|Origin||Kentucky, United States|
|Genres||R&B, and soul music|
Martha Redbone is an American blues and soul singer of part Choctaw, European and African-American descent. She has won awards for her contemporary Native American music. Her music is a mix of rhythm and blues, and soul music influences, fused with elements of traditional Native American music.
Early life and education
Martha Redbone was born in Kentucky and spent time with maternal grandparents in Harlan County. She had maternal roots in Clinch Mountain, Virginia and other parts of Appalachia. She absorbed music from many local traditions: African American, Cherokee, Choctaw, English folk music, and others. Her father had a strong gospel music tradition from North Carolina. She grew up learning and exploring her Native American roots among Cherokee and Choctaw, and directed her music to absorb those traditions.
Redbone became a musician and singer, exploring soul with Native American undertones. Since bursting onto the scene at the 2002 Native American Music Awards, she has earned a reputation as collaborator, performer, educator, and mentor across native North America and in some cases abroad. In early 2007, Redbone's Skintalk won The 6th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best R&B Album.
Her 2012 work, The Garden of Love – Songs of William Blake, sets Blake's poetry to music that draws from rural influences of Appalachia: English folk, African American, and Native American traditions. She toured nationally in 2013 with what she called The Martha Redbone Roots Project. The New York Times said her voice holds “both the taut determination of mountain music and the bite of American Indian singing.”
- Home of the Brave (2001)
- Skintalk (2004)
- Future Street (2006)
- The Garden of Love – Songs of William Blake (2012)
- "Martha Redbone", Soultracks
- Anastasia Tsioulcas, "Martha Redbone Roots Project: globalFEST 2013", NPR, 16 January 2013, accessed 16 June 2014
- "The Martha Redbone Roots Project" Archived 2013-12-07 at the Wayback Machine, August 2013, The Ark (Ann Arbor, MI), accessed 16 June 2014
- "6th Annual Winners" Archived 2009-05-01 at the Wayback Machine, Independent Music Awards
- "The Martha Redbone Roots Project", Freight & Salvage Coffee House, 2013, accessed 16 June 2014