Martin Sexton brings his troubadour charm and sound to Fairfield
Growing up in the ’80s as one of the youngest of 12 children, Martin Sexton was uninterested in the music of the day, instead he was captivated by the timeless sounds of classic rock ’n’ roll. He left Syracuse for Boston, and spent his days singing on the streets of Harvard Square, earning money from selling his self-produced demo, which he recorded on an old 8-track in his friend’s attic.
During the six-year period between 1996 and 2002, Sexton released four indie albums and toured worldwide. The troubadour’s catalogue of songs, which have been branded as Americana, rock, blue-eyed soul and folk, have made their way onto the soundtracks of numerous feature films and television shows, and his songwriting prowess has earned him a rabid fan base.
Sexton will be heading to the Fairfield Theatre Company’s StageOne for two post-Thanksgiving concerts, Nov. 29 and 30, and looks forward to returning to the venue for the holidays.
Keith Loria: You come from a large family but you’ve said before that you wouldn’t consider yourselves a “musical family.” How did you get interested in music and performing?
Martin Sexton: As a 10-year-old, I used to sneak up to the attic where my older brothers slept and I would plug in the headphones and listen to their records — Stevie Wonder’s “Songs in the Key of Life,” Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours,” “Frampton Comes Alive” and discovering The Beatles well after their demise is where it kind of started for me.
KL: You’ll be playing two nights in Fairfield. What can you preview about the shows?
MS: Well, I’ll be bringing it on solo and, as usual, I will include the audience as the choir. With this music, we will go to church.
KL: Will there be differences? If someone comes out to night one, can they expect something different on night two?
MS: You know every night is different even if I sing some of the same tunes. I view my songs like a set of monkey bars played on differently at every show.
KL: You’ve been performing professionally for almost 30 years. What do you credit to your lasting in such a tough business? How have you evolved as an artist to keep up with changing times?
MS: I keep showing up no matter what and I’m blessed with this audience that keeps coming back. I really love live performance and I dig turning the shows into opportunities of unity. I think people sense this joy and connection with not only me, but each other. Each night takes on a power greater than the sum of its parts.
KL: It’s been a little while since you’ve released a new album. Is that something that we might expect in 2020? Or at least some new material? What can we let fans know about your upcoming plans?
MS: As I do this interview, I’m in Denmark finishing up a fairly long U.S., Canadian, and European run. After some needed recharge with family, I’m fixin’ to put together a cover project.
KL: Back in ’92 when “In the Journey” sold 20,000 copies just out of your guitar case, what were your hopes and goals for your career? Did you see yourself still making a living all these years later?
MS: I’m so blessed with this listener base and really enjoy the longevity of this career. Way back then, I didn’t know that it could be so long-standing and even though I’ve been doing it this long, I retain the belief that making a living with any art form is akin to defying gravity. The fact that I get to do it in such beautiful places is beyond expectations.
KL: What else do you want fans coming out to these shows to know? Any last message?
MS: My mission is unity, utilizing the power of music to bring people together regardless of their backgrounds and beliefs. Most nights, I look out and see left, right, black, white, gay, straight, older, younger singing in harmony. That’s what it’s all about.