The Singing Earth is hardly your standard rock star memoir.
Despite playing drums for a slew of bands in Seattle at the height of Grunge’s moment (including Screaming Trees, Mad Season and Skin Yard), Barrett Martin takes a thoughtful, original take on the traditional musician’s bio with his book.
Though there are still plenty of pages devoted to his time in the Seattle scene and enough cameos of other ‘90s rock stars to appease those simply looking for Gen X war stories, his book is so much more, chronicling Martin’s musical experiences across six continents. With each new section he digs into the history of the area and origins of the music associated with each region. Among the more impressive stories here are his experiences with trance drumming in Central America and heading over to Cuba with a slew of fellow American musicians as part of a cultural exchange.
There is also a CD that goes along with the book, with specific tracks corresponding to each chapter to better highlight the music Barrett is describing throughout, from his work with Screaming Trees and Mad Season to his largely instrumental post ‘90s recordings. An engrossing book, made that much more interesting thanks to this creative element.
The Singing Earth by Barrett Martin / Paperback, 232 pages/Sunyata Books/2017 / http://sunyatarecords.com/bands/barrett-martin/