S a l t    M a r t i a n s

B l u e g r a s s    B a n d

The Salt Martians (whose name is a winking reference to the nearby Carpinteria Salt Marsh) are a Santa Barbara-based, all-acoustic bluegrass band, established in 2005. Their repertoire ranges from Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Jimmy Martin to Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and the Byrds, always delivered in a driving traditional style.

Texas native Ken Gaston (guitar and lead vocals) provides solid rhythm, a huge list of songs and his winning stage presence. He and native Californian Tim Mullins (banjo, dobro and harmony vocals) first performed together in the mid-seventies at Santa Barbara's legendary Bluebird Cafe. After some time off to raise families they reunited, along with Santa Barbara hometown boy and rockabilly ace Aaron Douglas (string bass and harmony vocals) to form the Martians. From an Oklahoma musical family came Doug Toews (mandolin, lead and harmony vocals), who brought his decades of bluegrass scholarship and playing expertise to the band and raised the bar musically when he joined in 2012.

The Martians have performed at scores of venues over the years, from UCSB's World Music Series to the Old Time Fiddler's Convention to the Parkfield Bluegrass Festival and too many weddings and private events to list. The band now has a combined total of 107 Martian years (202 Earth years!) of performing experience.


Here's a nice shot of the band at the Alisal Ranch in September, 2015.

Tim and Kenny at the Stow House on the Fourth of July, 2014.

The Salt Martians at the Paradise Store on Father's Day, June 15, 2014.

Here we are at the historic Stow House for the 2013 Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration.

Here's a picture of an earlier version of the Martians at the 2010 Parkfield Bluegrass Festival.

Here's Tim receiving instructions from his home planet.

And here's a sketch of us by Santa Barbara artist Larry Iwerks.

And an oil painting of us playing at the Bacara by local artist Chris Potter.

Here are some candid pictures of the Martians in their younger days.


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© 2014 Tim Mullins