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