New York singer-songwriter Martin Sexton was not interested in the music of his youth in the 1980s, and instead was drawn to classic rock vinyls that were left behind by older brothers. He moved to Boston and became a regular in Harvard Square, playing his music as much as possible, and even recorded an 8 track in his friend's attic which he sold 20,000 copies of in Boston. Naturally, Sexton's music combines rock, country, and soul but it's his outstanding vocals and guitar skills that really help him tell a story through his music. If you didn't see him on his last stop at Saint Rocke, make sure you get in here to witness an amazing live performance.
Martin Sexton: A native of Syracuse, N.Y., 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. 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.
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 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.”
Marcus Eaton’s career has been a study in dichotomy. His music is unique and original, yet wide in its appeal. His band is but a trio, but is as sonically powerful as any twice its size. His influences and famous fans include icons dating to the 1960s (such as Rock And Roll Hall of Fame member David Crosby), and those who are among today’s most acclaimed artists (such as Tim Reynolds of the Dave Matthews Band).
Eaton might be a small-town guy at the core, but his music knows no borders.
The singer/songwriter/guitarist from Boise, Idaho, recently released his fifth CD of original material, “As If You Had Wings,” an effort that has proven Eaton’s appetite for expansion. Powered by swirling bassist Ben Burleigh and powerhouse percussionist Kevin Rogers, the release is robust, a real rocker at times, yet shows the thoughtful songwriting that has been an Eaton trademark since he signed his first recording contract with a subsidiary of MCA Records in 2002.
The band has been likened to such vaunted trios as Cream, Rush and the Police, with Eaton’s clear and inviting voice and ever-dazzling guitar work pacing the band.
“Truthfully think he’s one of the best young singer-songwriter guys in America, maybe in the world,” Crosby says. “He’s an enormously talented person. And it comes from a very, very good place. People who really listen to music, I think, will find him just a joy. He’s a really brilliant writer. Brilliant musically. Brilliant lyrically. And he just plays (guitar) like God on a good day.”
And this lavish praise is imparted after a mere two-year collaboration between Eaton and Crosby, who were introduced by a mutual friend two years ago and forged a bond through their passion for music.
Eaton has been a featured act for such wide-ranging artists as Bob Dylan, Train, Victor Wooten, Dave Matthews Band, Tim Reynolds, Derek Trucks Band, Martin Sexton, John Mayer, Jewel, Counting Crows, Jason Mraz and Sheryl Crow.
Eaton borrows from traditional rock, funk, reggae, flamenco, classical, jazz and folk, has toured extensively with Tim Reynolds. The Dave Matthews Band guitarist says, "Marcus weaves a tapestry rich in musical depth and soulful feeling. Sweet impassioned spot-on singing round out this total package of dynamite.”
Born in Pocatello, Idaho, Eaton has been one of the most acclaimed artist in the intermountain west for more than a decade. With such luminaries as David Crosby among his confidants, he seems poised to take the step to stardom many have anticipated for him since he first picked up a guitar as a child.
“I think everything happens in a great way for me,” he says. “It happens when it’s supposed to happen.”