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Fall Like Martin

 


Syracuse, New York native singer-songwriter Martin Sexton began his musical career by busking on the streets of Harvard Square in Boston. Now, plenty of musicians busk in the beginning, it’s true – but how many can say that they’ve sold 15,000 CDs of their first self-produced album right out of their guitar case while performing on the street?

That was only Sexton’s first claim to fame, albeit a pretty impressive one. But it wouldn’t be long before he’d step away from the streets as more and more of his peers noticed his work right along with the fans. Soon, he’d be praised by everyone from the NY Times to the Boston Globe – but all Sexton wanted to do was keep making music, and that he did, influenced early on by the likes of The Beatles and Stevie Wonder, and later by many of his own peers.

“Growing up, I was influenced by all the greats,” he explains, “nothing too obscure. Today, I’d say independent artists who chart their own course and are beholden to no one.”

This category would include Sexton himself. Dubbed “happily and fiercely independent,” he releases his albums on his own KTR (Kitchen Table Records) label, and has snagged major festival performance spots as well as music placement in such shows as Scrubs and Brotherhood. He’s living, busy proof that the DIY ethic works just fine in the music business.

“I think the DIY scene is a healthy trend,” Sexton agrees. “The record business has gone the way of the typewriter. It’s essential to find alternative means of spreading music, and over the past decade I’ve been blessed with an excellent team, from my management to booking, marketing, and publicity.”

His team are doing a pretty good job promoting Sexton’s new EP, Fall Like Rain, too. The follow-up to his last full-length effort, Sugarcoating, Fall Like Rain is more of what Sexton’s fans love about him, albeit with a few less tracks this time around and a bit more focus on one genre. The set includes the winsome “Burlington”; the uplifting and powerful title track; and Sexton’s cover of the old Buffalo Springfield chestnut “For What It’s Worth,” which he revamps into an indie anthem for the modern age while still retaining the song’s original folky intention.

“Both Sugarcoating and Fall Like Rain are song-driven, moderately-produced performances caught on tape,” Sexton says. “On the EP, I don’t really divert from one song to another stylistically – it’s pretty straightforward singer-songwriter stuff, whereas with Sugarcoating and most of my other records, I range all over from country to gospel to rock to jazz.”

“So far, so good,” he grins.   – Kristi Kates