Martin Swinger writes about Alzheimer’s, Autism, oysters, fish, dogs, plastic, paper boats, Betty Boop, closets and love. With acoustic guitar, a fluid voice, intelligent wit, and a keen sense of poetry he sings melodic, compelling, imaginative stories. An eloquent and charmingly charismatic performer, Martin Swinger sings Songs Worth Listening To.
His experience growing up gay in a small Southern town, surviving by the grace of Readers Digest classic books and a love for poetry, a home piano and older siblings with good taste in music, he is inspired to create ingenious songs which surprise the listener with an easy intimacy, clever sense of humor, clearly spoken ‘truthy-ness’ and a big dose of heart.
His influences include Americana/Folk, Classic Rock, Swing, Jazz, Classical Music, A Capella Improvisation, Musical Theater and 'Found' Sounds. A New-Folk Finalist, workshop leader and repeat performer at Kerrville Folk Festival, Martin’s fans include (the Late) Pete Seeger, Billy Jonas, Ezra Idlet (Trout Fishing in America), Vance Gilbert and John Waters and ‘Cherry Delight’ – Miss Coney Island 2013.
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, Kansas Poet Laureate says, "Martin Swinger is one of those rare singer-songwriters who excels at everything: singing, songwriting, guitar-playing, and being so present with his humor, tenderness, and wild mind that his performances are also deep conversations, soul to soul and heart to heart, about the quirks, surprises, and love that brings us most alive. His songs are whimsically and wisely original and enduring."
Martin has toured with Mitch Barrett (Zoe Speaks), Charlie King, Connor Garvey, Jud Caswell, Elise Witt and performed with Zingo Zango Generic Jug Band, ImproVox (a 5-member vocal improvisation ensemble) and currently performs solo or with "the Existential Band', Ed Desjardins. Martin studied with Rhiannon, (long-time vocalist with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra), and enjoyed extensive workshops with Moira Smiley and Ysaye Barnwell.
He has recorded 7 CD’s, won numerous songwriting awards from American Song Competition, SolarFest, Rosegarden Coffeehouse and more. A veteran in his prime, Martin gave his first solo performance singing ‘Away in a Manger’ in his first-grade Christmas pageant and just keeps getting better as he matures into his mid-60’s serving as President of Maine Songwriter’s Association, coaching songwriters of all ages and teaching people who think they can’t - to sing.
Martin shares a home with his partner/husband of 35 years in Asbury Park, NJ, and together are the founding developers of Rainbow Quest! the LGBTIQA board game for High School and College GSA's that teaches LGBT history and culture while developing social skills, community-building and, ultimately, preventing LGBTIQ teen suicide. https://www.facebook.com/RainbowQuestgame/
His first ever solo, wrapped in a sheet and standing on a table he's singing 'Away In a Manger' in Mrs. Folendore's First Grade Christmas play, and Martin felt oddly at home. Martin continues singing, and that audience of children, mothers, teachers and janitors, administrators, school board chairs and the secretary continues to grow. Listen to Martin live and you'll know why.
Martin performs 40+ gigs a year sharing award-winning original songs and a surprisingly eclectic mix of covers. Americana, swing & jazz, traditional, show tunes, klezmer, improvisational music... He's known for his sterling performance and vocal range, brilliant songs delivered well with an engaging stage presence for adult and family audiences.
Mrs. Folendore was pleased with Martin's performance. You will be, too.