Five years ago, the Canadian duo Martha's Trouble, an Americana folk/pop duo, released a nationally, critically acclaimed album, “Forget October.” Since, the duo has all but been quiet, touring the country, writing and recording, preparing for the next leg of their epic adventure. On Feb. 1, Martha’s Trouble will release the much-anticipated Anchor Tattoo the duo's tenth self-released album. The past five years have been crucial for the duo. In addition to sustaining a career in music, Jen and Rob Slocumb started a family and are raising their two children – Wilson, 5, and Emery, 3. The time between albums allowed the couple to focus on their family and spirituality, both setting the tone for their release of “Anchor Tattoo.” The new album, Anchor Tattoo takes the duo back to their roots, bringing back their signature sound – an Americana/folk album with pop essence – that made them touch so many when they first came to the music scene 12 years ago. “I think we went through a discovery process trying different things over the years and landed on what I would say our strength is,” Jen said. “But it took some trying. I think that’s good though. You try different things and you come to a place where you belong, where you fit. That’s what we did. And now we are stronger than ever.” Their passion, their ability to find themselves, comes, in part, from their spirituality and church family. It is the support they find from both that allowed the duo to try new things, to realize that music, Martha’s Trouble, their family is where they belong.
“I think about the years we spent living in a van, traveling across the country and it’s hard to believe that we did that,” Jen said. “Now we have two children, a mortgage, bills, a dog … things that wouldn’t fit in the van. But those times help us remember what Martha’s Trouble means.” Martha’s Trouble comes from a story in the Bible about two sisters, Martha and Mary. Jesus came to see them one day. Martha was running around, trying to clean up and prepare food while Mary was hanging out at Jesus’ feet. The story says Martha was “troubled” because Mary wasn’t helping. The story, the duo says, is a reminder to stop and smell the roses, the idea of keeping an eye on the bigger picture and the important things in life.
Founding band/soul mates Jen and Rob Slocumb met 15 years ago with a twist of fate inside a Houston, Texas, coffee shop where Jen worked booking bands. Rob was home to see his parents after a music venture fizzled. It started as a simple bond over music. Time led them to realize it was something much more. The two fell in love and were married. They continued to write and play music, building up enough of a repertoire to start producing albums and touring around the country and the world. Their work has not gone unnoticed. Some of the most influential and well-respected music critics of our time have paid tribute to the duo. They have been listed and featured in Billboard Magazine, USA Today and Performing Songwriter. Their songs have received awards and have been featured in made-for-TV movies shown to national audiences. - “Brighter From Here” was part of the soundtrack to the Lifetime Network’s made-for-TV movie “Playing House” (original air date May 15, 2006) - “Some Peace tonight” featured in soundtrack for CBS made-for-TV movie “It Must Be Love.” - Animal Planet’s show, “Horse Power,” uses music from Martha’s Trouble in five episodes (2006 season) - WINNER of the Best Americana Album of the Year, Just Plain Folk Awards (“Sleeping Dogs,” 2004) - “Forget October” goes to No. 3 on the Nude Music Reviews chart on XM Café, channel 45, XM Satellite Radio - “Waverly” was featured on Continental Airlines in-flight radio, Winter 2007 - Accepted for Border’s Books & Music GLS New Emerging Artist Program, which featured “Forget October” in all stores across the nation. March through April 2006 - Adopted by MVYRadio.com – the 15th largest Internet radio in the world – for their adopt-a-band program. And all of it is part of a dream that is still in the works. A dream that Jen and Rob keep on dreaming.
The duo now lives in Auburn, Ala. Not exactly where they pictured themselves, but they wouldn’t give it up. Jen, from Ontario, Canada, and Rob, from Nashville, TN, are sure they’re where they are supposed to be. Everything the couple has done has been in pursuit of a musical dream, one that, so far, has paid off. Martha’s Trouble has dropped nine self-released albums – “Anchor Tattoo” will be No. 10. Black watch skirt, ribbon in her hair
Daughter of a millionaire
Country club, horses, lake house with a view
She got an anchor tattoo
Old station wagon held all they own
The bank took it all twenty years ago
She packed up one suitcase like she was told to do
She got an anchor tattoo -“Anchor Tattoo”
The title track, “Anchor Tattoo,” is a reflection on Jen’s life. She grew up in a wealthy family, never wanting for anything. Her father was a successful business man and her mother owned a popular boutique. And one day, it was all gone.
She and her family had to give up the luxuries they had grown accustomed to when her father went bankrupt. Although the family was in its darkest hour, Jen found she could get through with her faith. Her story is the backbone for “Anchor Tattoo.”
The entire album is based on life experiences within their family and from close friends.
“We all have struggles in life, and it’s how we deal with them that helps shape who we are,” Jen said. “The songs are all personal in some way and are things that we all go through in life.”
“Our fans can expect a very fresh, honest, uplifting album. It's very true to ourselves,” Jen said. “It's who we are. We are not trying to be like any other band or try to be like the next trend in music. I think our fans who like us live as a duo or trio, will like this record. It is still a fully produced record, but it's not overdone. We were able to spend a lot of time with it and it is our most thoughtful, mature record to date.”
Anchor Tattoo will be available exclusively at marthastrouble.com February 1, 2011.
“Don’t wait for your ship to drift away; let God be your anchor and secure you no matter how deep the water is.” We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Hebrews 6:19