Easily one of the most talented and dynamic singer-songwriters around today, Martin Sexton has been in the contemporary folk scene since the late 80's. His powerful vocal talent, soulful songwriting, and sizzling live performances have earned him distinction in a crowded music scene of folk-rock-pop crossovers. A native of Syracuse, NY, Martin got his foot in the door while touring coffeehouses in Boston. He has released 5 albums, so far, all of which are worthwhile to own, despite a small amount of repeated material.
Martin borrows from many musical styles for his songs; contemporary folk, traditional folk, blues, and rock/pop are all well represented, while bluegrass, hard rock, lounge music, and other styles are noticeable in many of songs. His songs are catchy, creative tunes that masterfully showcase his talents: Good guitar playing, excellent sense of rhythm and timing, and his inhuman vocal flexibility and range. While many of his studio recordings feature backup singers, accompanists, and studio effects, Martin's songs are all written to be played live, usually solo or with just a drummer. Lyrically, Martin writes mainly about travelling and his bittersweet experiences with love, as well as some delightfully unpretentious musings on the nature of life.
Don't let his crisp, well-produced albums fool you; Martin is only in his element as a live performer. I saw him perform once and would quickly take any chance to do it again. Simply put, Martin has more raw performance ability than any musician I've ever seen. While other artists (even ones that customarily take the stage alone) often sound hollow and muted when they perform solo, Martin has an uncanny ability to make songs sound whole with only his voice and an electric or acoustic guitar. His guitar is tuned so the low string can be thumbed to emulate a bass guitar. Simultaneously, he plays melody on the other 5 strings. He can play rhythm by thumping the guitar's soundboard when he plays without a drummer. Martin's rich voice, that can sing with power anywhere from a medium tenor to a soaring falsetto, delivers lyrics and sound effects without ever holding back. He keeps a distorted microphone a few feet from his main microphone, with which he can convincingly mimic (with his voice) a muted trumpet or a wailing electric guitar. He cracks jokes, he does impressions, he tells stories. He brings interesting surprise guests. Martin Sexton on stage is a force to be reckoned with.