Went to Crescent the other day with Longhair to grab a brew.
Was feeling decidedly uninspired when this big guy with a beard, sweat stained t-shirt, and trucker's cap walks by.
"Holy sh*t" goes Longhair, "that's Tony Martinez" and proceeds to gush all over the guy about what a great show he put on the other night.
Longhair being a man's man and normally not prone to fits of giddiness, I was initially taken aback.
The thing is, I sh*t you not, the guy looked - and yes I'm gonna get all judgey here if for no other reason than to expose what a dumb ass I am - like he should be flippin' burgers in a truck stop. And maybe a little on the dull side.
Okay - I'm gonna tip my hat here for a moment to anti-elitism and say that I've done my fair share of mundane and lower tier jobs, so who am I to cast stones? Landscaping, roofing, loading trucks - did 'em all - and was even once a pool boy for a pair of eccentric gay millionaires, so whatever.
Well, not really pool boy, but did work for 'em - along with Longhair in fact - and we did have an open invite to take a dip whenever we liked.
An offer we did not take advantage of.
Well, more than once or twice, anyway.
Hey man! It was Arizona in the summer!? Anyway...
Longhair informed me the band was old school country - not my deal - but, "this guy is f*cking amazing on guitar," so 30 minutes later, we sauntered to the back and bent an ear. Tony was there, with - get this - his dad on bass guitar -and- some middle aged guy in a Coors t-shirt and cowboy hat on drums.
The set began and maybe 2 minutes later, Tony came in with a little flourish, and things got a little... surreal,** maybe?
I'm not sure if was an old school blues riff, or Mozart, or what, but his fingers flowed down the neck of that guitar like a stream over stone and wherever it came from, Memphis or Marseilles - he made it all his own, bent it to his will, and boy was I in. All the way.
And I could go on about it - hearing him and his dad play - but let's just say my initial impression of a burger flipping dullard? Um yeah... pretty much the opposite of that. It was like a demigod had walked into the room - eyes glowing, fingertips crackling - and pulled back the curtain of reality.
Nothing for us to do but nod our heads - in time and acquiescence - and grin our grins at the truth revealed.
Weeks later we ran into him again at Crescent and took this picture. And no, he doesn't normally look quite so... demonic? (Chuckle) But a primal force, yeah, I think you can see that part shining through.
Let's just hope he uses those powers for good, folks.
Oh, and if you'd like to see the demigod in action? The Tony Martinez Band plays at Crescent Ballroom every Tuesday night this month.
*I should mention that LH is the most picayune mother effer ever when it comes to music - with tastes widely varying, but extremely discerning - and this line, coming from him, was high praise, indeed.
**And I do mean "super-real".
***Peeps in the photo, from left to right: Matt Danley, Your Truly, EB, Tony Martinez, and Ax.