Sunday, 1 June 2014

What to do when you are on tour and you have little to no voice

About 10 days ago I began a string of gigs and now I am on the last day of my Spring Mini Tour.  Today is Sunday and last Sunday I started getting a sore throat.  Knowing that I had lots of singing to do I really took it easy, drank a ton of peppermint tea.
By Tuesday's show I was struggling to hit any high notes which I have to do often in my own songs and in the covers that I play.  On Wednesday I woke up and my speaking voice was a mess.  At this point adding coughing to the mix I knew I needed to get something so I bought some generic Cold and Cough stuff.  I don't think it did anything except for cost me way too much.
Wednesday night I was in London with my buddies' Hooper and Neil playing at St. Joseph's Hospital Annual fundraiser and with the help of my sister's boyfriend coming along and singing a few songs, we made it through and it was a great event.
On Thursday I had a much needed day off so I slept and had lots of tea but things appeared to be getting worse.  On Friday morning I had to drive to Downtown Toronto and pick up the CDs that I had printed at Indiepool.  Then I continued on to Brooklin, ON where I was playing with my friend Jonathan Manafo at a pub on a golf course called "The Hound Over the Hedge stone".
My voice was a mess at this point and the worst part was that I had no confidence in it at all.  It was a horrible feeling knowing that I still had to play Saturday night and twice on Sunday.
I hacked through the first 2 sets and Jonathan Manafo helped me out for the third set by singing a bunch of covers and once again we got through it.
Saturday was spent on the deck at Walkdown Sound with my good friend Matthew Fretz.  I lazed around all day alternating between hot and cold drinks with a mid day trip to Baldwin St. Burger.  I was still feeling poopy though so Matt and I took a trip to Shoppers and bought a bottle of Buckley's.  On Saturday night the Buckley's must have been working because I felt like I was starting to get some of my voice back.  That night I was once again joined by Jonathan Manafo on bass and Jonathan McMurray on drums.  As we started into the first set I was flying.  I had about 60% of my voice, Matt Fretz was mixing and had us sounding really good and the band was having tons of fun playing through popular covers and the original songs that I thought I could still hit.
The 2nd set was also good but I started noticing that I didn't have any voice when I tried to hit high notes.  This was freaking me out once again but the band and I kept jamming out the instrumentals and kept a brave face.  Jonathan McMurray sang a few covers from the drums which helped us get through set two.  When we took a break before set three I knew that I still had my Sunday shows to do and didn't want to totally lose my voice so Jonathan Manafo took the 3 set and sang a bunch of high energy covers that he does and I got to rock out on my electric guitar.  Our 3rd set was definitely the most spirited.  When we ended last night it was a little after 1am and we still had to pack up and drive 30 mins back to Walkdown Sound.  All of that worked out and I got a good night sleep.  So here I am now, still with about 60% of my voice and I'm heading in a few minutes to Jonathan Manafo's church to sing some songs and share some stories.
I am so thankful for so many great friends who have surrounded me this week and filled in gaps when I couldn't.  But by the grace of God the support of Hooper, Neil, Manafo, Fretz, McMurray and Buckley's go I.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tim Neufeld

On Saturday May 3rd The Otic Poets and I have been asked to open for Tim Neufeld and the Hallelujah Glory Boys.  This is a real honour as Tim's band "Starfield" has been very influential in my life and in the lives of many others.
Over the past little while DM&OP have been working very hard to craft a sound that is really working.  It has my acoustic vibe in a bed of Geoff's creative acoustic and electronic drums, Neil's silky-smooth bass and Jordan's melodious guitars.  This combo really sings!
I'm excited to share our new sound with a larger audience and this show will be a good opportunity for that.
We will also be featured on the Radio show "Redeem The Beat" this Sunday at 4pm to promote the show on May 3rd and play one of our songs live.  Please tune in to that at and listen live.  You can also request songs from Otic Poet's "Frontiers" record or any of my solo material.
Also, you can get your tickets for the Tim Neufeld show from Harbour Fellowship Church in St. Catharines, ON.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Trying To Find an Abandoned Home

I want to share a video with you that tells a cool story from this past weekend.  As you hopefully know by now, Matthew Fretz of Walkdown Sound has started working with me to help take my music to the next level.  On the weekend we were shooting a little video for a cover of a Neil Young song I did which we are planning to release next Tuesday, February 18th right before my first T.V. debut on Cable 14 on Wednesday February 19th.  We had shot the video on Friday night and were editing it on the Saturday when Matt left for a few hours.  When he returned he told me to "grab my coat and one of the guitars from the studio."  It turns out he had found an abandoned house on the side of the highway and wanted to go take a few photos and shoot a quick video.  So we trudged in through the deep snow, walked into a house that was missing it's windows and doors and had been left in a terrible state.  It was a total mess with birds nests in the corners and stuff everywhere but I couldn't help but think of who used to occupy that place.  I'm sure at one point there were many family meals and Christmas mornings.  What had happened to this family home that was now nothing more than a rotting house on the side of the highway?  Matt was a little more brave than I so he wandered around the house looking for some sort of spot to take some pictures and shoot a video.  We eventually landed on a tipped over book shelf that was laying on it's side infront of the window shown in the picture above.
It was very cold that day so we didn't stay long but Matt shot this video of me singing "Trying To Find A Home" and we decided to release it and share the story behind the abandoned house.
Although my fingers felt as though they were going to fall off at any point and I was using a slightly out of tune guitar, it was a very cool moment for us to experience together.
On the way in to this house Matt walked through the deep snow first and told me to follow in his footprints.  That is the kind of guy that Matthew Fretz is and I am thrilled to walk in his footprints as we work together on this great adventure.

Link to the Video 
Please share if you like it.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Introducing The Lovelocks

Last night Geoff and Esther and I had the honour of sharing the stage at the Cameron House with The Lovelocks. "The Lovelocks are a female alt-country duo comprised of Ali Raney and Zoe Neuman hailing from Toronto." They were also backed by an amazing band "The BroLocks" who didn't miss a beat.  Read more about The Lovelocks here Bio.  
I mentioned from the stage last night that I had heard a whole bunch of facebook hype about these gals and they absolutely lived up to the hype.  With a killer combination of high energy songs, huge stage presence and good looks to boot, they are definitely going to make their way onto music lover's radars very soon.  With the release of the Debut EP on Friday February 13th I can see them jumping into Canadian Country Music stardom.  So I would like to invite you to join them on this journey by coming to their EP Release party on the 13th, buying their new EP and whatever other merchandise they have and help them on their way to greatness.  
The thing that impressed me most about the Lovelocks was their down-to-earth personalities and passion for what they do.  It is obvious to see that they are very grounded and very honoured themselves to be in a place where they can follow their dream of making great music.  Let's help them share their story with audiences around the globe.


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Walkdown Sound Joins Forces with Darin Martin Music

We are just about to go public with an announcement that I am thrilled about.  Starting in 2014 Walkdown Sound will be providing management for Darin Martin Music.

This will include things like concert booking, production, developing a touring and recording schedule and more.  Walkdown Sound has also invited me to be a part of the production team at Walkdown Sound Studio in Brooklin.
This is very exciting for me as I have reached a stage in my career where I want to pour more energy into the creative side of writing and performing and recording and less energy into trying to find gigs and working out all of the details with venues.  It will also give me the opportunity to give back by helping Walkdown to work with and develop other artists.

Meet Matthew Fretz of Walkdown Sound.  

Matthew is the owner and creator of Walkdown Sound.  The Vision statement for his company is simply "Dream, then Do".  Matthew is a husband, father, father in-law, and a dear brother of mine.  He is a very talented cat who does engineering,  music production, concert promotions, video production, commercial jingles, voice overs, writing, ...he'll even shovel your driveway for you if you need him to.
From the first time that Geoff and I met Matthew, I sensed that he was a man of God who was a creative genius and was doing his part to develop young artists.  By the 2nd concert he worked with us on, I knew that our relationship was just getting started.  Matthew also had the sense that the Big Guy upstairs had brought the two of us together.  So after recording an album at Walkdown Sound just before my East Coast Tour this past summer, I asked Matthew if he would manage Darin Martin Music and help me get to the next level.  I'm very excited that this partnership will not only benefit my music career as I still get to work with great artists like Geoff Laforet and Neil Brown, but it will also give me the opportunity to work with a fantastic group at Walkdown Sound in helping others "Dream, then Do".

Stay tuned as we get ready to launch as a team in 2014.

Follow Walkdown Sound on facebook and Twitter and stay connected:
To book a show email Matthew Fretz at

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

"Christmas Time" Single

This year we wanted to put together a song for Christmas as a free give away for all of our friends.  So Matthew Fretz shared a song with us and asked if Geoff and Neil and I would take it and make it "our own".  We played around with it a bit and decided that that we found something that stayed true to the heart and vibe of the song, but had our own little flair.
On Tuesday December 10th we released our first Christmas single entitled "Christmas Time" written and produced by Matthew Fretz, recorded by Darin Martin: Vocals & Guitars, Geoff Laforet: Drums, all of the high harmonies and extra percussion, and Neil Brown: Bass, keys and BGV's.
Here is how it went down
A few weeks ago we crashed at Geoff's and played through the song a bunch of times before watching "Anchor Man" which I had never seen before.  This was in fact the first movie that Geoff and I had ever watched together.  We stayed up too late and in the morning Geoff and Neil and I headed up to Walkdown Sound in Brooklin, On where we met Matt and went to work.
The studio was tons of fun and we had a great time hanging with Matt and the Fretz fam.
After a day of tracking and some Swiss Chalet we were tired but pretty happy with the song.  The good Lord protected us on the way home as we literally watched cars and trucks go flying off the road just ahead of us due to icy conditions.
I was reminded that Geoff and Neil are more than just musical partners, but very close friends and really sweet dudes.
We truly wish you a Merry Christmas and Holiday Season and a Happy New Year.

Go to this link to get your free Download of "Christmas Time"

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas Season

Every year on December 1st something in me changes.  It's like a light bulb goes on and I realize 2 things simultaneously, 1) It's not Summer anymore 2) It's almost Christmas.
I'm weird when it comes to Christmas because I have had a love/hate relationship with this entire season for many years and for many reasons.  As a young child it was a magical time of year where all my memories had 5 feet of fluffy white snow, 10 ft Christmas trees and family around laughing and eating for what seemed like weeks.  Growing up in a Christian home meant that we also had a big focus on Jesus' birthday and not just Jolly Old Saint Nick.
After my parents slip up when I was 8 Christmas became about a very difficult choice.  Which parent/siblings would I spend Christmas with and how much would my decision hurt my relationship with the parent I didn't choose.  It was a lose lose situation for a young boy.
For a few years my older brother and I actually went to my uncles' house and although that solved the "which parent" debate, it sure was difficult to not be with your own family for Christmas Eve and day.
When I went off to College I decided that I hated Christmas altogether.  Well at least the commercialization of the season.  Somehow the amount of love you had for someone was determined by the amount of money you spent on their Christmas gift.  I attended family gatherings and put on a smile but inside I loathed every minute of it.
Then one day something changed in me.  We started having our own family and had to decided what we would focus on and what our Christmas season would look like for us.
So we decided that Christmas would be a happy and magical time for us with a big focus on Jesus and his sacrificial giving, as well as family and the love and support that then can be for each other.  We decided that every Christmas eve we would give our girls a new pair of pajamas or as their British uncle Dom calls them "JimJams".
Then on Christmas morning they get a simple stocking and one special gift from us.
As a family we value living simply and giving generously to others and by not spending a whole bunch of money  at Christmas or wracking up our credit card bills, we are able to look for needs around us and help others.
I'm not suggesting that presents are bad and would not pass judgement on the way others celebrate Christmas.  We've just found that for our family this approach works. Now we look forward to seeing family we don't often get to see, eating great food and celebrating the birth of Christ and I've started to love Christmas again.

Uncle Nathan