Branden Martin talks about his new album ‘001’

Branden Martin. Photo Credit: Ambie Kilburn

Country singer-songwriter Branden Martin chatted about his new album “001.”

Your latest album “001”, produced by Kyle Manner (Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley), came out this past August. What was your favorite part of working with Manner?  

Kyle is always a pleasure to work with. He’s great at what he does, and we have worked together long enough that he knows how to achieve my creative vision without much instruction on my part.

One of my favorite things about working with Kyle is that he listens to me. If I have a suggestion or a particular direction for shaping a track, he takes my idea and makes it a reality.   

Your album features songs penned by seasoned veterans of country music like Leslie Satcher (George Strait), Jerry Salley (Reba McEntire), Darrell Hayes (Rhonda Vincent), and Jim Beavers (Chris Stapleton). What was it like working alongside so many heavy hitters in the industry?  

Everyone was a pleasure to work with. I am so fortunate to say that the folks I wrote with on the songs for my album ‘001’ are some of the most creative, generous, and kind artists in the music business.

These songs were shaped by their willingness to take me in my most raw form, sitting with the stories I have from my past and helping me to mold them into lyrics. Ultimately, these sessions built some of the songs on the album.  

You’ve been on the road this fall in support of the album, how has it been getting back in front of live audiences after the pandemic?  

Fortunately, I never really had to stop playing for live audiences. Work definitely slowed down, but I am blessed with fans that are hungry for music, and they set up private events with proper precautions during the pandemic. However, getting back on the road has been an absolute pleasure.  

Drink To Remember, a breakout single from “001”, was accompanied by a cinematic music video. What gave you the inspiration for the song and video? 

I was inspired to write that song one day as I reflected on experiences when I really enjoyed myself and the company of friends versus other times in my life that I would rather forget. Of course, Joel Jorgensen and Christopher Monteverde had a hand in working up some extra dimensions I hadn’t thought of, which is the beauty of co-writing with other musical innovators.

As for the video, I let go of the reins and gave the director, Patrick Tohill, full artistic license on the direction the visualizer took. With almost 10 thousand views of the video on YouTube, I think he did a great job. 

It was just announced that Jeene Fleenor was awarded the 2022 CMA Musician of the Year and she is featured on Questions, Pride, and Demons from your Live at Southern Ground EP. Can you talk about your experience collaborating with Jeene? 

Working with Jenee Fleenor was a blast. She’s super talented and was very quick at locking in on the feel of Questions, Pride, and Demons. Her creative process is so fun to be a part of, and she really took the song to new highs with the mandolin.

I am proud that she was a part of my project and very happy to see her recognized by the CMAs.  

You have opened for Jason Michael Carroll, RaeLynn, Mark Chesnutt, Confederate Railroad, David Allan Coe & The Steel Woods. Who is your dream artist/band to open for? 

That’s a tough one. Unfortunately, since I’m a fan of the greats, a lot of my musical heroes and inspirations are dead and gone. I don’t have a single artist in particular who would make the top of the list.

If I had to narrow it down, Hank Williams Jr., Blackberry Smoke, Sturgill Simpson, and Chris Stapleton would each be an honor to play alongside as music geniuses dominating country music today. 

As an undeniable leading act on the Kentucky music scene, what unique Bluegrass State fixings are going to be on the Martin family holiday table this year? 

It’s hard telling what you might come across. Unique to Kentucky though, you might see bourbon balls (nutty, chocolate, and bourbon goodness), burgoo (an everything but the kitchen sink stew), cathead biscuits (great big drop biscuits), or killed lettuce (lettuce cooked in bacon grease). Family is very important to me, and I am looking forward to getting around them and eating big. 

To learn more about Branden Martin, check out his official website.

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