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Doctors prescribe a good time in support of COPE

“It’s like their golf game,” Rick Loreto, the lead singer for Hamilton-based, rock group Martha Rocks, says.

“They’re mostly doctors and they lead pretty hectic lives. This is a good way to relax and have some fun.”

What drew Rick to the band, though, wasn’t just that the majority of the members were doctors, it was what they were doing. “They won’t take a penny from tickets, it’s all given to local charities.”

Martha Rocks will be playing at The Bell Tower on Saturday, April 6 at 8 p.m.., with ticket sales going to the food bank at Community Outreach Program Erie, better known as COPE, in Fort Erie.

“Four out of the six of us are doctors, I’m a PhD,” Rick laughs, “but not in the medical field.”

The doctors hail from Hamilton General, Juravinski, and St. Catharines General and the charities they support are all locally-based in the health care area, focused on healthcare and the “social determinants of health,” Rick says.

Martha Rocks has played in Niagara at the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC) in St. Catharines and the Oast House in Niagara-On-The-Lake in support of the Walker Family Cancer Centre. In Hamilton, they have supported Keeping Six, and addictions support centre that rose in response to the recent opioids crisis in Ontario.

Rick is looking forward to performing at The Bell Tower.

“It really has it all,” he says. The nice stage, lighting, and green room are nice touches, but what he really looks for is a good community partner who shares the cause. In The Bell Tower, Rick has found those qualities he looks for.

Martha Rocks’ covers include popular classic rock hits from bands like Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, and even some Metallica.

“I’m the oldest, but the other guys are in their forties and their roots are in the 90s, so their tastes tend to dominate.” But, Rick is always open to these sounds. An accomplished musician, Rick has toured the U.S. and Canada with his own groups and has opened for Bob Seger and Ted Nugent.

“Once you start writing original songs, you don’t have the same enthusiasm for covers anymore.” Blair Leonard, the lead singer and guitarist for Martha Rocks, “is particularly creative at writing songs.” Blair has written thirteen original songs for Martha Rocks that are making the rounds to their audiences. According to Rick, they’re a “little more poppy,” but one in particular, “The Sound of Rock and Roll,” is “pure AC/DC.”

With all these originals in their repertoire – the second set of their Bell Tower show will be comprised completely of original songs – Martha Rocks is heading into the studio in June with a targeted release date of sometime in December. Just like their live shows, all proceeds from their record sales – including streaming revenue – will be going to local charities. They’ll also be taking their original songs to the Mod Club in Toronto on April 18th for the Rock For Dimes competition.

Tickets for Martha Rocks on Saturday, April 6 at the Bell Tower Community Arts and Entertainment Complex are on sale at Doors for the show open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.

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