A Trailblazer of Indie-Folk Music

Paleface, born as Billy Martin, is a veteran of the indie-folk music scene in the United States. With a career spanning over three decades, he is famous for his soulful voice, heartfelt lyrics, and infectious melodies. In this article, we’ll delve into the life and work of this talented musician.

Early Life and Career

Born in New York in 1969, Paleface started playing music at an early age. He grew up listening to a diverse range of music, including punk, blues, and folk. In the late 1980s, he moved to New York City, where he started performing at open mic nights and other small venues. It was there that he met Daniel Johnston, a fellow musician who would become a lifelong friend and collaborator.

In 1991, Paleface released his debut album, simply titled “Paleface,” which showcased his raw, unfiltered talent. Over the years, he has released several other albums, including “Get Off” (1992), “How to Beat a Dead Horse” (1995), and “One Big Party” (2000), which received critical acclaim.

Collaborations and Touring

Paleface is no stranger to collaborations, having worked with a number of talented musicians throughout his career. In the mid-1990s, he formed a band called The Ramblin’ Ambassadors, which featured several prominent musicians, including The Hooters drummer David Uosikkinen. He has also collaborated with The Avett Brothers, who have cited Paleface as a major influence on their music.

Paleface is famous for his high-energy live performances, often accompanied by his longtime girlfriend, Puerto Rican drummer Monica “Mo” Samalot. The duo has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe, playing at festivals and clubs of all sizes. Their live shows are a mix of Paleface’s classic songs and new material, showcasing their unique chemistry and dynamic onstage.

Legacy and Impact

Paleface’s influence on the indie-folk music scene cannot be overstated. Several prominent musicians, including Beck, The Avett Brothers, and Kimya Dawson, have cited him as a major influence. He characterizes his music with heartfelt lyrics, catchy melodies, and unique vocal style.

In addition to his music, Paleface is also a talented artist, creating vibrant paintings and illustrations that have been featured in galleries and exhibitions throughout the United States.


Paleface is a true trailblazer of indie-folk music, with a career spanning over three decades. His soulful voice and heartfelt lyrics have inspired countless musicians, while his energetic live shows have earned him a dedicated fan base. As he continues to tour and release new material, it’s clear that Paleface’s legacy in the world of music is here to stay.

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