Betcha' can't remember the last time you walked into a country bar and heard Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music", Chris LeDoux's "Hooked On An 8 Seconds Ride" and the Oscar Meyer theme song - all part of a 5+ song medley that could only be pulled off by Thomas Martinez and The Wild Frontier. Hailing from Tulsa Oklahoma, known for being in tornado alley, it's no wonder this group took the club by storm.
Patrons who were there for the band's first visit to the club were not only pleasantly surprised but they were thrown into "full party mode" right from the first song of the first set. During their second set, in true Mardi Gras fashion, the band rewarded some of the more promiscuous female patrons standing in front of the stage with beads. And each set was more than just the band playing music. Each set was really a show. And there was no lack of energy. Martinez and other band members jumped and moved around on stage like the playing pieces of a Checkers game.
The band is led by Thomas Martinez who sings lead vocals and plays acoustic guitar. Doug Sharp plays keyboard, Justin Tipton plays bass, Brad Bump plays guitar and Scott Edmonds plays drums.
It was a real surprise to learn the band has only been together for two years. They played with the polish and tightness of a seasoned band. For Thomas Martinez, his musical influence came from the likes of Lynard Skynard and Metallica. But don't let that fool you. Martinez has a great country influence just down the road - literally. Not many people can say Garth Brooks is their neighbor. At it was Brooks who after seeing the band play, put Martinez in contact with his his Nashville-based manager Bob Doyle. Martinez and the boys have made several trips to Nashville to meet with Doyle and are presently starting to choose songs for an upcoming CD. It's no wonder when Martinez was asked, "who is the most famous act the band has opened for" that the list was long with artists like Big & Rich, Sara Evans and Martina McBride just to name a few.
And as with all bands, their were the tough times. Thomas Martinez recalled a gig that he and the band played at a restaurant called The Cajun Boiling Pot. The band was paid a whopping $6.00 per band member a night! Of course they got to eat all the leftovers they wanted from aluminum pie plates. I guess you might say the band has always had everything handed to them on a silver platter.
To learn more about Thomas Martinez and The Wild Frontier visit their website at www.thomasmartinez.com. Below are pictures from their first visit to the 8 Seconds Saloon. Click on any image for larger view.
|Thomas Martinez||Thomas Martinez|
|Thomas Martinez||Thomas plays with the crowd|
|Doug Sharp||Scott Edmonds|
|Brad Bump||Justin Tipton|
|Justin Tipton||Brad, Justin and Thomas|
|Brad, Justin and Thomas||Justin, Thomas and Brad|