If you haven’t heard of Martin
Sexton yet, or you haven’t heard the album Black Sheep yet – go and get it as
soon as you can. Click here to see it.
Martin Sexton is possibly a genius
singer and songrwiter — you have to hear him to know what I mean. It’s amazing that he isn’t massively famous yet. One review says he is a singer of remarkable conviction, which is a pretty accurate description. He puts his guts into it, especially the solos. I haven’t heard anything like this from a contemporary artist (but if you know of anything comparable let me know).
Here is a good selection of full clips you can listen to. Check out "Glory Bound."
Click here to visit his site and hear some more free clips of some great tracks off of his different albums.
Definitely listen to "Where Did I Go Wrong?" — this is a really cool one if you have the patience to wait for the solos where he improvs. A great example of Sexton’s skills on all fronts.
The Album, Black Sheep, in particular has some great tracks and it’s a good place to start. In particular, check
out the tracks “Glory Bound" (one of my favorites), "Can’t Stop Thinking ‘Bout You," or
“Candy” as well as the title track "Black Shee." You have to listen to each one for a few minutes
to get the parts where he really lets loose and then you’ll hear what I’m
raving about. This guy just nails it on his solos like nobody you’ve
The track "Angeline" gets off to a pretty bad start in my opinion, but changes into a fun gospel-inspired romp. Still, it’s not the best example and doesn’t really show off Sexton’s improvisational skills — so I suggest skipping it until you’ve heard more tracks so it doesn’t influence your opinion.
The track "The Beast in Me" has some pretty impressive vocal improvisation as well but I think his band wasn’t up to the challenge and couldn’t match him — their solos and improvisations were not nearly as virtuosic as Sexton’s and seemed to wander and get lost. Martin on the other hand is mind-blowingly creative and stays on track as he improvises on the main theme, experimenting with surprising but extremely subtle twists and turns.
Another great track is "Love Keep Us Together" on the album, The American. This track evolves and impresses more and more as it goes, reaching some wonderfully lyrical grooves.
It’s almost jazz, except it’s not jazz — it’s existing mainstream genres like country, folk, R&B and soul liberated by the improvisational and structural freedom of jazz and fortified with the poetic complexity of Bob Dylan. And that’s why it’s quite a new sound in my opinion, or rather a new take on an old sound. Either way, it’s a refreshing blast of real music.