Living on a dream

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Local country musician takes the stage this Saturday at country music festival

By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

SHALLOTTE—Dream big or stay home.


That is CC Martin’s philosophy on life.

This Saturday one of his dreams is coming realty on a stage in Brunswick County.

CC Martin will perform his debut concert as the headliner for the Brunswick County Country Music Fall Festival in the parking lot of Planet Fun.

The last four months have been a whirlwind for Martin, whose country music singing career has taken off.

Martin grew up in Southport hanging around with his father at Martin’s Auto Rebuilders. As a child he was given a guitar. He remembers learning a couple of songs and putting the guitar away.

But he was eventually called back to music, when, at 26, his life changed forever.

“I got saved at Joy Assembly,” he said.

He went to a music lesson at the church, and everything he’d learned as a child came flooding back.

“Within one year I was singing and playing an instrument and leading worship at the church,” Martin said. “I watched Bill VanMeter, pastor at Joy Assembly, and learned how to play. I’m a Christian who sings country music.”

For several years Martin led worship service every other Sunday. At home when he’d sit down to play, he found himself writing music.

“The songs just came out. I embraced my roots. I sang what came out and it came out as country,” Martin said. “It came easily. It is a gift from God.”

Four months ago Martin decided it was time to chase his dream.

“I was tired of talking about it. I made up my mind to go to Nashville,” Martin said.

A remarkable moment for Martin and his faith occurred about the same time while he was on the road traveling for work. He was staying in a hotel in Charleston, S.C., and was running short on time to complete his laundry. He asked for help from the hotel staff.

Martin had never met the person who took his laundry out of the dryer and returned it to his room until he was about to leave. He recalls he was packing up his car and he had his guitar with him when he heard a voice.

“She asked me if my laundry turned out OK,” he said.

Martin said he handed her a couple of wadded up bills from his pocket to thank her for her help. She asked him about his guitar and said she wanted his autograph.

“It made me feel so small. It made me feel really silly,” he said. “She said, ‘No, honey, your dreams are about to come true.’ In that moment faith met the dream. For a select few, reality soars past their wildest dreams. In my mind my dreams have already come true.”



It wasn’t long after this encounter that Martin found Beaird Music Group Recording Studio online. He packed his bags to record in Nashville.

It was the only place Martin looked into and he feels it was divine intervention that led him in this direction.

Martin spent two weeks in Nashville working with the recording studio’s band. At the time Martin didn’t realize whom he was working with. His debut album, called CC Martin, combines his vocal talents with Tommy Hardin (Reba McIntire’s drummer), Mike Rojas (CMA Awards pianist of the year), Rob McNelly (lead guitarist from Lady Antebellum’s “Own The Night” album), Gary Morse (Brooks and Dunn’s former steel guitar player), Scotty Saunders, Thom Flora (George Strait’s male harmony singer), Larry Beaird (rhythm guitar from the first three Rascal Flatts albums) and Eli Beaird on bass.

“Folks asked me how I got those guys on my album,” Martin said. “It was God. It was the only place I called and that was the band booked for that session date. I was able to rebook the same group to finish the album. I did ask for Thom when I found out I could get him. It is just amazing how the whole thing unfolded.”

Since recording the album, Martin has had the opportunity to pitch his songs to Sony Ericsson Records. He has several more pitches coming up in the next few months. The goal is to get a song in front of Toby Keith or Hank Williams Jr.

Martin’s music is appropriate for all ages.

“I write good, clean banging country music that kids can listen to,” Martin said. “I want my music to be a light in a dark place, and I want to be someone kids can look up to. Nobody is perfect, and everyone can fall. I want to write music that can touch people. I’m crazy enough to believe one day I will pack out a stadium with good, clean music and it will be filled with families having fun.”

Songs come to Martin at different times. His song “Flags of Freedom” struck him when he was riding through Shallotte one day in June.

“I heard the story about the four soldiers who died sometime around June on the radio. I pulled over in Jerome’s parking lot and wrote the chorus of the song. My guitar was hanging out the window and I was facing Shallotte Rental and there was an American flag. That’s where this song started,” he said.


Brunswick County Country Music Fall Festival

On Saturday, Oct. 27, Martin will make his debut during the Brunswick County Country Music Fall Festival at Planet Fun. Martin is headlining the event; he takes the stage at 3:45 p.m. The festival will be outside in the Planet Fun parking lot. Tickets are $5. If purchased in advance, ticket holders will receive a $10 play card for games inside Planet Fun. This offer is only valid for advance tickets.

To purchase tickets visit www.ccmartinmusic.com or www.planetfuncenter.com or call Planet Fun at 755-2386 for more information.


Schedule of events

1 p.m.         Dock Hunt and The Chosen Few

2:30 p.m.         Carolina Tilt

3:45 p.m.         CC Martin

5:30 p.m.         Youth Halloween costume contest

5:45 p.m.         Corn hole tournament

7 p.m.         Cosmic Spooktacular bowling party

9 p.m.         Adult Halloween costume contest

10 p.m.         Cosmic Spooktacular bowling party