Hey Portland! Who knows 🤔 about this relationship between Elvis and our city?

Here’s a question. Which Grammy nominated producer, engineer, musician and composer lives in Portland and has worked with Beth Orton, R.E.M., Spoon, and k.d. lang, just to name a few?

Tucker Martine. He isn’t from Portland. He was born in Nashville, grew up and moved to Boulder, Colorado, and then to Seattle, before finally landing in Portland. But he’s here now, with his own recording studio in Northeast Portland: Flora Recording.

The Portland-Elvis connection? Martine’s father, Layng Martine Jr., still lives in Nashville and is a songwriter himself. He’s written for The Pointer Sisters, Trisha Yearwood, and Reba McEntire, plus, he wrote the song “Rub It In,” for Billy “Crash” Craddock, which became a long-running TV commercial for Glade Plug-in air fresheners (Plug it In, Plug it in). But coolest of all, he wrote the mega-hit song for Elvis Presley: “Way Down.

Taking after his father, Tucker Martine has also left his brilliant mark on the music world. He’s collaborated with Beth Orton, R.E.M., Spoon, and k.d. lang fall in line with other big names he’s worked with: The DecemberistsMy Morning JacketModest Mouse, Neko CaseFirst Aid KitMudhoneyBill FrisellSufjan Stevens,  GrandaddyMavis StaplesCourtney BarnettIron And WineGary LarsonThe JayhawksKarl BlauEdward Sharpe And The Magnetic ZerosCarrie BrownsteinBlind PilotCamera ObscuraRobin Pecknold (Fleet Foxes), Stephen Malkmus (Pavement), She and HimM. WardMt. JoyCase/lang/veirsJesse Sykes, and Raye Zaragoza.

(One more interesting fact about Martine. His wife is the American singer-songwriter Laura Veirs – who, by the way, has some Best Kept Secrets  to share.)

We didn’t know where to start with Martine’s influence, so we thought we’d pull out Something More Beautiful, by Beth Orton. In 2012, Martine produced Orton’s album Sugaring Season, which, to this day, is considered by many critics to be her finest album.

Have a listen:

Something More Beautiful
by Beth Orton

Can’t try the flying.
You know I’ll be near.
You know I’ll be near.

Take your time in the morning light.
There’s nobody here.
There’s nobody here.

When you feel too much to ever let it show
You turn it up, turn it down,
Turn it on, turn it round and leave.

When you just don’t conceive
In what you believe.

You want to learn the trick to turn
What’s not so pretty into something more beautiful,
It’s the same place that I learned to turn
What could be sorrow into some kind of mercy.

When I feel too much to ever let it show
I turn it up, turn it down,
Turn it off, turn it round and leave.

Then I just don’t conceive
In what to believe.

credit: Flora Recording, ANTI records, wikipedia