Fall Like Rain, Martin Sexton’s brand-new EP, finds this artist again asking relevant questions and challenging the status quo. Entertaining us all the while, he continues to call for unity in “One Voice Together” and adds: “In a world of warfare, peace is bad for business . . .” A timely cover of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” reminds us it’s time to “stop, hey, what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down.” On this record, the artist subtly and seamlessly blends infectious tunes with a powerful message.
His “soul-marinated voice” (Rolling Stone) shimmers on the soaring falsetto on the title track: “I wanna feel, I wanna fall like rain, without the shelter, so I can see which way the wind is blowin’ today.”
Why an EP? Sexton says, “These songs are relevant today and I didn’t want to wait to release a full-length album. And in a down economy, we’re getting new music to people for the price of a soy latte.”
A native of Syracuse, N.Y., and the tenth of 12 children, Martin Sexton grew up in the ’80s. Uninterested in the music of the day, he fueled his dreams with the timeless sounds of classic rock ’n’ roll. As he discovered the dusty old vinyl left in the basement by one his big brothers, his musical fire was lit. Sexton eventually migrated to Boston, where he began to build a following singing on the streets of Harvard Square, gradually working his way through the scene. His 1992 collection of self-produced demo recordings, In the Journey, was recorded on an old 8-track in a friend’s attic. He managed to sell 20,000 copies out of his guitar case.
From 1996 to 2002 Sexton released Black Sheep, The American, Wonder Bar and Live Wide Open. The activity and worldwide touring behind these records laid the foundation for the career he enjoys today with an uncommonly loyal fan base; he sells out venues from New York’s Nokia Theatre to L.A.’s House of Blues, and tours regularly across Canada and Europe.
Happily and fiercely independent, Martin Sexton launched his own label, KTR, in 2002. Since then he has infiltrated many musical worlds, performing at concerts ranging from pop (collaborating with John Mayer) to the Jam scene to classic rock (collaborating with Peter Frampton); from the Newport Folk Fest to Bonnaroo to New Orleans Jazz Fest to a performance at Carnegie Hall.
Regardless of his reputation as a musician’s musician, Sexton can’t keep Hollywood away. His songs can be heard in many feature films and television including NBC’s Scrubs, Parenthood and Showtime’s hit series Brotherhood.
Stage, film and television aside, when Sexton isn’t touring he often mixes entertainment with his sense of social responsibility, performing at benefits for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang camp, the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Japan earthquake/tsunami relief (The John Lennon Tribute), and Hurricane Irene relief efforts in Vermont, to name some.
In 2007 Sexton began his most successful years to date with the release of his studio offering Seeds. The album debuted at #6 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart, and the Los Angeles Times said, “Call him a soul shouter, a road poet, a folkie or a rocker and you wouldn’t be wrong.”
The live CD/DVD set Solo, which includes a DVD of his performance at Denver’s Mile High Festival, followed in 2008.
In 2010 the album Sugarcoating found this one-of-a-kind-troubadour doing what he does best: locating larger truths. After hearing it, NBC anchor Brian Williams sought Martin out to sit down for an interview backstage at New York’s Beacon Theatre. It’s now featured on MSNBC’s BriTunes.
The accolades continue. Billboard called Sexton’s version of “Working Class Hero” for the Lennon tribute/benefit in 2010 “chill-inspiring.” Released this November as part of The 30th Annual John Lennon Tribute album, the track is available on iTunes.
The New York Times noted that this artist “jumps beyond standard fare on the strength of his voice, a blue-eyed soul man’s supple instrument,” adding, “his unpretentious heartiness helps him focus on every soul singer’s goal: to amplify the sound of the ordinary heart.”
Billboard called Sexton “The real thing, people, a star with potential to permanently affect the musical landscape and keep us entertained for years to come.”
MARTIN SEXTON U.S. HEADLINING TOUR, WINTER 2011-12:
Fri., Dec. 2 SELLERSVILLE, PA Sellersville Theater; solo acoustic; Tom Hamilton opens
Sat., Dec. 3 HUDSON, NY Club Helsinki; solo acoustic; Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion open
Fri., Dec. 9 WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ Pollak Theatre; solo acoustic
Sat., Dec. 10 RIDGEFIELD, CT Ridgefield Playhouse; solo acoustic
Sun., Dec. 11 WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT Tupelo Music Hall; solo acoustic
Sat., Dec. 31 BURLINGTON, VT Higher Ground
Thurs., Jan. 19 ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark; Bhi Bhiman opens
Fri., Jan. 20 CHICAGO, IL Park West; Bhi Bhiman opens
Sat., Jan. 21 STOUGHTON, WI Stoughton Opera House; Bhi Bhiman opens
Sun., Jan. 22 ST. PAUL, MN Fitzgerald Theater; Bhi Bhiman opens
Wed., Jan. 25 IDAHO FALLS, ID Colonial Theater; Adam Gontier opens
Thurs., Jan. 26 MISSOULA, MT The Wilma Theatre; Adam Gontier opens
Fri., Jan. 27 PORTLAND, OR Aladdin Theater; Adam Gontier opens
Sat. Jan. 28 SEATTLE, WA The Neptune Theatre; Adam Gontier opens
Sun., Jan. 29 SPOKANE, WA Bing Crosby Theater; Adam Gontier opens
Tues., Jan. 31 CRYSTAL BAY, NV The Crystal Bay Club; Adam Gontier opens
Wed., Feb. 1 GRASS VALLEY, CA Center for the Arts; Adam Gontier opens
Thurs., Feb. 2 SAN FRANCISCO, CA The Fillmore; Adam Gontier opens
Fri. Feb. 3 LOS ANGELES, CA El Rey Theatre; Adam Gontier opens
Sat. Feb. 4 SOLANA BEACH, CA Belly Up Tavern; Adam Gontier opens
Tues. Feb. 7 PHOENIX, AZ Compound Grill; Adam Gontier opens
Thurs., Feb. 9 DALLAS, TX Kessler Theater
Fri. Feb. 10 HOUSTON, TX House of Blues
Sat., Feb. 11 AUSTIN, TX Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater