C. F. Martin & Co.® Announces the Launch of the Martin Artist Showcase

Martin Aims to Shine a Light on Budding Superstars in the Music Industry

Nazareth, PA - February 27, 2024

C. F. Martin & Co.®, the iconic 190-year-old company known for handcrafting the finest acoustic instruments and strings in the world, is excited to unveil its latest initiative: the Martin Artist Showcase.

Artists are the lifeblood of Martin Guitar. From Eric Clapton to Post Malone, Joan Baez to John Mayer, major artists have helped make Martin what it is today. Now, Martin is forging ahead with its sights set on the next generation of stars.

Designed to celebrate, support, and promote artists who are making waves in the music industry, the Martin Artist Showcase program serves as a platform to feature talent, foster creativity, and connect artists with Martin’s global audience.

Each year, Martin will handpick a select group of artists who demonstrate exceptional artistry, authenticity, and innovation in their craft. These artists will receive widespread exposure through various channels, including Martin’s website and social media platforms, Backstage event appearances and giveaways, and features in the Martin Journal and other industry publications, ensuring their music reaches a vast and diverse audience.

The Martin Artist Showcase aims to keep Martin at the forefront of contemporary music, while also fostering a vibrant community of artists. By creating a pipeline of talent for future classes, Martin continues to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of music.

It's not just about guitars, it's about the sounds of tomorrow.

“The Martin Artist Showcase is meant to do what the name says: showcase these amazing artists who have the potential to be big stars,” says Rory Glass, Head of Artist Relations at Martin. “But more than that, we’re looking for artists who will significantly influence future generations of guitarists and songwriters. The good thing is there’s no shortage of talent out there.”

Our inaugural class of 2024 includes Drayton Farley, Devon Gilfillian, Ian Munsick, Joy Oladokun, Nate Smith, and Hailey Whitters.

View their bios below and visit martinguitar.com for more.

Drayton Farley | Alabama native Drayton Farley has as honest a voice as you're likely to hear in this burgeoning scene of country, folk, roots, and Americana music we're all wrapped up in. With songs and lyrics pulled from real life experience, there's a grounded feeling to his stories, a confessional quality that rings true to those who know. His voice fills the room like cigarette smoke, curling into every corner of you, with a fine grit rasp that smooths out every rough edge. It lingers hours, days, after you've left the bar – turns of phrase that tumble around your mind, bittersweet and familiar. He sings as deeply about the love he holds as the love he's lost and there's something so broken-in and comfortable about that Southern inflection that every song feels like coming home.

“Lyrics that are immediately reminiscent of the humor and subtlety of John Prine, the directness and honesty of Bob Dylan, and the everyman gravity of Pete Seeger, Farley firmly establishes himself as one of the great American voices in folk and Americana music.” - Americana Highways.

Devon Gilfillian | Love You Anyway, the new album from Devon Gilfillian, is an intoxicating, genre-blasting game changer spanning soul, hip-hop, R&B, and rock, all under the banner of Black joy. With an incisive eye and unassuming swagger, Gilfillian re-imagines modern soul music by redefining its possibilities. Produced by Jeremy Lutito (Joy Oladokun, NEEDTOBREATHE), Love You Anyway (Fantasy) confronts as well as comforts. Chronicling Gilfillian’s journey as a Black artist living in America, it’s as much about fighting for what you believe in: equity and representation, as it is about love – finding it, making it, and channeling it into every facet of our lives. A captivating, can’t-miss live performer, the Philadelphia-born, Nashville-based singer-songwriter regularly commands club, theater, and festival stages around the world. Now, on Love You Anyway, Gilfillian conjures the raw, sexy emotions of his predecessors and the next-level grooves of his contemporaries, taking soul music into an exciting and restorative new future.

Ian Munsick | A native son of Wyoming, Ian Munsick is painting a stampeding, spirited portrait of the American West with his sophomore album White Buffalo, out now and his documentary, White Buffalo Presents: Voices of the West, available on streaming platforms beginning January 26. The 18-track album spans unfiltered tales of romance and ranch life, hard-working anthems with honkytonk hooks and mountain-time odes to family and forever-young fun. It builds upon the spacious roots-pop beauty he introduced on his major label debut, Coyote Cry. Over the past three years, the 30-year-old has accumulated over half a BILLION global streams and a host of accolades. He has been named an “Artist to Watch” by Spotify, CMT, Fender, MusicRow and more. A seasoned entertainer, having grown up tending cattle by day and playing music in a family band each night, Munsick toured recently alongside country music superstars Morgan Wallen and Cody Johnson, and will serve as direct support for select dates of Lainey Wilson’s Country’s Cool Again tour in 2024. Beyond his noteworthy professional accomplishments, he has also become both a husband and a father. Now the Warner Music Nashville recording artist and multi-instrumentalist is representing his home, and its special cast of people, like never before. The first release from White Buffalo, standout duet “Long Live Cowgirls” (with Cody Johnson), hit No. 1 on SiriusXM’s The Highway Hot 30 Countdown, was named one of Amazon Music’s Best Country Songs of 2022 and recently received RIAA Gold-certification alongside “Long Haul” off his debut album Coyote Cry; while Munsick’s solo version of “Long Live Cowgirls” impacted country radio on October 23. Fans of Ian Munsick will always find an open heart, natural awe and plainspoken honesty as he rides on... bringing the West to the rest.

Joy Oladokun | One of music's most unique and vulnerable voices, Joy Oladokun is in the midst of a landmark year following the release of her acclaimed new album, Proof of Life. Across its 13 tracks – including collaborations with Chris Stapleton, Noah Kahan, Manchester Orchestra, Mt. Joy, and Maxo Kream – Joy celebrates the simple pleasures of being alive, while also giving voice to some of life's most complex experiences. Of the album, The New York Times proclaims, “her songs are conversational and confessional, and her hooky but profound melodies turn her lyrics into mantras,” while the Associated Press declares, “one of the most appealing artists working in the music scene these days.” A singular artist, Joy continues to forge her own path, sharing the unique perspective gained from living in today's world as a Black, queer person and first-generation child of Nigerian immigrants. Known for her captivating live performances, Joy is currently on the road with Noah Kahan and will embark on an extensive headline tour this fall including shows in Denver, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, San Francisco, and many more. Since her debut, Joy has performed at the White House as part of the Respect for Marriage Act signing ceremony as well as on CBS Saturday Morning, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Today Show, PBS' Austin City Limits, and NPR Music's Tiny Desk (Home) Concert series. Joy's music has also been included in Loudmouth, the recent Al Sharpton documentary, CBS' CSI: Vegas, NBC's This Is Us, ABC's Grey's Anatomy, ABC's Station 19, NBC's America's Got Talent, and HBO's And Just Like That, among many others.

Nate Smith | Featuring a mix of gritty backwoods soul, rock ‘n’ roll swagger, and velvet-thunder vocals, Nate Smith’s personal journey inspired him to be a beacon of country-music hope, an inspirational mission he puts front-and-center. A California native, former worship leader, and lifelong music lover, Smith approaches that mission with a background as eclectic as it gets. Learning guitar at 13, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley, and Bob Seger were among those informing his powerful, fire-from-within vocals, while Michael Jackson made him crave the spotlight and Nirvana gave his sound a jagged edge. In 2018, Smith lost everything he owned in the devastating Camp Fire which tore through Paradise, California, now known as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. Although his family was safe, he struggled to cope and turned back to music, hoping that it would help comfort himself and others. Help it did, inspiring a month-long road trip across the U.S. to Music City, writing music and playing dive bars along the way.

Since making it to Nashville, the singer’s “powerhouse tenor” has become “perhaps country music’s fastest-rising beloved voice” (The Tennessean). He’s made a huge splash with songs such as his Platinum-certified multi-week No. 1 hit “Whiskey On You,” which was lauded as the “breakup song of the summer” by Country Now and “an enormously satisfying country kiss-off anthem” by Stereogum. The smash hit has racked up over 405 million total global on-demand streams to date, contributing to Nate’s billion total catalog streams globally. Nate released his debut, self-titled album along with the deluxe version on April 28. The hefty 26-song project hit #6 on Billboard’s Country album charts and #30 on the Billboard Top 200. His latest single off the album, “World On Fire,” is currently Top 5 and climbing at country radio. The CMT Awards and ACM Awards nominee spent the summer touring alongside Thomas Rhett and is currently on the road with Cole Swindell. He’ll kick off his headline WORLD ON FIRE TOUR 2024 in January before hitting the road with Morgan Wallen next spring/summer. Nate is managed by Kevin “Chief” Zaruk and Simon Tikhman with The Core Entertainment.

Hailey Whitters | This year, Hailey Whitters’ career skyrocketed as she kicked off 2023 with her late-night TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, soon followed by performances on The Kelly Clarkson Show and The Today Show. In May, Whitters took home the Academy of Country Music Award for New Female Artist of the Year and performed her hit single “Everything She Ain’t” during the broadcast. The breakthrough single appeared on her 2022 studio album Raised, which, like her 2020 album The Dream, appeared on over 15 year-end best-of lists, and was named Rolling Stone’s #1 country album of the year. “Everything She Ain’t” marked her first ever top 20 single at country radio, which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart earlier this year and has been played more than 175 million times on TikTok, inspiring multiple trends on the platform. Following a headline tour and tours with Shania Twain and Dierks Bentley, Whitters in the midst of a festival-packed summer season before touring with Eric Church and Luke Bryan later this year. This summer, Whitters followed her critically acclaimed album Raised with a brand new six-song EP I’m In Love. Where The Dream focused on Whitters’ experience in Nashville and Raised looked back on her life in the heartland, I’m In Love finds her tapping into her ‘90s country influences while exploring relationships, heartbreak, and finding love.

For more information about the Martin Artist Showcase program and this year’s talented roster of artists, visit visit martinguitar.com.

Contact: Kate Richardson | Kate@RichlynnGroup.com