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Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Thursday, 10 December 2009
Martin Newnham's guitar passion
Martin Newnham

Singer-songwriter Martin Newnham is Isle of Wight born and bred.

Originally from Shanklin, the 31 year old studied at the Guitar Institute in London which is where he is now based.

"I go back to the island a lot" says Martin, "I take every opportunity to visit family and friends".

He now splits his time between writing and performing, and teaching the guitar to the next generation through workshops and practical sessions in schools.

"You can teach anyone to play an instrument" he says, "but some people are more natural than others"

His students are predominantly aged six to 16, one of his former students recently performed on stage with him at a gig.

Band Members

The guitar is Martin's instrument of choice. He normally plays in a band with 3 other members:

Vessa and Martin
Vessa from Finland is Martin's drummer

Drummer Vesa Haapanen from Finland, Sandown's Andy Parkin plays fiddle and newest member bassist Thomas Day from Bembridge.

"We have not let him play a note yet!" He told Sally Taylor on BBC Radio Solent: "We just let him make the teas and do our laundry".

Although there are four members in his band, Martin says he can go on the road with any combination.

Debut Album

Martin has just completed his first official studio album City Folk. "Getting the album in i-tunes was the stepping stone to make it official" he told Sally.

He never considered any of the tracks on the album could be potential singles. "I'm really pleased with it" he told Sally.

Two singles have been released so far.

Performing live

Martin supported Nashville's Gretchen Peters when she toured the UK in 2009. His other support credits include Seth Lakeman, Newton Faulkner, John Allen and Nerina Pallot.

"She was just performing solo with a piano". he says of Pallot.

Martin Newnham playing the guitar
Martin is set to play Southampton on Nick Kershaw's Uk tour in 2010

In 2010 he is supporting Nick Kershaw on his 11 night UK Tour, which includes a date in Southampton. but it's not the first time they have performed on the same bill.

"Back in March 2009 I supported him with my fiddle player" says Martin. "Then he asked us to come and do his hometown gig in Ipswich".

Martin is also making a name for himself on the festival circuit, playing the Isle of Wight festival in 2009. He has also supporting Fairport Convention and appeared at The Larmar Tree festival in Dorset.

He is currently working on some new material with Level 42's Phil Gould and plans to release a second album in the summer of 2010.

Martin Newnham and Nik Kershaw play The Talking Heads, Southampton on Friday, 26 February 2010.

Presenter profile: Sally Taylor
24 Jul 09 |  TV & Radio



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