In the beginning, bards went from village to village, bringing folks the news of the day with their ballads. The oldest Anglo-Saxon term for this singer of words was scop, which means shaper. In other words, it was up to the balladeer to shape the world for those who cared to listen. Not all of those Medieval songs were about battles, about castles lost and kings dying. There were also songs that spoke of love and hope, of life and death, of joy and despair. In a harsh world, Carpe diem or Seize the day, became a favorite motif. Listening to the words of the traveling bard, any common villager, any man or woman or child would soon realize that they were not alone with their feelings, that others had the same thoughts hidden in their hearts and minds.
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Martin's voice does not soar, but hovers hypnotically, barely above a whisper, like a dramatic monologue brought to life by a Shakespearean artiste in an epic tragedy. Her voice has wings, but is low-flying as it stirs the emotions of those who will give her an ear.
RAUL D'GAMA ROSE
“The songs are all hers this time, and nearly every one carries a chilling mule-kick, originating either in Ms. Martin's lyrics, her singing or the arrangements of her modest band. It's a facile comparison to put these songs against Norah Jones's, but at least it helps to orient them in the new landscape