Martin Grosswendt

Country blues, bottleneck and finger-busting guitar, offered up with powerful voice, deep soul and wry humor

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Fall Teaching Schedule

Lessons available on various instruments in multiple genres near Providence, in Jamaica Plain, online, and at the Music Emporium!

Acclaim

What people are saying about Martin Grosswendt . . .

Martin Grosswendt knows and loves American vernacular music as deeply and plays it as well as anybody alive today. Country blues, old time dance music, composed songs that don’t suck, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and a Chaplinesque wit all come together in Martin’s shows to embody a one-person evening (unless he brings along company) of truly enjoyable and truly American down-home musical theater. To paraphrase a Richard Thompson song, you can get the real thing, it will only cost whatever Martin is charging for a ticket.
— Bob Franke, the songwriter’s songwriter

 

Martin Grosswendt is one of the finest Roots/Blues musicians in the world. His passion for the music runs deep. Both student and master, his skills on the strings and his knowledge of the source have no equal. He is one singer/songwriter/teacher I truly regard as an American treasure.
— Rich DelGrosso, blues mandolin master, teacher, seven-time Blues
Music Awards nominee and author of Blues Mandolin

 

If you’ve never heard, or heard of, Martin Grosswendt, it’s because he’s spent more time refining his craft than trying to make a name for himself as an entertainer. Serious musicians know Martin as one of the most versatile and accomplished musicians working in contemporary roots music. For the past couple of decades he’s stuck close to home in Providence, Rhode Island, playing, Honky Tonk, Blues, Old Timey and Cajun music with equal taste and facility.  Martin’s music deserves a much wider audience.
— Andy Wallace, Former Program Director, National Folk Festival; Associate Director, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival; Associate Director, National Council for the Traditional Arts; Program Coordinator, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

 

Martin Grosswendt is an amazing musician who has long been highly regarded around his stomping grounds in the Providence – Boston area, but it seemed like he just didn’t get out much.  Finally he’s letting his light shine, and the world of traditional music will be better for the illumination.  Martin lives at the intersection of old-time and the blues, comfortably at home with the likes of Dock Boggs, Son House, and Joseph Spence.  He’s mastered the traditional idioms and through them expresses his own musical soul.  He faithfully finger-picks the banjo as well as the guitar with seemingly effortless skill, and sings the blues with convincing intensity and without affectation.  I’m looking forward to seeing his reputation spread far and wide.
— Brad Leftwich, fiddler and banjo player extraordinaire, author of
Round Peak Banjo Style and Round Peak Fiddle Style

 

Martin is one of my favorite contemporary roots artists. His playing and singing reflect a deep commitment and a knack for making fresh, good sounding interpretations of time-honored tunes.
— Mike Dowling, guitar hero

 

Martin Grosswendt is one musical person.  He’s a wonderful singer in a variety of styles, Country Blues, Classic Country, Old-Time and more, I’m sure, in addition to being a stellar guitar player and one of the best slide players you will ever hear.  He also plays banjo, Cajun fiddle and mandolin.  It’s hard for me to assess what the limitations of his musical gifts are because I’ve never seen or heard him butting up against any limitations that I could perceive.  The only problem with the music he makes is that not enough people have heard it.
— John Miller, legendary acoustic guitar player, educator and musician’s
musician

 

Martin Grosswendt is one of America’s great natural musical resources. He’s been one of the best on an amazing variety of instruments for over 40 years. Grosswendt was already a force of nature while serving as a studio musician at Philo Records during the “golden era” when acoustic music legends Utah Phillips, Mary McCaslin and Jim Ringer were recording many of their greatest tracks.  During the 1970s he inspired a whole generation of aspiring blues musicians with his style and grace on guitar and mandolin.  His solo recordings, Dog on a Dance Floor, Call and Response and Payday!, only hint at his ability as a live performer and as an interpreter of classic blues.
— Robert Resnik, Vermont Public Radio

 

I’ve known Martin for (dare I say it?) over 40 years. Every time we sit down and play some tunes together I learn something new, some musical door opens a little wider. That’s what happened the first time we met and it happened again last weekend. Fortunately we were in the same place or it would have been weird.
— Dakota Dave Hull, an American Guitarist

 

A rumor in his own time.
— U Utah Phillips, the Golden Voice of the Great Southwest

 

The best guitarist I never heard.
— Réjean Brunet, Vent du Nord, Quebecois accordion ace