Vicci Martinez, December 29th, 2007, The Triple Door, Seattle, Washington
With all due respect, towards the many great artists and bands that Riveting Riffs had an opportunity to review during 2007, the best was saved until the very end. Vicci Martinez, a twenty-three year old Tacoma, Washington native brought down the house with virtually every song she performed on December 29th, at Seattle’s The Triple Door. The petite acoustic guitarist and her band put on a spectacular performance as they moved through southern rock, Memphis blues and gritty rock numbers, throughout the evening. The fact that this is a dinner venue did not stop a makeshift mosh pit from forming as Martinez’s fans danced to her music.
Martinez was undeniably powerful as she served up the opening song “Matchbox,” and equally passionate in her delivery of the southern rock song, “Angel,” a tune on which she sounds eerily like Melissa Etheridge.
Performing professionally since her mid-teens, Martinez possesses incredible stage presence, and her energy acts as a magnet for her adoring fans, as she romps and rocks around the stage in her bare feet and blue jeans. She treats the stage as though it is her personal playground and the songs as though they are toys, sometimes to be held close and cherished, while at other times to be played with loudly, as the notes come crashing together. She can work herself into a Janis Joplin like frenzy as her eyes roll back into her head, or become soulful and quieter when she sings, “Beekeeper,” a song that considers the risks and temptations of love.
While Martinez is an accomplished acoustic guitar player, there is no denying that her greatest attributes are as a powerful songwriter who brings her lyrics to life with emotive vocals. Martinez does not sing like a twenty-three year old, but more like someone, twice her age who has many life experiences to draw upon (which she does). She reaches deep within her soul to deliver “Taste Of Heaven,” a song she dedicated to all those who have lost a loved one. She is able to draw upon two heart wrenching times in her own life, the first, the death of her father in recent years, and the second the heartbreak of love.
During our interview with Vicci Martinez, which will appear later this month, she proudly proclaimed that nobody can ever put a label on her music, because it has so many dimensions and layers to it. She can be country rock with tunes like “Hungry Little Sheep,” which features Ryan Smith’s awesome electric keyboard chops, accompanied by scintillating guitar licks from electric man Rod Cook. She can also transform herself into John Fogarty in a woman’s body, as she belts out a southern rock line. She wielded spectacular guitar riffs, and stomped her feet as she performed “Leave The Lights On.”
Just when you think you have Martinez figured out, she takes a seat at the piano, and sings the smoldering love song, “Let’s Pretend,” and follows it a few songs later with the passionate “You’re Not Alone.” She dips her paintbrush into the palette of life to color with emotion
She once again dips her paintbrush into the palette of life to color with emotion the line, “Don’t trust me to love you, I’ll break your heart, and my own,” from her new song “Don’t Trust Me.”
Vicci Martinez is standing on the edge of greatness, and we have every reason to believe that 2008 will be her breakout year. She is backed by a very talented group of musicians that in addition to the ones already mentioned includes, drummer Darin Watkins and bass guitarist Jeff Leonard.
If you want to hear some great music, visit the Vicci Martinez myspace site. She returns to Seattle on February 23rd to perform at The Showbox Theater.
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Reviewed December 29th, 2007
Note: all photos are file photos courtesy of the Vicci Martinez website and myspace site and are protected by copyright