“I couldn’t imagine doing something where you sit at a desk. I could never work at a bank,” Leather Craftsman Steve Martinez said as he dressed the edges of medallion-sized leather key fobs at his workbench. When Martinez is not at his workbench, he might be heard playing bagpipes at the laundromat as he waits for the wash and dry cycles to finish.
Martinez gravitates to the more eclectic instruments. He is part of a rhythm and bass, all-covers band that practices twice weekly. His bandmate, Jeff “Jeffro” Cowell, plays rhythm ukulele, and Martinez plays a homemade stand-up bass consisting of a nylon string tied to a 20-litre jerrycan via sotol stalk.
Last month’s heavy show schedule may attest otherwise. The duo played two shows in Kerrville, including the Kerrville Folk Festival, one show at the Crystal Bar in Alpine, and one in Marfa. At one point, they had a six-week residency at the St. George Hotel in Marfa.
Even so, Martinez would love to play more.
“I would love to be a full-time musician,” he said.
Until then, customers can count on the sturdy craftsmanship of handmade leather goods Martinez provides at Big Bend Saddlery.