Purgatory Road

Purgatory Road

by John Arthur Martinez


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Purgatory Road

Despite the influence Mexican music has made on country music, and the country music of Texas in particular, Mexican-American country stars are few and far between. Penning "Seguro Que Hell Yes," a Grammy winning song for Flaco Jiminéz in 1995, and placing second on the 2003 season of Nashville Star helped move John Arthur Martinez towards the mainstream, but despite his considerable talents as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, he still remains largely unknown outside of Texas. With the limited playlists most country stations are saddled with, it seems unlikely that Purgatory Road will gain much mainstream traction, which is a shame. It's a solid, old-fashion country album that features solid pickin, fine songwriting (Martinez wrote or co-wrote eight of the album's 11 tracks), and Martinez's soulful singing. Possible hits include "You Can't Outdrink the Truth," a dark, midtempo, honky tonk rocker with Scott Sanders adding some forlorn pedal steel to the mix; "What Good Is I Love You," a drinking song that strips away all the romance from the subject and paints a true portrait of the havoc booze can wreak, and "Closer to My Dreams" which starts out sounding like a typical goodbye-babe-I'm-leaving-you-behind tune, but Martinez adds an unexpected twist in the last verse that gives the song a big emotional impact. The rest of the album pushes the envelope with Martinez's keen insight and fine lyrical sense (he was an English major in college and the unique way he signs his name is a tribute to his favorite poet e. e. cummings). Purgatory Road is blood-spattered badman ballad with an unhappy ending made compelling by Martinez's anguished vocal and James Mitchell's screaming electric guitar, "Que No Puede Ver" is a desolate song of impossible love sung in English and Spanish, and played with a lilt that's half-rhumba and half-Texas swing, and "The Ride," an uplifting late-night driving song delivered with a few double entendres that give the tune a cosmic resonance.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/15/2009
Label: Apache Ranch Records
UPC: 0884501180894
catalogNumber: 1748

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Arthur Martinez   Primary Artist,Vocals
Glen Duncan   Fiddle
Mike Blakley   Background Vocals
Rob Hajacos   Fiddle
Tony Harrell   Piano
Scott Sanders   Steel Guitar
Pat McGrath   Acoustic Guitar
Mark Beckett   Drums
Kirk Kirkland   Background Vocals
Kevin Grant   Bass
James J. Mitchell   Electric Guitar
Jaimee Paul Shires   Background Vocals
Kirk Kirkland   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Pete Greene   Engineer
Bill Murray   Composer
Kent Finlay   Composer
John Greenberg   Composer
Walt Wilkins   Composer
John Arthur Martinez   Composer
Liz Rose   Composer
Kent Finlay   Composer

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Purgatory Road 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago