|This article relies on references to primary sources. (June 2008)|
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Sexton performing May 5, 2010 with the Ryan Montbleau Band
|Birth name||Martin Sexton|
March 2, 1966 |
Syracuse, New York
|Genres||Rock, Blue-eyed soul, Folk, Americana|
|Occupations||Musician, Songwriter, Producer|
|Labels||Kitchen Table Records (KTR), Atlantic|
Sexton grew up the tenth of twelve children in a working class Irish-American family. He acquired his first guitar, a Sears & Roebuck acoustic model at age 14 and later played in local rock and roll bands. Looking to find his own voice, he left home when he was 22 years old and began busking as a street performer in Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Sexton's music blends many genres of American music, including soul, gospel, country, rock, blues, and R&B. He is known for his wide vocal range and ability to improvise. He is also known for beatboxing and scat singing guitar solos. Onstage, he often plays fingerstyle guitar on a Godin model A6 and uses a distortion effect on a 2nd microphone to "sing" solos.
In 2007, his song "Diner" reached a wide TV audience when it appeared in the Scrubs episode "My Night to Remember." Other songs have been featured on NBC's Parenthood "Diggin Me", Showtime's Brotherhood "Can't Stop Thinking Bout You" and others.
Sexton has collaborated with many artists including John Mayer "Can't Stop Thinking Bout You" video and Peter Frampton Frampton & Sexton Jammy Awards at Madison Square Garden.
- NBC anchor Brian Williams talks to Sexton about life, music and Sugarcoating. BriTunes interview with Martin Sexton
- NPR's All Things Considered - Michele Norris NPR Interview
- NPR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook - Martin Sexton interview
Sexton also plays in venues such as The Capitol Theatre, The Fillmore, Nokia, Bonnaroo, Montreal Jazz Fest, New Orleans Jazz fest, Rothbury and more.
A native of Syracuse, New York, Martin Sexton grew up in the 1980s, uninterested in the sounds of the day, and fueled his dreams on the timeless sounds of classic rock and roll. Sexton eventually migrated to Boston, where he began to build his following singing on the streets of Harvard Square and 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 the attic of his friend Matt Samolis. He managed to sell 20,000 copies out of his guitar case busking.
In 1991 he released his own record, In the Journey, in cassette format and astonishingly Sexton sold 15,000 copies of his cassette-only album through the strength of his live shows and rigorous tours throughout the U.S.
1996-2002 Sexton released Black Sheep, The American, Wonder Bar and Live Wide Open (mixed by Jon Alagia – Dave Matthews Band, John Mayer). The activity and worldwide touring behind these records laid the foundation for the career he enjoys today with an uncommonly loyal fan base, selling out venues from Nokia Theatre (NY) to LA's House of Blues.
Happily and fiercely independent, Martin Sexton launched his own label KTR (2002). Since then, his continual success through his diversity infiltrates many musical worlds – ranging everywhere from Jam Cruise to Denver's Mile High Fest to Mayercraft Carrier to Carnegie Hall. His songs are featured in film and television including recent placements on NBC's Scrubs and Showtime's hit series Brotherhood.
"Martin Sexton is ripe with raw, expansive talent. His voice comes in a hundred impossible shades. His songs are sweet and spirited and soulful. His repertoire is like a cross-country tour of the American musical vernacular." —Boston Globe
The New York Times wrote that this artist "jumps beyond standard fare on the strength of his voice, a blue-eyed soul man's supple instrument," adding that "his unpretentious heartiness helps him focus on every soul singer's goal: to amplify the sound of the ordinary heart."
Since 2007/08 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 writes, "Call him a soul shouter, a road poet, a folkie or a rocker and you wouldn't be wrong."
On the heels of Seeds, the CD/DVD set Solo was released in October 2008 documenting a series of recent unaccompanied live appearances and includes a DVD of his performance at Mile High Festival, Denver Colorado. The album captures Sexton's critically acclaimed incendiary live set in theatres coast-to-coast.
In 2009, he won Best Live Performance Album at the 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for his album Solo.
In 2010 his latest studio release, Sugarcoating, finds this one-of-a-kind-troubadour doing what he does best: locating larger truths within the specific details of the life he's living. NBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed Sexton in November 2010 at the Beacon Theatre.
- 2012 - Fall Like Rain (EP) (Kitchen Table)
- 2010 - Sugarcoating (Kitchen Table)
- 2008 - Solo (Kitchen Table)
- 2007 - Seeds (Kitchen Table)
- 2005 - Camp Holiday (Kitchen Table)
- 2001 - Live Wide Open (Kitchen Table)
- 2000 - Wonder Bar (Atlantic Records)
- 1998 - The American (Atlantic Records)
- 1996 - Black Sheep (Koch International)
- 1992 - In the Journey (Koch Entertainment)
- Live & Direct - Volume 3, WYEP-FM, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (2001) - "Where Did I Go Wrong"
- Live at the World Café - Volume 9 (1999) - "The American"
- Live & Direct - Volume 1, WYEP-FM, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (1999) - "The American"
- Heard, Mike; Li (Joseph). "Martin Sexton @ House of Blues Houston". Current Concert Events in Houston. EventMonsters. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- St. Leger, Marie Elsie (November 9, 2000). "Martin Sexton Finds Joy, Hope and Wonder". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "Career Development: Martin Sexton". ASCAP. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- "Live & Direct CDs". WYEP-FM. Retrieved 2009-05-19.