I’ve been a Martin Sexton fan for about a decade. Starting out as a busker in his native Cambridge, Massachusetts, Martin learned early on how to play for and interact with crowds of any size and make it seem as though each was getting a private show.
First encountering him on NPR, I was captivated immediately by his magical vocal range, writing, improvisational abilities, humor and well, just about everything. In the ensuing years, Sexton has released a string of disks filled with a virtuosity and creativity that surpasses many if not most of his contemporaries. The following clip fails to do him justice but I want to share it anyway, because if this is your first exposure to him, it should make you want more.
Martin Sexton is truly an independent artist. Having become disgruntled with his original contracts, he started his own label. Rich by no means, Sexton works when he wants to and makes enough to keep going. His is a true passion for what he does and it shows.
Martin is a crowd pleaser. His shows are intimate, featuring a lot of give and take from audience members. Call and response is common and his shows always seem spontaneous. Fans go expecting surprises.
It’s hard to find high-quality “produced” clips of Martin performing. Much more common are ones shot from the floor, with audience obscuring the view and sound that’s dicey at best but if you dig, you will be rewarded. And if you actually buy a Martin Sexton disk, you’ll be hooked. This is his appropriately titled “Happy.”