In a world where so much of the music which receives mainstream coverage is formulaic it’s easy to overlook the independent artists determined to do it their way.

Christina Martin, who plays Barnoldswick Music and Arts Centre in a couple of weeks’ time, has been making music on her terms for more than 20 years. With eight albums under her belt - the most recent, Storm, was released in September last year - she has an impressive back catalogue.

Lancashire Telegraph: Christina Martin and Dale Murray (Picture: Peter Mettler)

Fitting loosely into the Americana label, although she’s from Canada, Christina first developed her own sound when she moved to Austin in Texas.

“I wasn’t a singer songwriter until I got to Austin,” she said. “I knew I liked singing and had a good voice and some musical abilities although I never really fostered that. I quit piano lessons as a child and didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

“But in Austin I discovered all these singer songwriters who were telling stories, just them and their guitar. I was enthralled by the likes of Shaun Colvin, Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams.

“There were all these ‘Americana’ artists which I’d never heard of. I’d grown up listening to the radio where it was all pop and rock so I liked Bowie, the Stones and even Annie Lennox

“Even then I would always listen to the lyrics of people like Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. But it was in my early 20s in Austin that I really discovered this whole world of singer songwriters and I started to emulate them. Even today I still write in a similar fashion as I did when I first started out.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Christina Martin

Christina’s debut album Pretty Things was released in 2002 and set the tone for what was to follow.

Each of her subsequent albums has developed as she has explored new avenues but she remains a storyteller at heart.

Storm, the latest album, is noticeable for featuring strings and is arguably her most ambitious record to date.

But how will she bring that to UK audiences given that she will be touring solely with husband Dale Murray, who also produced the album, on guitar?

“The recorded version is always its own art form,” she said. “The reality of touring is that you cannot afford to take a whole bunch of strings with you out on the road. But I just look at the songs from a different perspective.

“First of all I have to ask ‘do I want to play them live?’. Some songs just won’t work as well in a stripped back format.

“But it’s also realising that it’s about me being myself on stage. It’s taken me a while to realise that’s the key. When you start out it’s just you, your guitar and your song. You love adding stuff partly because you can and also it might be part of the vision you have for a particular song.

Lancashire Telegraph: Christina Martin (Picture: Cherakee Andresen)

“But the reality is when it comes to playing live, it’s all about you and your song.

“Also as you get older you are in a better position to look at how you can strip things back and appreciate the space you create in doing that.”

For the tour which kicks off tonight in Milton Keynes, Christina will be presenting songs from her back catalogue as well as the new album.

“I love making records and arranging them, you have this magical dreamscape, it’s our playground if you like. But I also love playing live. You just have to think how do we do this?

“With older songs I’m always interested to see if the message still resonates, does the message feel relevant. In terms of actually singing them - and I’ll be going way back to my first album for a couple of songs on tour - my voice hasn’t changed too much.

“I think that the stories in between the songs also helps put them into context. Then you have some songs which over the years fans have come to love and then there are a few songs which I just want to do out of curiosity.”

In spite of the hundreds of live shows she has done - her last visit to Europe before Christmas saw Christina complete 36 shows - she admits that she still gets nervous.

“I am a nervous person,” she said. “It is nerve wracking to get up on stage in front of people all staring at you. It’s easier playing in bars where no-one cares what you are doing,” she laughed. “But you just have to be yourself and remember that all those people are there to support you.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Christina Martin

Having husband Dale with her on tour is an added bonus.

“He’s a remarkable musician and I don’t think he ever worries about his performance,” she said. “He’s ready for anything.

“I’m very fortunate that he made the choice to support my touring life and to record music at home in our own studio. Those are our main priorities. We’re 15 years in to marriage and I think it would have been really hard on both of us if one was away too long.

“When you’re married you want to have fun with that person, experience all highs and lows and the weird stuff together - it’s good to celebrate good moments.”

As an independent artist Christina is involved in every aspect of putting a tour together including dealing with promoters and booking hotels.

“It is such a lot of work,” she said. “There are times when you can start to resent it and almost burn out but you just have to take a step back and chill and prepare to go again. There are days when you’re not sure you can carry on as you can be faced by this waterfall of people saying ‘no’ and things not going right.

“Then something good happens and it’s like a little canoe coming along to help you. Then there are the fans. When you get to play your songs in front of people who clearly appreciate what you do, then you forget all the other stuff.”

Christina Martin, Barnoldswick Music and Arts Centre, Wednesday March 13. Details from