Exile And The Kingdom - Jeff Martin

True North

For the past sixteen years, as singer and guitarist for The Tea Party, Jeff Martin has been weaving together an intricate tapestry of western and eastern influence. And, as the trio was carving out a rep as one of Canada’s premiere rock bands, his passion for global music and culture would become an increasingly important part of their sound. Now, Jeff has stepped away from that band to release his first solo debut called ‘Exile And The Kingdom’. When he and his former band mates in The Tea Party opened for Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the notes were already being written for a new chapter in his musical career, one that would bring even more of his edgy introspection and eastern influence to the surface. He found a kindred soul in Paige and Plant drummer, Michael Lee, who shares his views and vision on things like music, religion and politics. With a foundation from Lee and Toronto Tabla Ensemble percussionist, Ritesh Das, Martin has built an album that not only rocks globally … in his words, “It’s packed full of soul.” Michael Lee is even more cavalier in his assessment of the new disc. “This is the new Led Zeppelin. I don’t mind saying it,” he proclaims. While shades of Kashmir echo through the first single, “The World Is Calling”, there’s no mistaking Martin’s deep tenor for Robert Plant’s nut-cracking, high-pitched wails. The tune calls George W to task for mucking up Gaia so royally but there are introspective moments as well like ‘Day Star’ a chimey, lush sitar track written for his son, Django. The album really runs the gamut from Eastern overtones to swampy blues and the production is superb. Who wants to bet that Jeff Martin emerges with a new shot at success after his self-imposed exile from the Tea Party?