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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

A distinguished UF chemistry professor is combining music and science with the release of his first solo album, “Genius Boy Music.”

Charles “Chuck” Martin calls his new album “funk-filled” with “some blue-eyed soul” through his Twitter page. There will be an album release show Nov. 22 in downtown Gainesville at Loosey’s, a bar specializing in live music.

On his YouTube channel, he has garnered hundreds of views on his videos, including a song “Me & Stella,” which is about his cat and is included on the new album.

Out of the 12 songs featured, two are written about and dedicated to his black-and-white domestic longhair feline.

“Stella is like the daughter I never had,” he said.

Martin has released four other albums with the bands “dblWiDE” and “The Righteous Kind,” which were rock ’n’ roll and rockabilly bands, but this is his first venture into writing, producing and recording a solo album.

“Each album I’ve made has gotten better,” Martin said.

He described “Genius Boy Music” as eclectic with sounds of rock, jazz, blues and R&B. James Brown, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, Lou Reed and Frank Zappa are musical inspirations and he said he tries to mix an array of influences to make a unique sound.

The album features 15 guest artists who are local Gainesville musicians, including performance artist and the Rev. Tom Miller, who plays the bass on most of the tracks.

“Chuck’s a prankster and we have a lot of fun,” Miller said. “He’s got a thing for his cat. I don’t know what’s going on there.”

They met playing in “The Righteous Kind” together, and he was asked to play bass for Martin’s album. Miller said the strength of the album is that it’s incredibly diverse.

“Chuck Martin is kind of like Gainesville’s ‘Buckaroo Banzai,’” he said.

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Martin also wrote a song dedicated to his freshman chemistry students: “When you take chemistry / you’ve got to study every day / but chem’s so groovy / you’re going to want to anyway.”

Reuters listed Martin as one of the world’s top 100 influential chemists in 2011.

“I’m the only person to have won international awards in songwriting and research,” he said.

Always playing new material for his wife, he calls her the “ultimate truth test” for her honest reactions to his music.

“Musicians should always grow,” Martin said. “When you rest on your laurels, you’re dead.”

A version of this story ran on page 1 on 10/29/2013 under the headline "UF professor drops solo album"

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