During Season One of NBC’s The Voice, the show-stopping battle round between 26-year-old Vicci Martinez and 19-year-old Niki Dawson took viewers’ breaths away. The two ladies sang a duet of a Pink song that exploded with such intensity that it immediately charted on iTunes. Martinez won the round, with celebrity judge Cee Lo Green referring to her stage-jumping as her “war dance.” She would go on to become Green’s team’s finalist, tying for third place in the general competition with Christina Aguilera’s finalist Beverly McClellan.
Since competing on The Voice, Martinez — who hails from Tacoma, Washington — has signed a contract with Universal Republic, recorded a single with Cee Lo Green (“Come Along”), earned praise from Billboard Magazine, and released her first Universal Republic album “Vicci” this last June. As if that was not enough, she recently embarked on a West Coast tour to promote her music. In a review of a recent performance of hers in Seattle, the Seattle Music Insider said,
“After shaking the venue with a few great rock songs, the band cleared the stage, leaving Martinez alone with her guitar. The intimate setup was perfect for the emotional ‘Jolene’ which flaunted Martinez’s powerful voice and her ability to convey a range of feelings in just a couple minutes. Her flawless transition into Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’ caused the crowd to erupt in excited shrieks and sing along.”
While she has proven that she can cover other artists’ songs with exceptional skill, Martinez’s connection with her audience has a significant link to the honesty of her own songwriting. In her new song “Let Go,” she remembers her deceased father. About the song, Martinez has said,
“I wanted to let go of the pain so I could remember the love. For everyone that leaves us, we have a responsibility to liver harder and live for them. I’m writing about really honest subjects.”
Next week Martinez’s West Coast tour will bring her right here to Eugene. This Thursday, September 20, she will perform her unique, powerful take on blues, rock, and pop at the WOW Hall — and with an entirely acoustic set. Her show, “An Acoustic Evening with Vicci Martinez,” begins at 8 pm, with doors opening at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door, and $20 for reserved seating.