Martha grew up in Vermont, where clawhammer banjo was being played everywhere she went. She started on guitar, but as soon as she heard that infectious “Bum-Ditty” rhythm, she was hooked. By the time she was twenty, she was learning fiddle tunes, banjo tunes, songs, and even back-up techniques on the banjo. Soaking up tunes and old time songs as she travelled across the country, Martha listened to as many artists as possible and began to develop her own style of playing that borrowed from bluegrass, folk, old time, and even blues genres.
Making a living got in the way of playing, but as a teacher Martha could use her job skills to share her music with other players.