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Roosters Crow




Roosters Crow

Released on February 7th, 2012


Roosters Crow

From the press release:


Recorded at the Zone Studio in Dripping Springs, Texas by engineer/producer Pat Manske (The Flatlanders, Joe Ely, Robert Earl Keene), Roosters Crow features – along with The Hardways (bass guitarist Nick Ciola and drummer Scott Wenum) – a long list of respected and incredibly talented Austin, Texas-based musicians, including Kelly Willis, Lloyd Maines, Kevin McKinney, Bukka Allen (Bodeans), Chojo Jacques, Brian Standefer (Alejandro Escovedo), Billy Bright (Peter Rowan), Michael Ramos (John Mellencamp), and Terri Hendrix.




Pick 5 Songs Contest


At our summer festival shows, we often have folks who aren’t familiar with Martin’s music ask which CD they should buy. It’s a difficult to answer, so we’ve decided to put together a sampler of songs from Martin’s catalog to steer them towards. We would really appreciate your help in choosing which songs to include. Simply choose five of your favorites and post them in the reply area below. Everyone who posts before April 30th will be entered into a drawing to win a signed, framed copy of Roosters Crow on vinyl. Thanks in advance for your help!  (admin)






Last call for “real” CDs


We will no longer be pressing physical copies of Martin’s older titles. As a small label, it’s become increasingly difficult to get our CDs into brick and mortar retailers, and digital downloads are rapidly overtaking CDs through online retailers. We’ll be sad to see them go, but it looks like Martin’s career may have outlasted yet another format.


With that in mind…


We are down to our last cases of Martin Lee Zellar, They Even Use the Hooves, and Scattered. We have fewer than 50 copies of Many Moods left. Because of the complexity of licensing music for digital distribution, the cover tracks on Scattered and Hooves aren’t available on their digital versions, so it’s your last chance to own them. All remaining CDs are available exclusively at martinzellar.com. (admin)



Some bands that I’ve played with…


For the hell of it, I decided to to make a list of acts that I – or the Gear Daddies – have played with over the years. Some are very cool, some are very uncool. Some are odd, some are very, very odd. I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few. For a large majority of these shows, “played with” can be translated as “opened for” (MZ)


the replacements • george jones • neil young • junior brown • the blasters • gatemouth brown • nils lofgren ● bob mould • the eagles • yo la tengo • warren zevon ● morphine • uncle tupelo • the beat farmers • alex chilton • koerner ray & glover • lucinda williams • the mekons • randy newman • the suburbs • nick lowe ● the bodeans • alejandro escovedo • the outfield • soul asylum • the del fuegos • dave alvin • the bottle rockets • robert cray • green on red • the connells • the spin doctors ● the silos • cheap trick • john dee graham ● golden smog • kelly willis • the fat boys (seriously) • booker t & the mgs • fastball • amy rigby • charlie parr • 16 horsepower ● freedy johnston • joe henry • the jayhawks ● sugar • big head todd & the monsters ● indigenous ● widespread panic • nitty gritty dirt band • the rainmakers • material issue • the damnations • the goo goo dolls • bob schneider • mason jennings • walter salas-humara • flat duo jets ● slobberbone • roger clyne & the peacemakers ● charlie chesterman • drivin’ n’ cryin’ ● reckless kelly • tish hinojosa • john kay • ben harper • slim dunlap • chameleon (featuring yanni, no shit) • trip shakespeare • flamin’ oh’s • the nadas ● chuck prophet ● trampled by turtles ● they might be giants ● lianne smith • cracker ● the smythes • run westy run ● smash mouth • those bastard souls • the honeydogs • the doobie brothers • blackfoot • train • better than ezra • robert randolph & the family band • the billys • america • the meat purveyors • the georgia satellites • three dog night • dolly varden • the clumsy lovers • trailer trash • randy & the teen lovers ● the leatherwoods • take it to the limit • marshall crenshaw • brian setzer  ● styx ●


About “Running on Pure Fear”


Martin’s comments on “Running on Pure Fear”:


“‘Running on Pure Fear’ isn’t a song that most people would consider a single. The songs that have been chosen as singles in the past have never been my personal favorites. This song is one of my favorites because it is personal.


Besides Nick and Scott, the song features Kevin McKinney on guitar and Kelly Willis on vocals. I pulled it out late in the recording process and played it for everyone twice before we hit the record button. No one had time to over-think their parts, they just played off their original instincts. I don’t this song would have worked as well if we had approached it any other way. Occasionally my aversion to practice and preparation pays off”



About “Some Girls”


Martin’s comments on “Some Girls”:


“Some Girls was written solely as an exercise in pop songwriting. It isn’t a song that I have any emotional attachment to, which isn’t to say that I don’t like it. I wrote it with a female singer in mind, so the original title was ‘Some Boys’ and the lyrics were written from a female point of view.  I decided to give it a couple of passes during early tracking hoping to get a rough demo out of it.


The initial take with Scott, Nick and Kevin had a very cool, loose feel to it. I especially liked the way the song opened up during the solo section. After Lloyd Maines and Bukka Allen added their tracks, I  decided to spend 20 minutes tweaking the lyrics so I would have a passable version from a male point of view. Once  everything was done, we all decided that it was a nice enough pop song to include on the CD. At that point we were definitely looking for something lighter to break things up.”



About the Website


How about this nice new website? As you may have guessed, Martin did not design or build this one. Our sincere thanks to Colin, Kim, Allison, and all of the talented people at DKS Systems for putting this together.


A couple of things about the site:


Most of Martin’s music is available for purchase – as both digital downloads and physical CDs – directly through this site, including several titles that can be found exclusively here. We’ve made sure that our single-song and full CD downloads are cheaper than you’ll find anywhere else (legally) on the internet, and you can listen to any song in its entirety before deciding to purchase it.


Your purchases from the site are protected by the same state-of-the-art encryption technology used by major e-tailers, and we promise not to gouge you on the back-end with inflated shipping fees.


Our full online store should be up-and-running soon, so please check back.


On the homepage you can sign up for Martin’s new mailing list and newsletter. It’s the best way to stay current on what’s happening, and you’ll be automatically entered into exclusive contests and giveaways. The list is professionally managed and secure. You’re information will never be shared or sold to third parties. We also promise to not take advantage of your loyalty with excessive e-mails.


For those of you who signed up for the old mailing list (managed by ReverbNation, with whom we have no formal relationship) we recommend that you unsubscribe and add yourself to the official mailing list.


You can also stay current on events through Martin’s Facebook page or by subscribing to his Twitter feed. Links to both can be found on the site.


You can find the lyrics to all of Martin’s songs here. Just click “music” on the homepage, then “singles” You can then move through the list alphabetically to find the song you’re looking for. You can also find a song’s lyrics by clicking the ‘more info’ link located next to it on an album page.


The news section on the site will deliver a combination of straight news and blog-like entries from Martin. Any entry from Martin will be “signed” with MZ. Here’s what Martin has to say about it:


   “I always undertake projects like this with the best of intentions. My track record on following through has not been good. Not good at all. Things have changed. The whip has been cracked. I’m shaking off the dust and getting back to business. I can now all but promise you that I’ll do my best to attempt to get in the habit of trying to post on a semi-regular basis. This time I mean it.”


The shows section is fairly self-explanatory. Whenever possible, we provided a link to purchase  advance tickets. We strongly encourage you to call the venue, or visit their website for details on the show. We’ve learned from experience that the information on our contract often doesn’t match what a venue is advertising.








About six years ago my family and I moved to San Miguel de Allende, a colonial city located in the Bajio mountains of Central Mexico. It’s old (founded in 1541), historic (a UNESCO world heritage site), and known for its arts scene.


San Miguel has a population of around 140,000, a fairly large expat community (not many our age), great restaurants, a great library, high speed (allegedly) Internet, and the weather is close to perfect (heating and air conditioning systems are non-existent).


Here are some of the reasons that cumulatively led to our decision to give living here a try: a change of scenery, the adventure, the people, the food, the colors, the music, affordability, experiencing a different culture, the slower pace of life, learning a new language, and giving our kids a different perspective on the world.


My general restlessness also played a big part.


Some frequently asked questions:


Are you near a beach? Nope.


Is it dangerous? A qualified no. So far San Miguel has remained free from drug violence, but that can change quickly. Mexico is definitely a very dangerous place for those directly involved in the drug war. I wouldn’t join a cartel, the army, or a law enforcement agency. I also wouldn’t wander about in search of drugs. Like a lot of cities, as the economy has worsened, property crimes have risen. You need to take reasonable precautions to live or visit here.


Where do your kids go to school? A small, funky, very cool private school with kids from all over the world.


Are the hospitals good? We’ve had nothing but good experiences. We went through a difficult pregnancy and the birth of our daughter here.


Do you have the opportunity to watch poorly dubbed Jean-Claude Van Damme films on television most nights? Yes.


Do you miss being near your family and friends? Yes.


Mexico is far from a perfect place to live. The poverty is heartbreaking, corruption is out of control, environmental oversight is non-existent, and public services are often sketchy. Still, we’ve loved living here. When we made the move, I hadn’t planned on working and traveling so much. The surprise birth of our daughter changed everything.


We plan to move back to the U.S. at some point, and when we do, we’ll miss something about Mexico every day.





They Even Use the Hooves…


Martin’s 2-disc set of odds and ends, “They Even Use the Hooves” has been out of circulation for almost 8 years, but we recently found four cases in storage, and we’re selling off these remaining discs exclusively through the website store. Used copies of Hooves are currently going for $43 to $119 on Amazon.com. New copies start at  $99.99 and run to $288.  We’re selling them on the site for the original retail price of $20. No more copies of Hooves will be printed once these are gone.


Due to the complexity of licensing material for digital distribution, the physical edition of “They Even Use the Hooves” contains six cover tunes that are not included on its downloadable version.