Jeffrey Martin “Red Station Wagon” – redemption, please

Photo: Jen Borst

This wild eyed musician is Jeffrey Martin and he is the writer of complex narratives, a singer of songs made for thinking about and a considerer of the possibilities of change – that one needn’t be trapped by the structures of thought that one has been raised in.  Perhaps one may have let down a friend.  Perhaps one may finally see that the church that raised you up was a hotbed of hatred.  That kind of thing.

Portland, Oregon artist Jeffrey Martin recently announced the release of ‘Thank God We Left the Garden’, his first new full-length since 2017’s ‘One Go Around.’  Of today’s song, taken from that album, Jeffrey has explained that “I wanted to tell a story of transformation. Someone becoming better than they used to be, and owning the ugliness of their past. Just a few years ago derogatory homophobic language was the norm in our culture. Across the board, in movies, television, comedy, books, and so also in the language of young people everywhere, and most especially young men, to be ‘gay’ was the go to insult for anyone and any thing that was seen as weak or weird. ‘Red Station Wagon’ is rooted in a deep shared truth. It’s the story of a confession of one man to another, looking back on a crucial moment from his youth where a dear friend of his took a big risk and courageously chose to be vulnerable, only to be betrayed by him in the worst possible way…Part of any genuine atonement is the honest confession of what one did wrong, and I felt it was crucial to use the raw and hurtful language directly in the song, partly to make the narrator’s apology more sincere, and partly to call out everyone (myself included) who ever used language like that and hasn’t honestly reflected on it since.

About Jonathan Aird 2564 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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