Dorothy Martin fronts Dorothy, playing on a bill with Chevelle and Breaking Benjamin. (Courtesy photo)

Dorothy frontwoman OK waiting for big break

Vocalist, songwriter tours with her hard-rock heroes

If there’s one thing her colorful five-year, two-album career in show business has taught Dorothy bandleader Dorothy Martin, it’s that patience is truly a virtue. Her 2016 debut disc is loaded with fist-pumping blues-metal anthems like “Missile” and “Gun in My Hand,” while her Linda Perry-ushered 2018 followup “28 Days in the Valley” puts a desert-arid, cactus-prickly sheen on that sound, giving her huge gospel voice even more maneuverability. And her chilling concert cover of “I Put a Spell on You” could scare its originator Screamin’ Jay Hawkins straight back into his stage-prop coffin. Why she’s not a superstar yet is anyone’s guess. “So sure, you can be some shallow overnight sensation,” she says. “But I’d rather be taken seriously as a songwriter and have written songs that will stand the test of time. I can wait.”

Why aren’t you a household name yet? It’s baffling.

Well, if you look back at a lot of the bands that I grew up on, like Van Halen, they toured their asses off for a decade before they got anywhere. I think the overnight sensation is more common now, with pop stars and Instagram-famous people. And I think that’s just bulls—-.

What are some recent uplifting moments?

Right now, I’m touring with Chevelle, who I grew up listening to. I think it’s been absolutely surreal to be out here on the road with them, playing all these amphitheaters. Oh, and I met Dolly Parton! I did a song with her for the soundtrack for “Dumplin,’” this film that Jennifer Aniston is producing. And Macy Gray is on the soundtrack, as well. I’ve been meeting a lot of people, like Whitney Cummings, who’s amazing and hilarious, so smart and classy, too. She’s actually become a really good friend of mine. And I know Natasha Bedingfield, too. I’ve met a lot of really incredible women, mostly.

Linda Perry swept in to your life for “28 Days” as your new producer and manager. Is she overseeing your upcoming third album?

She’s still managing me, but she’s stepping away from production this time around. So I’ve been doing my research on possible replacements, and I’m looking for someone like Rick Rubin or Dave Sardy, who did Jet and Wolfmother. But first I’m going to take a really long nap.

What lessons have you learned so far?

I try to be a good person. Always. But my real life lesson is that drugs and alcohol just don’t work for me. So I seek answers now in meditation, maybe calling a mentor, or just in forgiving someone. But I feel more intuitive and clear-headed than ever. It all just takes a little time, I guess.


Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle, Dorothy

Where: Concord Pavilion, 2000 Kirker Pass Road, Concord

When: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18

Tickets: $18 to $79

Contact: (925) 676-8742,

Pop Music

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