Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography Courtesy of Terra Bella
They say that chemistry is clear in the way people act around one another, and while the chemistry that married couple and musical duo Joe and Martina Costa share—once criticized by fellow mates of a previous band as “too lovey dovey”—might have gotten them kicked out of said band, it’s precisely that chemistry that makes them such a dynamic team in creating music and capturing their audiences.
Having met ten years ago through mutual friends on MySpace when Martina was in need of guitar lessons, the Central California Valley-based couple fell in love over their shared love of country music, going on to forge their own path on the country music scene as they formed Terra Bella and began to write, produce, and record their very own songs and release an album that earned them notice by Billboard Magazine as “One to Watch” in 2018.
With attention like that, it’s hardly any wonder that Terra Bella is officially endorsed by LR Baggs acoustic pickups and pedals, D’Addario, and Colorado’s Greeley Hat Works in addition to serving as brand ambassadors for Rural Haze and Double D Ranch Clothing, proving that they not only have the sound, they’ve got the look to back them up. Knowing their family backgrounds in farming and agriculture, it makes sense; as does the fact that Martina considers Wynona Judd her spirit animal and Joe is a complete fan-boy of country music idol Merle Haggard.
While Martina might never have imagined such a bright future as she stood singing karaoke onstage at Buck Owen’s Crystal Palace in her early 20s, her vocal talents—combined with Joe’s skills in songwriting and singing—have catapulted them into a career that seems limitless. As Terra Bella, the duo recorded their first Billboard Indicator (#51) and Music Row (#42) charting song with the single “You've Got That Somethin'” from Road To Forever; and their debut full-length project There’s A Country Song was released in 2018, featuring singles “Before You,” “Wild One,” and the current chart climber entitled “Middle of Nowhere, USA,” whose official music video was filmed entirely in their hometowns and premiered worldwide via CMT online.
Prolific in his songwriting, Joe either wrote or co-wrote all nine tracks on There’s A Country Song and received his first certified platinum record cut with “Don’t Tempt Me” on Luke Combs’ album This One’s for You. And while many artists leave the heavy work to someone else, There’s A Country Song was co-produced and engineered by Joe, laying down the tracks at Terra Bella’s home studio in Hendersonville, Tennessee, where the heart of country music beats strong.
Working with Johnny Garcia—whose own resume boasts time with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood—as lead guitarist, Terra Bella is in the midst of producing and recording a new EP from their home studio, looking forward to its release in the near future as they tour the country. As part of their tour, they’ll be stopping in the Clarksville area, winning over their audience with their unique sound, their love of music, and—of course—that undeniable chemistry they share on stage. “It’s a true honor to be invited back on stage at Fort Campbell. I can’t wait to share our new music with everyone there that night,” says Martina.
“We’re both huge advocates for our military and their families, so it’s always an amazing feeling to perform for them,” adds Joe. “The entire Clarksville community has been so kind to us, and we’re super excited to come back.”