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Albertville Native, Singer, Songwriter Named 'Best Vocalist of the Month'

Country and rock performer Shane Martin, who has released four albums, is set to perform this month in Albertville, Rogers, Monticello, Loretto, and St. Louis Park.

Shane Martin grew up "making noise" in an Albertville garage with his rock band in high school.

Today, at "38 years young," he said, he has self-released four albums, had one of his songs featured in the television show "The Young and the Restless," was a top five finalist at this year's Texaco Country Showdown hosted by LeAnn Rimes for the title "Best New Act in Country Music.," (watch the video above) and most recently, was named the November SingerUniverse "Best Vocalist of the Month."

"To me, it means that I'm on the right path and that I'm continuing to get better as a singer and songwriter," Martin said.

Martin, who was born and raised in Albertville and attended Rogers Elementary School and Elk River High School, sings a blend of country and rock music.  

Martin won the award through a competition where he performed his song, "As Long As It Takes." The song is included in his latest Album, Light It Up, which he released independently in October.

"I think the song helped attribute to winning," Martin said. "Nothing helps a singer sound good than a really good song and melody."

He now lives in Independence, and has been performing in the Twin Cities area and the midwest for the past 15 years. He plays more than 150 performances each year.

"I started sketching out pieces of songs before I could play an instrument — lyrics, hooks, and melody ideas," Martin said. "I then started playing piano (at age 10) and eventually picking up my older brother's guitar and learning chords."

He learned to play guitar by ear, and his first "real gig," he says, was in Albertville, at his brother’s graduation party at the Martin home. 

Martin moved to California after high school to attend Musicians Institute in Hollywood, where he studied vocals, theory, and live performance. He released his first album in 1998.

One of the accomplishments he is most proud of is "Not giving up and settling to be someone I'm not."

Albertville Roots

Growing up, Martin spent his summers helping his uncle on the Albertville family farm, the "Martin Farm," which no longer exists, but the development is still called "Martin Farms."  His family and friends still live in the Albertville area.

His song, "Somewhere Real," that he sung at the Texaco Country Showdown mentions home in the lyrics, when he sings, "grew up on a dirt road..."

"What I miss most about home is the small-town way of life," Martin said.

But the small-town values are something he carries with him today, both personally and professionally.

One of those values is, "You get out of life what you put into it," he said.

Martin learned about hard work and describes himself as someone who is "small-town family-value raised," with a  "big heart and bigger dreams."

"My music is real and honest as I am as a person," he said. "…When I set my mind to do something, I work on it and don't give up."

When he's not performing or working on other career goals, he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, and enjoys the outdoors.

"Summers, I kick back lakeside and enjoy fishing and golf," he said. "It's nice just to hang out with friends or family and enjoy the company, listening to good music. As much performing as I do, I still relax, just free-flow playing on my acoustic guitar. An open jam around a campfire is always a good time."

Not a 'Conscious Decision'

Martin’s early influences were U2, Bon Jovi, and the Black Crowes, he said.

"It wasn't so much a conscious decision on the genre or type of music I pursued," he said. "I was into rock music growing up, so rock is what I sang and played, but I always gravitated toward great songs and melodies no matter what style it was."

He added, "My music taste and style developed over the years performing more solo acoustic concerts. Now I’ve found my style in the modern country and rock genre."

According to his website, Martin and his musical style has been described by Nashville EMMY Award winning engineer and producer Kenny Royster as: "Shane is a great singer songwriter on the teetering edge of country, pop and rock where it's just dangerous enough to be fun."

Martin released his albums Moody Waters in 1998, Thread in 2005, Rewind in 2010, and Light it Up in Oct. 2012.

Looking to keep moving forward, Martin says his future plans are to expand his touring area and fan base, and work toward a record or publishing deal.

He also plans to continue commuting to Nashville for networking, writing and recording.

"Other goals I have include a No. 1 song on the charts, have other major artists record my songs, and tour around the country at major venues and concerts," Martin said.  "A hard work ethic and the honest joy of music are what keep me moving forward."

He added, "I truly love singing and making music and I hope to continue entertaining fans for many years to come."

Upcoming Local Performances

Martin is scheduled to make local appearances this month, as early as this week. Upcoming shows or performances are:

For more information, visit Martin's website or "like" his Facebook page.

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