LORETTA'S ARTIST OF WEEK 12/8/14
Winning Boston Idol, performing "Party for Two" with Billy Currington Live! on Stage, recording demos for Randy Travis, and opening for Miranda Lambert and Eric Paslay are only some of the accomplishments Jilly Martin has under her belt in the past few years!
In 2007, Jilly began making trips to Nashville to record demos and background vocals. That same year, Jilly opened for Randy Travis and Gretchen Wilson, and then was asked by Randy Travis to record 3 of his originals.
In the subsequent summers Jilly expanded her list of openers to include The Band Perry, Justin Moore, Loretta Lynn, Josh Turner, Eric Church, Miranda Lambert and most recently, Eric Paslay.
Jilly got her start performing with bands in the New England area at the age of nine years old! She found a home with the John Penny Band approaching John Penny at a street fair and asking to sit in and sing "Blue", after hearing Jo Dee Messina got her start with the band. She quickly found herself a regular part of their shows opening for the Bellamy Brothers, Tommy Cash, Mark Chestnutt, Wade Hayes, George Jones, Neal McCoy, Collin Raye, Ricky Van Shelton, Michael Twitty and Darryl Worley.
Additionally she performed with this band at many events and fairs in the New England area such as the Topsfield Fair, the Cracker Barrel Fair, theShriner’s Rodeos and provided entertainment on the track of a NASCAR race at the Loudon, NH International Speedway.
Jilly has had the honor of performing the National Anthem at many events such as games for the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event, Boston Red Sox, Boston Bruins, New England Revolution, Hockey East Championships, Merrimack College hockey and football games. She also performed the Canadian National Anthem in front of a crowd of approx. 100,000 at Loudon the 2012 NASCAR Lenox 301 Series.
Over the past few years, Jilly really started getting into writing her own songs and telling her stories that fit so well in country music. She has had the privilege of learning from and writing with Del Gray of Little Texas, Lance Dary, Darrell Hayes, Steve Mitchell, Marie Miller, John Fannon of New England, Stan Swiniarski and many others!
Jilly started working with Michael Robert Kelly as an acoustic duo and performing with the Ryan Brooks Kelly Band over the past year. Be sure to check out the gigs section to see where Jilly is performing next!
Awards and Recognition:
MCMAA Junior Performer of the Year 1998-2002; 1998 New Hampshire Country Music Awards Association Junior Performer (Categories: Traditional, New Country, and Gospel); 1999 New England Country Showdown Junior Performer of the Year; 1999 Country Music Organization of America Junior Female Vocalist of the Year (Categories: Traditional, New Country, and Gospel); and in 2002 was inducted into the Massachusetts Country Music Awards Association Gallery of Greats for having previously won at least three consecutive years.