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The Chaz Interviews - July, 2003
by Chaz and the artists

It was the summer of 2003 and's active message board community was heating up as well -- with flame wars. Along came Chaz Fanaro, looking to cut through the negative noise. He began to interview many of the musical artists who pitched a tent on the popular indie music forum. Others pitched in with questions of their own. July of 2003 could have turned ugly, but thanks to the interviews blanketing the forum, it became a home for insight and mutual respect. The forums were wiped clean by Vivendi in December, 2003. The interviews live on.

Gray Martin

Artist description
"Gray Martin is a bluesman in the truest sense of the word. Humble, tasteful, understated. With great tone and chops, what more could you want from your down home guitar man?" Marc Alex Ryan, guitarist/composer/recording artist. * * * * * "now this guy's a freak." Kathy Reynolds, Singer/songwriter/guitarist. * * * * * "Gray is a true blues man,with some 40 thousand tunes to his credit. He just wrote a tune while you read that last line. He has paid his dues,with intrest and knows how to get "Down and Dirty.'" Robby James Rabuck, guitarist/recording Artist. * * * * * "FEATURED ARTIST: This time Friday travels down the mighty Mississip to the great state of Louisiana - in the city of Monroe - to find our featured artist: Gray Martin. Gray is a true gentleman, a true guistarist and a true bluesman. His repetoire spans the gamut from rock to blues to love songs. We at JVRMW are indeed blessed to have Gray as both a friend and a fellow musician/guitarist/singer/songwriter." Scott Bakalar (JVRMW Friday coast2coast2coast), guitarist/singer/songwriter from Ohio. * * * * * "I think this guy is the king of expressive ditty guitar playing. Each instrumental tunes seems like a story in itself...I don't know, I always feel like I am listening to the man relate an experience or opinion when I listen... and it makes me want to hear more." Banker, (music lover/listener/supporter.) * * * * * "On a scale from one to ten, Dad is a four. Aaron Carter is a ten!" Cammy, eight year old daughter...

Music Style

Musical Influences
important influences, in general: meloney, cammycoo, kathryn, william, ash, whit, mike...larry martin, kiss, slade, roy buchanan, hendrix, elvis, srv, ac/dc, bb, albert, freddie, robert johnson, black sabbath, etta james, elmore james, santana, zztop, cars, howlin' wolf, bluezcatz, nazareth, toad the wet sprocket, gin blossoms, coltrane, johnny winter, trower, leon redbone, luther allison, bob dylan...monte linkletter, vonnegut, steinbeck, frost, carver, jw dunn, wordsworth...dr. j, mark martin...and, of course, Jesus Christ...

guitars, bass, drums stuff

Matters; Sometimes Otis

Press Reviews
"Just want to give Gray some kudos for an awesome CD!! Good tunes and fabulous guitar work that is creative, interesting, and so very smooth!! This whole CD is great to listen to... and I've got to say that my favorites are "Nothin' But Freaks...", "25 Beers", & "OUT OF TIME". "Matters" passes my "Listen to in the truck on my daily commute without going totally 'Type A' on anybody" test with flying colors!!" TallLankyBastyd, Guitarist/songwriter...

Monroe, LA - USA

Chaz the Spaz
Gray, I've noticed that most Southern based musicians tend to be blues-orientated. Why do you think the South leans towards this style of music?

gray martin
Chaz...I really think that it's more a part of a rural upbringing, in my case. I have pretty much always lived in the rural south----dirt roads, cotton fields, swamps, mossy trees, bayous & rivers & deltas----those things along with hot humid summers, hard work and hard partying, are just southern things. Just like the blues. It's part of the culture, and when you add in the slow drawling diction, it's just natural.
From my earliest memories, I have always coexisted with black people. I have always had black friends, from school to work. My whole life. And while blues music came from the black culture, I do not think it is a race thing anymore. It's a music about total expression, without inhibition.
I'm not a purist, but I always come back to the blues, in one way or the other...

one blue nine
Gray, when are you going to make some of your fans happy and release a solo acoustic version of Evangeline?

gray martin's forthcoming. I promise.

one blue nine
Right on.

gray martin
Thank you for the interview thread, Chaz. This has been a very cool thing to bring focus back to music on this music board. Kudos...
Just to clarify, I'm primarily a songwriter. I've had the good fortune to be in successful bar bands & have done hundreds of live gigs. It's a real rush & I love that aspect of music.
I'm an average guitarist, below average vocalist, and terrible producer. Still, I think I've written a few decent tunes & that is where my heart is. My ditties are snapshots into my soul, my feelings, scenarios from my life, and I attempt to portray these things with honesty. Inspiration comes from a place that I can't tap into at will (wish I could) and I'm always on the alert, with my antennae up & ready.
So, in a nutshell, I'm just a lover of music...always have been, always will be...
Peace to all. Hope everyone has a great 4th...have fun & be safe...

You state you are a "terrible producer" and I disagree. I think your songs are represented well for homemade demo stuff and they are strong enough that you could record them on a jam box and I'd still enjoy them. But I know you aren't using a jam box to record so how are you recording your tunes?
PS Yellow, red, black or white the blues are totally out of sight!

jaw knee
gray,what type of guitar do you play? Do you have a favorite brand of strings?and what gage strings do you use?..and lastly, have you ever exceeded100 mph in a automobile?

gray martin
Les...thanks for the comments. Here is a list of my basic recording gear:
1) Fender Strat
2) Peavy Classic 50 amp
3) Shure 57 mic for almost everything...sometimes an Audio-Technica mic or a Shure 58...
4) No name bass guitar...kind of like a jazz bass...
5) Alesis Sr-16 drum machine, tambourine, and some real drums...
6) Tascam 788 hard disk recorder...
Plus coffee, cigarettes, & sometimes beer!
Jaw...I use a Fender Strat and my favorite strings are GHS Boomers (11's)...
And yes, I've exceeded 100 mph in an automobile (back in my crazy youth! )

Chaz the Spaz
How did you first become interested in music?

gray martin
I've always loved music. My parents exposed me to alot of great music as a child & that is when my love affair with music began. I became interested in playing it at the age of 9, when I took a year of piano lessons. I quickly switched to drums at 10. By age 12, I picked up the guitar and started writing songs. 24 years later, I'm still picking around on the guitar & writing songs...maybe one of these days I'll get it right!
Thanks for the question...

Chaz the Spaz
What are your goals and what do you have planned for your music?

gray martin
Chaz...most of my goals are aimed at becoming a better writer & better player. I don't have any pipedreams of rock stardom (lost those in my late teens, early )...
I'm content to write & record my songs in my home studio. I still get out and play gigs at clubs, festivals, privates, etc., with my band(s), which is always a rush.
Music has always been a rewarding endeavour for me, on many levels and I never take it for granted...


  -- Rick Munarriz

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