Leaning Into Bluegrass

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and for 15 years now a South Carolina resident (on Hilton Head Island), Marty Falle’s first exposure to music was from parents who made him pick an instrument: “I was in second grade. I chose the viola. I don’t know why. Then I went on to tenor saxophone, then bass guitar, guitar and piano.” He jumped into performing rock music when he faked his way into a junior-high band. “They needed a bass player and I told them I played bass, but I really didn’t know how to play at all…” So he got a bass and learned. School choir helped cultivate Marty’s singing voice and led to his love of rock music with strong harmonies.

After college, as a travelling salesman in eastern Kentucky, he learned about bluegrass and country music, and Appalachian culture. He jumped into performing country music with an all-original first album, Ohio. After CMT picked up his video for one of its songs, “Hoochie Coochie Gal from the Buckeye State” he ended up in Nashville and began connecting with professionals there who helped him develop as an artist. He also found himself leaning more and more toward the bluegrass end of the musical spectrum. “…those albums [Long, Long Road and Bloody Coal] started getting a little more bluegrass, and a little more bluegrass…I finally decided to jump in the bluegrass waters all the way with this record, called Virgin on the Bluegrass.”

Marty built his latest album by repurposing selections from his personal “back catalog” of country songs generated by his time in Kentucky coal country and other experiences (“Bloody Coal,” “Superman Jimmy”), and also write new material specifically for the record (“Grandma Needs Her Whiskey,” “Virgin on the Bluegrass”). He came up with the album title initially as a reference to it being his first attempt at a completely bluegrass recording. “I guess there’s a double-entendre to that…I thought ‘Ok, now I’ve got to write a song. And I did; I put a little waltz together, just a nice little song about a couple of young people coming into their own…”

Check out Marty Falle on the web at ReverbNationhere. Listen to the full interview here.

By Dan Walsh