rootnotemusic is a blog to explore culture and history through the lens of music. I hope you will join me on a borderless sonic journey through time and space.

My interest in music began as a small child in the late 1970s in Southern California. My bohemian mom did not have a television but she had a record player and a lot of vinyl. After dinner and bath, we would cuddle on to the sofa and listen to a wide ranging collection of music, from Miles Davis to Mongo Santamaría to The Beatles. Mom would tell us which instruments we were hearing in the music, and thus the embers of a lifelong love for music.

Besides the rock, Jazz, and Latin music my mom introduced me to, I learned about boleros and rancheros by Javier Solis, Celia Cruz and Benny Moré from my Honduran father. Also, my stepfather David, a Vietnam Vet, is a classic rock, folk, and blues encyclopedia. In the 1980s, he always had the radio tuned to KLOS and KLSX. His favorite artists are John Prine and Bruce Springstein. I’m lucky my folks had and still have impeccable taste in music.

I started this blog in 2009, the content and name was inspired by my love of learning about history, culture, and music as well as my journey through the diverse landscape of America via music (living in various states and going to hundreds of clubs and live concerts). Also, this blog is also an homage to the long running New Orleans (now syndicated) radio show, American Routes.

Since that time, so much has happened, both personally and in the landscape of living history. I abandoned my writing a few years ago, and unfortunately I lost the files of the most recent blog posts (those between 2014 -2020) but there seems like no better time than now to revisit our collective roots and routes as Americans and as citizens of the world.

~Sylvia Marina Martinez, 7/21/2020, Monterey Park, California, USA.

Road to Memphis: Jefferson Street in North Nashville
Road to Memphis: Jefferson Street in North Nashville

root (ro̵̅o̅t, ro̵ot)


  1. the part of a plant, usually below the ground, that lacks nodes, shoots, and leaves, holds the plant in position, draws water and nourishment from the soil, and stores food
  2. the source, origin, or cause of an action, quality, condition, etc.
  3. a person or family that has many descendants; ancestor
  4. the close ties one has with some place or people as through birth, upbringing, long and sympathetic association, etc.
  5. an essential or basic part; core the root of the matter
  6. a number that, when substituted for the unknown quantity in an equation, will satisfy the equation
  7. the basic tone of a chord, on which the chord is constructed; often, the fundamental
  8. the fundamental element of a word or form, exclusive of all affixes and inflectional phonetic changes

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  1. Like your material. I cover all kinds of live music in Austin. I bookmarked your page, but I must be retarded or smt, b/c I cannot figure out how to subscribe. LOL!


    • Thanks Greg! I’ll go ahead and link to your page on the blog roll/list! I haven’t gotten to the email subscribe level yet, but you subscribe through a feed reader on gmail or some other similar type reader. Here’s a couple of links as to how to do that! I use google reader to suscribe to tons of blogs and its great because you can see a snapshot of all blogs you want to follow and what’s updated, etc:


  2. Listen to this woman..she’s a genious!!! I tried to subscribe..not sure if it worked.
    🙂 Matt


  3. I found you in search of the poem ‘ Old Song”. You’re beautiful and I hope you’re doing well. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.


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