Rich Martel performing during last weekend’s premiere show. Photo by Lori Hoddinott/Capital Photos.
One of the great highlights of last weekend’s Calabogie Country Music Festival was seeing our very own Rich Martel make his big stage debut to a cheering home crowd. If you missed both his warm-up performance on Friday night and his full-band show down Saturday afternoon, you just plain ol’ missed out. Talent and charisma aside, Rich is just an overall outstanding guy and we all wish nothing but the best for this promising career and to help give it that extra little push, here’s a copy of what the Renfrew Mercury published on Rich last week prior to the festival’s launch.
Written By Peter Clark
Published in the Renfrew Mercury on June 26, 2014
Rich Martel hopes to make it big in country music.
If he does, you’ll have an opportunity to say, “I saw him perform,” if you attend the second annual Calabogie Class Axe Guitars Country Music Festival June 27 to 29 at Calabogie Peaks.
Martel takes to the stage for a sneak preview on the Friday night, June 27 from 7:30 to 8 p.m. But his main performance will be Saturday, June 28 at 4 p.m. Originally from Windsor, Martel moved to the Barry’s Bay area in his teen years, and also resided in Pembroke for about four years.
“Right now, I’m in Calabogie. It’s a hop, skip and a jump to the stage,” he said.
Martel’s knowledge of the upcoming show came honestly as he worked at Calabogie Peaks.
“I was quite familiar with what they were doing, and how they are doing it. They asked me if I’d like to take the opportunity to play there, and I gladly said yes.”
Martel has three songs you can hear on Youtube, Headlights in the Rain, Somedays, and When You Really Love Someone.
Martel’s band includes vocalist Jordan Nystrom, daughter of Nashville producer and Renfrew native Jeff Nystrom, and drummer Jamie Holmes of Kemptville, who has relatives in Renfrew.
Well-known musician Anders Drerup of Ottawa is also with the band. Martel has been doing shows with his guitar player around the Valley, including Finnigan’s, Coco Jarry’s, Wilno Tavern, Golden Sands, Esprit Rafting, and some stops in Pembroke.
“We’ve played just about everywhere (in the Valley),” he added. Martel’s first album is starting to take off. His first break came when playing a jig at the Best Western in Renfrew.
Jeff Nystrom happened to be there, and came up and said, “Man, you can sing,” Martel recalled.
“We were able to pull off a pretty killer album. I just enjoy playing music. It’s my first album, it’s my first Rich Martel anything.”
Everything in the past as been a tribute of some sort, singing other people’s songs.
Calabogie could be a make-orbreak event, Martel said.
“We are really hoping there is someone there from a label that’s going to see what we are able to pull off. Hopefully they want to bite and just push me to the limit, because I’m 30 years old and I’ve got nothing to hold me back.”
Martel thanks his mother, Lise Lamar, her husband Larry, and brother Kevin and his girlfriend Bonita, “for all of their support,” in his country music endeavours.
He also put his 15-year-old son, Isaiah, on that list.
Martel is looking forward to the Peaks country event.
“It’s going to be a super exciting show. It’s probably going to make or break my career. Look for high energy; a lot of fun,” Martel said.
“Enjoy the sun, enjoy the good music. There’s going to be a great lineup out there. I can’t wait to get this show on the road.”