Professor by day, veteran musician by night: Blackbird Anthem

Jake Hughes
September 25, 2018 - 12:50 pm

Blackbird Anthem

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Music can be a powerful thing. It can bond people from widely different backgrounds. Many veterans use music as a way of coping with the stresses of life. Some just listen, but others learn to play. Adam Martin, a founding member of Blackbird Anthem, didn’t have music in his background.

A child and grandchild of Army veterans, Martin joined the Reserves as a Military Police officer. After returning home from Iraq in 2004, he had trouble readjusting. “When I came home, like many veterans, I struggled with reintegration. The resources were few at the time to help returning vets transition.”

After realizing he needed some help, his doctor asked him what he loved. When he replied with music, she challenged him to play. “I said okay, if you think it will help. So I borrowed a guitar and started watching YouTube videos on how to play guitar. After a few months of it sounding like I’m trying to murder a whole herd of cats, something clicked.”

Now, in addition to a day job as a professor of business at South Florida State College, Adam heads up the southern rock band Blackbird Anthem. Adam tries to remain strong to his southern roots. “I’m not a big fan of the Nashville country or a lot of the pop sound, that’s great for them, but I grew up in the south, and I was raised on the great southern rock artists, and that’s what I gravitate towards.”

Blackbird Anthem has music on iTunes and Spotify, all without the help of managers, promoters, or a record label. They mainly play gigs in his native Florida, but they have played in places as far as Minnesota and Rhode Island.

When it comes to writing, Adam draws inspiration from just about everywhere. His first single, 22, pays tribute to one of his best friends that took his own life. Another song, Tonight We Ride, is about rolling out on a convoy mission in Iraq. “Inspiration comes from what I feel. I may be inspired by a line, or someone will say something, and I’ll say, ‘I can put that in a song.” So I’ll sit down and write a song. Sometimes they come out in 15 minutes, some may take a year to finish.”

Blackbird Anthem has two singles, Sunshine and Sink to the Surface, which will release on Friday, September 28th. For more information on their music, visit their website.

Contact us about this article, or share your story, at gethelp@connectingvets.com