Chill Out Island

From New Age to downtempo electronica to acoustic folk, Chill Out Island surveys the finest in relaxing music.

Blind New York singer/songwriter sees love and wisdom through soulful shades


Reviewed by Carson James

Artist: Vinny St. Marten

Title: Blindness Is a State of Mind

You see the cover — a bald, white man in shades enveloped in darkness, and you become intrigued. Immediately you get the impression that this isn’t pop music, at least what passes for such on commercial radio stations. In fact, although I can hear the late ’60s-early ’70s AM influences that color the music of New York singer/songwriter Vinny St. Marten, that doesn’t mean you’ve heard any of this before. Rather, this is one of those records that is so personal, so close to the artist who created it, it doesn’t feel like it belongs to any genre at all.

While there are only three tunes on the EP (not including Marten’s heartfelt, informative introductions to each of them), we don’t feel short-changed although it does leave us yearning for more. “Think About It (Roy’s Song)” deals with the subject of racism in a powerful, non-preachy manner. Using audio samples from Martin Luther King, Jr. as an anchor, Marten relates the true story of his friendship with a black boy named Roy. Since Marten is blind, the color of Roy’s skin was at first completely unknown and then irrelevant to him. It’s a beautifully moving tale with poignant, dramatic narrative punched by Marten’s bluesy singing. On “Please Let Me Be Your Eyes,” Marten duets with Elysa Sunshine for a soulful declaration of love that has deeper meaning the more you analyze the lyrics. Their singing is gorgeous and hauntingly pretty. The sentimental “16 Grove Street” ends the EP with Marten’s homage to his family. It’s almost as if he’s opened the front door of his house for you and let you in. But really it’s his heart that has allowed you entry, and every cut on this CD beats with the pulse of life. Unforgettable.


  Quigley James wrote @

This review is so right on. I love the songs. They definitely hit the heart in the deepest place. Great mix as well. God’s blessings on you guys!

  jazzmaster wrote @

give me a break !!! no big whoop lol

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