No Woman is an Island


Fans of The Voice are used to seeing Vicci Martinez performing solo, with no instruments and a band “back there somewhere”.  But that’s not the Vicci Martinez known throughout the Pacific Northwest. She usually has a guitar or drum slung around her and The Vicci Martinez Band is usually right there – playing with her, playing off her – and what a band it is!


Vicci Martinez Band in the Bing Lounge

Like Vicci, it seems the rest of the band also started playing at a young age.  Keyboard player Eric Robert was noodling around as a kid on an organ in his family living room; Lead Guitarist, Rod Cook was playing at the age of nine. Drummer Darin Watkins couldn’t play professionally and attend school at the same time, so he left school at 14 and has been playing ever since.  And even though we couldn’t find out how old Bassist Jeff Leonard was the first time he figured out how four strings could carry a line through a song, our money is riding on…young.

These guys are all at the top of their game and not only play with Vicci but continue to play with other stellar musicians.  Lets hope that no matter where Vicci’s career goes, these musicians continue to partner with her and deliver the vibe, whether its rock, blues or funk, that we’ve come to know from the Vicci Martinez Band.

Here’s a little more about the band:

Eric Robert – Keyboards

Eric is a self-taught pianist who hails from Mount Vernon, VA. Recognized for his rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” he has performed it for many sporting events including for all the major Seattle teams.

Eric has performed with Moby Grape founder Jerry Miller (one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s top 100 guitarists of all time), the BB King Orchestra, Keb Mo’, Maria Muldaur, Tab Benoit and others. Some of his work on synthesizers for the B-3 organ remind us of Brian Auger. Maybe he picked up the English influence during his studies at Cambridge.


Ron Cook - Lead GuitaristRod Cook – Lead Guitar

Rod Cook is a well respected, in demand Seattle area guitarist known for his stylistic versatility and soulful melodic playing.  He started playing professionally at 20 and has worked with many greats including Taj Mahal, as an opening act for Todd Rundgren and Charlie Musslewhite.  In 1996 he launched his own band, Rod Cook and Toast which released three albums.

Besides working with Vicci Martinez, Rod is involved in several other projects including performing with Little Bill Englehart and working on a new project Snake Oil with Mark Riley, Rob Moitoza and Marty Vadalabene.  In 2004 Rod received the award for Best Acoustic Guitar and Best Electric Guitar from the Washington Blues Society’s “Best of the Blues” Awards program.  In 2006 he again received the Best Acoustic Guitar award.


Jeff Leonard - BassJeff Leonard – Bass

Jeff is known in the Pacific Northwest as a go to guy for that solid groove whether it’s live or as a studio player.  He currently works with bands including Higher Vibes, Robby Walden and the Gunslingers and The Glistening Moments.

With influences from across the spectrum from Pino Palladino to Nina Simone and Paul Simon, Jeff has the sold bass line that supports you wherever you want to go.


Darin Watkins – Drums

When Darin left school at 14 to play drums, he didn’t look back. He’s been going strong ever since and taken on the mantle of drummer to DIY musicians around the country.  Recent work with producer Evan Brubaker has him working on several singer/songwriter projects.

Darin also plays regularly with Grammy nominated Celtic/jazz/rock violinist Geoffrey Castle and bands like Flask and Higher Vibes.  In addition to his work with Vicci Martinez you can also hear Darin taking rhythm to new places with Aaron Daniel, Julian Moon and Martine Locke.