blues guitarists such as Ali Farka Touré also informs his style; his guitar playing being fluid, never mimicking itself – a result of Aidan Martin being such an uncompromising musician. It is exactly this stubborn approach that allows his songwriting to exist outside of any mould. Consequently, with his band they succeed in producing refreshingly hard-hitting rock ‘n roll.

So, picture yourself watching a gig, struggling with some stale, warm beer; then picture someone handing you a proper cold one, out of the blue. This is what Aidan Martin is doing for rock ‘n roll in Msanzi’s Capital.

Songs at Soundcloud:


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