When it comes down to gritty, soulful songs about life, faded love, dirty laundry, broken hearts, trains, best friends, forgiveness, and misplaced lovers, nobody in Americana music today does it quite like Koop does.
After a thirty year career of festivals, pubs, coffee shops, college campuses, wineries, and theaters, Koop is emerging as a nationally touring artist with the release of his 2016 EP Blame It On the Blue Sky. The iconoclastic, bearded, storytelling songwriter is on a hot streak, coming off of his Blue Sky Tour of the Southwestern US, with the full Blue Sky CD due for release on December 5, 2016. From humble beginnings as a coffee-house-open-mic-night regular in the early ’80s, to the folk clubs on Austin’s famed Sixth Street to Nashville’s Music Row, where he fed on heavy doses of twang, bluegrass, and folk music, throughout thirty years of adventurous obscurity, to his recent emergence as a nationally touring artist, Koop’s relentless pursuit of groove and grit and tone and well crafted lyrics is suddenly finding audiences in the nooks and crannies of America . . . in the pocket of her heart.
In 2012, Martin’s father broke his leg in Virginia and needed a ride back home, and so Koop booked a few gigs along the way (most notably Morgantown West Virginia . . the source of the story song Morgantown) and he found a brand new groove of his own. Koop dove headlong into the verities and balderdash of the human condition, offering up his own inimitable take on the American folk song, with groove and grit. Sandusky Ohio’s Funcoast Magazine called Koop “proof that folk music is alive and well” and Nashville insider Richard Helm called Koop a “groove dawg.”
In addition to playing solo shows, Koop also performs with his band Free Wild and serves as a regional co-coordinator for the Nashville Songwriters Association International [NSAI], fostering a songwriting community in NW Ohio.
He is a also a member of Folk Alliance International and The Americana Music Association.