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Sexton: From guitar case to Fillmore

Singer/songwriter Martin Sexton is working on music to follow up his latest releases, “Fall Like Rain” and “Live at the Fillmore.”
Singer/songwriter Martin Sexton is working on music to follow up his latest releases, “Fall Like Rain” and “Live at the Fillmore.”
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Martin Sexton doesn’t look forward to writing – sounds weird but it’s true.

“It’s the least favorite part of my job,” he explains during a recent phone interview. “Maybe my mom was right because in telling me that I need instant gratification. I enjoy being on stage and performing. It’s what I do.”

The singer/songwriter says being holed up in a cabin writing is not his idea of fun.

Martin Sexton
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28
WHERE: Lensic Performing Arts Center, 211 W. San Francisco, Santa Fe
HOW MUCH: $22-$38 at www.ticketssantafe.org or 505-988-1234

“In theory, it’s wonderful to court the muse,” he says. “But I want the rewards. I want to be on stage singing and feeling the reaction from all the fans.”

Sexton is touring in support of two albums – “Fall Like Rain” and “Live at the Fillmore.” The latter was a “fan piece” that Sexton wanted to give back.

“We were performing at the Fillmore and I wanted to do a live album,” he says. “It was a way of giving my fans a chance to take the show home. I’ve worked so hard over the years to get it all together, it seemed like the right time.”

When it comes to writing, Sexton says it’s a game of luck, which is why it’s not a favorite of his.

“You could be fishing for one minute and catch a lot. You could also fish for hours and not catch anything,” he explains. “The same is true when it comes to songwriting. Some songs I get lucky with and am able to put out in a short time, others take years to complete.”

Sexton has come a long way since he began his career in music. A native of Syracuse, N.Y., and the 10th of 12 children, 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. He eventually migrated to Boston, where he began to build his following singing on Harvard Square.

His 1992 collection of self-produced demo recordings, “In The Journey,” was recorded on an old eight-track in a friend’s attic. He managed to sell 20,000 copies out of his guitar case.

“That was a good time for me because I was shaping how my music was going to be,” he says. “It was thrilling to be able to perform for others and get the feedback I needed.”

Sexton launched his own label KTR in 2002. And, it’s not uncommon to find him performing at events ranging from the pop world (collaborating with John Mayer) to the jam scene, classic rock (collaborating with Peter Frampton), the Newport Folk Fest to Bonnaroo, the New Orleans Jazz Fest to a performance at Carnegie Hall.

His music can be heard in many feature films and television including NBC’s “Scrubs,” “Parenthood” and Showtime’s hit series “Brotherhood.”

“I’ve been able to experience a lot and avenues have opened for me since I started the record label,” he says. “I always try to keep something in the pipeline for the future. I hope the next album will be out within the year.”

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