Martha Louise Profile

Glen Moffatt
18 Oct 2017

It took a journey of almost 7,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean for US-born Martha Louise to discover the music that would propel her career in folk and country music in New Zealand for the past 40 years.

She vaguely recalled hearing of Emmylou Harris playing in Bakersfield before she left California in 1973, but it wasn’t until being introduced to the records of Harris and her late mentor Gram Parsons by a Canadian silver jeweller near Nelson that Martha’s musical passion was reawakened.

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Martha Louise at the Mussel Inn, Onekaka, April 2016.
Marion Arts and Martha Louise.
In Folk-Us, 2006. Left to right: Martha Louise, Mark Laurent, Chris Priestley, Brenda Liddiard, Peter Madill.
Martha Louise at the Auckland Folk Festival, 1978.
Martha Louise, Redondo Beach, California, 1969.
The original Gentle Annie line-up, 1980. Left to right: Martha Louise, Peter Madill, Cath Newhook.
Martha Louise & the Backseat Drivers poster. Left to right: Cameron Bennett, Martha Louise, Paul Symons, Stuart Grimshaw.
Martha Louise’s album Journey.
Gentle Annie on stage in Alaska, 1980. Left to right: Cath Newhook, Martha Louise, Peter Madill. 
Gentle Annie appear on That’s Country. Left to right: Martha Louise, Cath Newhook, Peter Madill.
Emily Giles, Martha Louise and Chris Priestley, 2010.
An early Gentle Annie poster.
Martha Louise.
Martha Louise in the Nor-West News with her handmade Peter Madill dulcimer.
Martha Louise.
Martha Louise.
Martha Louise (centre) at the Auckland Folk Festival, 1978.
The Martha Louise album Sense of Place.
Martha Louise - Auckland for Nepal (121 Café, Auckland, 21 June 2015)
A rehearsal running sheet for TVNZ show Dixie Chicken, 1987.
Martha Louise’s Muriwai Sands cassingle release.
Martha Louise with Too Far Gone as the appeared in they Rodney Times, January 2011. Left to right: Paul Symons, Pete Parnham, Martha Louise, Michael Young.
The original Gentle Annie line-up, 1980. Left to right: Peter Madill, Cath Newhook, Martha Louise.
Martha Louise with dulcimer.
Martha Louise’s 1990 cassette release Changing Tides.
The original Gentle Annie line-up in action, 1980. Left to right: Cath Newhook, Martha Louise, Peter Madill.
Mixed Feelings record launch, Empire Hotel, Auckland, 1985. Left to right: Cath Woodman, Martha Louise, Bev Young.
The Broccoli Sisters and child. Left to right: Jenny Christianson, Cath Woodman, Martha Louise (front), Sue Hill, Sonja Giles.
Marion Arts and Martha Louise.
The original Gentle Annie line-up, 1980. Left to right: Cath Newhook, Peter Madill, Martha Louise.
Marion Arts and Martha Louise.
Marion Arts and Martha Louise.
The Broccoli Sisters. Left to right: Jenny Christianson, Cath Woodman, Martha Louise (front), Sue Hill, Sonja Giles.
Dunedin Whare Flat festival. Left to right: Eric McEachon, Martha Louise, Doug Eckert.
Martha Louise.
Martha Louise in 1989.
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