MAY, 1996



Four-String State of Mind


Idahoís Jeff Martin is struggling with his demons; the ones that spur him to write his four-string melancholic masterpieces, the ones that force him to go on tour and ones that tell him itís only a matter of time before his band has a hit song so big itíll surprise everyone, especially Martin.


Most of those demos probably work at Martinís record company, but that last demon really scares him. Thereís a hoary host of critics proclaiming Idaho godhead right now, and it wonít be long until the kids are lining up at the record stores. Martin isnít naÔve about Idahoís future, but he isnít jaded either. He honestly believes he can keep making beautiful, catchy, tormented songs that stick in your brain like gumbo sticks to your ribs and that people are just going to leave him alone. Well, prepare yourself, Mr. Martin: Companyís cominí.


For a band on the edge Idaho has been around a while, but never in this form. Before their new album Three Sheets to the Wind (Caroline), Idaho was essentially Jeff Martin with some help from his friends. It was also basically a studio project that rarely left the nest. This time around, itís different. Think of it as Idaho Mach 2. Thereís actually a full-fledged band supporting Martin on this record, and many of the songs were written as collaborations. Thereís even a summer tour. But Martin is less that excited about that. ďIím very Ė Iím almost a little bit too insecure about how other people perceive Idaho. I mean, I know I love what I do and I think itís very great, but I donít really confident about it getting across. I always think Ď Ahh, people just arenít gonna hear it right.Ē Martin also believes that most people probably wonít ďhear itĒ at all.


ďI still donít think weíve made a record which has crossover potentialÖ. I think that more people would like it if they were exposed to it. I donít want to sell out. I mean, Iíd be terrified now to be on a tour bus and really doing it, working for some big label. That sounds a little frightening to me. I like the pace things are going.Ē


Well, get ready, Mr. Martin: The pace is about to pick up.


- J. Moon Wilkins