When I saw Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant were going on their Christmas tour this year with someone named Marc Martel, I was like, “who is this dude? Is he even Christian?” Yes, I was that judgmental. But, my thinking was that normally they feature Christian artists whose view of Christmas is Christian leaning. So I googled Marc and at first I was like “He’s in a Queen cover band and sang some of the Freddie Mercury parts for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody? I guess he’s not Christian.”
Oops. That was judgmental again. Yes, I know.
But, it turns out that Marc is both in a Queen cover band and a Christian, who got his start in a Christian rock band he toured with for 13 years. He can also pretty much mimic some of my favorite artists, including Keith Green, a Christian singer from the 1970s and 1980s.
For those of you who may not know him, Keith passed away in a plane crash in the early 80s, along with two of his three children. I remember the day he died because my mom cried, later telling me she didn’t understand why God had taken him away so soon. He was only 28 when he passed away but the legacy he’s left behind is incredible. His lyrics were very deep and convicting for Christians, something we could really use today as a church.
I fell into a sort of YouTube spiral with Marc’s music last week and when I heard he was influenced by Keith I had to look up and see if he’d ever sung a song by him. He had indeed. The recording was made before Marc knew as much about videography so he’s a bit out of focus, but I wanted to share the video here, along with one of Keith so you can see how close Marc’s voice is to his.
Here are a few videos of Marc singing in the style of Freddie Mercury.
Here is a recording he did last year with Kevin Max, of DC Talk fame. Love the blend of their voices.
And here is a horrible video reproduction but an amazing version of Michael W. Smith’s “All Is Well” he sang while he was on tour with Smitty and Amy this fall and winter.
And for something different – here he is singing like Pavarotti and Freddie Mercury in the style they would both sing Nessun Dorma (if Freddie had ever sung that song).
And a bonus….this rendition of Unchained Melody will haunt you — in a good way. I’m not a big fan of this song, to be honest, but the way he does it – wow. I’d listen to it over and over and I have. He definitely puts his own spin on it.
Okay, one more bonus: Marc singing “Is He Worthy” by Andrew Peterson.
Amazingly, Marc does not seem to have a record deal (despite being chosen to sing lead in a Queen tribute band back in 2011 or 2012 by the remaining Queen members) but he puts his own covers and music up on YouTube and iTunes, so you can find him there. Just be warned if you start clicking his videos on YouTube you are going to fall into a YouTube spiral of his videos because you simply want to hear more of him.
Well, did I introduce you all to someone new or were you already aware of Mr. Martel? Let me know in the comments and also check out my post from earlier this year about David Phelps, one of my other favorite singers of all time. Incidentally, the Phelps post was my most popular to date on this blog other than my post about small family farmsdisappearing, which was viewed more than 3,500 times.