Martin Koop started writing songs and playing guitar at 15 years old. At 17, he appeared as a vocalist on Illimitable, a compilation album of Toledo, Ohio artists.
Martin left home at 18 to play music in Austin, Texas, where he started to learn his craft as a street musician on Austin's Sixth Street, and played country and western music with Sam Price and the Texas Gamblers. After that, he lived in Nashville, Tennessee, playing music and writing songs, and collaborating with some great undiscovered writers and pickers. In Nashville, Martin was a featured artist for a Bluebird Cafe early show.
He traveled to Norwich, England for two years - playing music, writing songs, tending a pub, and exploring the rich history of the English countryside. Since then, he earned academic degrees in art history and law, writing songs and making music all the while. In 2001, Martin earned the Minstrel Soup Poetry Olympics Bronze Medal for performing several original songs.
He has been playing traditional Irish music with the band Toraigh for approximately one year. Martin is an ASCAP Member. He has performed as a street musician in England, New York City, Saint Augustine, Florida, and Los Angeles, California. He writes songs that are tuneful, meaningful, penetrating, simple, and occasionally funny. Martin's current influences include Patrick Street, the Bothy Band, Jerry Holland, James Kelly, Zan McLeod, John Gorka, John Prine, Doc Watson, Andrea Zonn, and Solas. Lloyd Cole, Warren Zevon, Shel Silverstein, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman.
Martin lives with his wife, Beth, and their 3 year old son, Ethan, in Tiffin, Ohio where the bluegill fishing is so fine in June that Mary and Bob must draw Martin away from ponds, lakes and reservoirs for gigs, they could do this by snaring him in their musical tapestry of hornpipes, jigs and reels, but, Mary and Bob prefer to drag him away bodily at this time of year to fulfill the bandís commitmentís, ( Mary hits him over the head with the Bodhran whilst Bob plays a mean Bass Guitar riff to drown out Martinís screams ).