Laurel Martell

March 29, 2012

Not resting on her laurels
Published on March 28, 2012  in theCapeBretonPost

 Singer-songwriter Laurel Martell releases debut album ‘When it Rains’

SYDNEY — Laurel Martell has been a fixture on the local music scene for more than 15 years, but a new CD has opened up even more opportunities for the popularCapeBretonsinger-songwriter.

Martell, who grew up inPortageand now lives inAlbertBridge, released her debut album “When it Rains” late last year and response from fans and radio stations has been really positive.

“As many times as we get up and play in front of crowds and stuff, there’s nothing like hearing your own song on the radio and having people mention it to you. It’s very humbling but it’s neat at the same time,” she said. “It’s something that I never really had the opportunity to experience because I’ve done backing vocals for Donnie Campbell and Bruce Guthro and J.P. Cormier and others, and heard myself on the radio in that respect but never something that I created from scratch and that was pretty awesome.” 

Martell, who grew up listening to everything from folk to old country to rock ’n’ roll, said she wanted her CD to reflect the musical diversity she’s maintained throughout her career.

“Basically my goal was to just record songs that I really, really like and really thought that I’d enjoy singing and do a good job on, because the genres of music that I listen to are quite diverse,” she explained.

“When it Rains” features a mix of her own co-writes, as well as some cover songs, and songs written by other songwriters, includingCapeBreton’s Gordie Sampson.

“We’ve done some cover songs that people will recognize, specifically “Separate Ways,” which was recorded by Journey, and “My Own Way to Rock,” which was written and recorded by Burton Cummings,” she said. “There are three songs on the CD that are co-writes — two of them written by Aaron Lewis and myself, and the third written by Aaron Lewis, myself and Fred Lavery.”

Lewis also produced the album, which was recorded at Lakewind Sound Studios over the course of two years. Martell found time to record while juggling her full-time job with Parks Canada at the Fortress of Louisbourg and her other musical commitments, but said the hard work was worth it and she’s thrilled with the end result.

“This is my first (CD). It was a long time coming but I’m glad that it took this long because if I had done it years ago when everybody was saying that I should do it, it wouldn’t have been done as well and I know I wouldn’t be as happy with it. I have more confidence now in my ability. I have a better idea of what I want things to sound like and I’m not afraid to speak up,” she said. “It was just a case of everything falling into place and sort of being the perfect time to do it.”

Martell is planning to hold an official CD release event Aug. 4  at an outdoor, all-ages show on theSydneyboardwalk as part of Action Week. But the CD is available now for purchase at the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop onCharlotte StreetinSydney, online on iTunes and CD Baby, and at Martell’s performances.

In addition to her new album, Martell said she’s also excited about the success of another new project — The Carpenters tribute show she and local musicians Aaron Lewis, Richard Burke, Allie Bennett, Dave McKeough, Stephen Muise, Jennifer Sheppard, Brian Talbot and Fred Lavery debuted in March at the Savoy Theatre.

 Due to popular demand, the Savoy Theatre has added a second show of the tribute for May 13, which is Mother’s Day.

“The response has been just incredible,” said Martell.

She said it’s a dream come true to be part of the tribute to the legendary brother-and-sister duo, Richard and Karen Carpenter, whose hits she listened to from a young age. 

Tickets to The Carpenters tribute are $30.50 and are available through theSavoybox office at 842-1577, or online at



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