Joel Martin will play the coffee shop Thursday with an evening of original folk songs

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Singer-songwriter-guitarist Joel Martin will perform Thursday at Coffee Cottage in Newberg.

A local singer will bring his act back to the Coffee Cottage for an evening of traditional folk songs this weekend.

Joel Martin, a senior at George Fox University, will perform from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Coffee Cottage. Martin said he's played there four or five times, occasionally to a crowd as large as 40 people, so he enjoys filling in an opening when the coffee shop has one.

"I think they see me as a regular now," he said.

He added that he'll be promoting a new album he's been working on that, although recorded, doesn't have a title yet. He recorded it locally in Portland, as he did with his past album.

"It's an arduous process," he said of releasing an album. "But it's very close."

Martin said he'll be playing songs Friday the audience likely hasn't heard before from him, or at least songs he'll have only played a handful of times in the past.

He describes his range of influences from older style, traditional folk songs to more modern indie and rock music. He said he's also influenced by the structure of literature, which he incorporates into his lyrics, and explains folk often uses recurring lines to make a point, while literature often uses metaphors to have deeper meaning come back, both of which he brings into his music.

An example he gave is a song he wrote about a package that goes missing in the mail. He said the literal interpretation is what it means for the package to go somewhere, but said the conceptual meaning applies to everyone.

"A metaphor starts out innocuous and becomes more layered and it gives people more opportunities to learn about the song," he said.

Martin's music also encapsulates the feeling and the aesthetics of the Northwest.

"I put a lot of focus and thought into lyrics and concept," he said. "If that's something people like I think they'll enjoy it a lot."

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