You’ve heard of the King of the North. But have you heard of ‘Girl from the North Country’?

Thorne Bay family, led by 13-year-old Sophia Martin, takes to the main stage at Folk Fest Saturday

Courtesy Photo | Isaac Martin Sophia Martin, 13, of Thorne Bay, who performs under the name ‘Girl From The North Country, will perform at on the main stage at Centennial Hall 2:30 p.m. Saturday. (Isaac Martin | Courtesy Photo)

Singing for Sophia Martin was of little interest to her when she was 7-years-old — that is until she actually performed.


“I just remember I never really wanted to sing at first,” Martin, 13, of Thorne Bay, said. “Then one day I wanted to sing at church and my dad played the piano. I realized I really liked singing and it took off from there.”

Martin, who performs under the name Girl From the North Country and has been performing at Folk Fest since she was 10 years old will be taking her talent to the main stage at Centennial Hall at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Part of her performance will include a song with her family.

“None of us were ever really musically inclined,” Isaac Martin, Sophia’s father, said in an interview Thursday. “That was until Sophia got involved.”

Now, Isaac said, the whole family plays, although he is concerned about his position as Sophia’s guitar player.

“As quickly as Sophia is improving, I am little scared I might get fired as her guitar player,” he joked. “Really, Sophia just makes us want to do better.”

Along with Sophia and Isaac on stage, will be Sophia’s mother, Katie (guitar) and her younger siblings, Jolie, 10 (fiddle), Tess, 9, (mandolin) and Everett, 7, (percussion).

Isaac said he would like the family to be good enough to be an actual band, but that is not the biggest reason he encourages his children to perform.

“The main goal is to give them some kind of passion or hobby,” Isaac said. “But, it also makes us sit down together every night if we have to plan for an event.”

Sophia will also perform three songs as a solo act. She will sing a song written by her Uncle Fred Martin and will wrap up her 15-minute set with two folk songs. Sophia said she likes performing because it lets her connect with the audience.

“People have told me that I am singing for them,” she said. “Connecting with people through music is sort of a blessing and to share (my music) with them is fun.”

While she enjoys performing, Sophia is not concerning herself about becoming a big star, but she always wants music to play a role in her life.

“I don’t want to become super-big or anything,” Sophia said. “My dream is just to live on a farm, run a bed and breakfast, still carry through with my music and maybe have a family that plays music, too.

• Contact reporter Gregory Philson at or call at 523-2265. Follow him on Twitter at @GTPhilson.

Know & Go

What: Girl From the North Country (Sophia Martin)

When: Saturday — 2:30 p.m., Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive


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