Ahead of Vilar Center shows, Martin Sexton hopes people can respect eachother despite differences
Special to the Daily
Waxing floors, clearing closets and finally getting around to building that treehouse he’d been planning for years with his 12-year-old son: This is how Martin Sexton spent his downtime last year. Now, he’s about to release a four- to five-song EP based on life in 2020.
Martin Sexton is the latest musician to join the Vilar’s Residency program for four physically distanced, in-person shows over Saturday, Feb. 20 and Sunday, Feb. 21. His performance at 5 p.m. Sunday will livestream for free on FANS.LIVE and the VPAC’s YouTube channel.
The first single from the EP, “Calling on America,” is due out at the end of March. It’s Sexton’s plea for unity in the face of so many people “hating on each other.” His second, “Hold On,” talks about how he’s “doing this time; this time ain’t doing me,” as he waxes floors with his wife, hangs out with his sister and her wife and builds the treehouse in his backyard in the Adirondacks (where he also wrote that song).
Sexton’s personal awareness — always looking at how he can improve himself, while also revealing larger societal truths — has formed a cornerstone for his music. He recorded his first album, “In the Journey,” in a friend’s attic in 1991, singing about social issues in Boston’s coffeehouse scene.
“I had my awakening when I landed in Boston in my early 20s with ‘Things to Come,’ about the color of my skin — breaking these chains, the chains of pride and how I had to grow,” he said.
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Since then, his soulful music — and voice — has stayed true to what he calls his “classic, liberal roots” which advocate equality for all people.
“I never want to preach. I always want to speak from the perspective of self … being the change I want to see,” he said, adding that his 2010 “Sugarcoating” album revolved around being able to disagree with other’s viewpoints, while still respecting everyone. “I don’t want to shut you down. I support that attitude of positively and optimism.”
Overall, he describes his music as a mix tape — “all over the map.” He likens it to The Beatles’ “White Album,” which stylistically runs the gamut, from the soft sounds of “Blackbird” to the harder “Helter Skelter” to orchestral pieces and experimental avant garde. His genre-bending agility has prompted him to perform with pop, jam scene, folk, jazz and classic rock musicians. He’s also made a splash in Hollywood, scoring songs in feature films like “Parenthood” and TV shows including “Scrubs” and “Brotherhood.”
If you go…
What: Martin Sexton
When: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Feb. 20 and 21, with one free livestream 5 p.m. Feb. 21 on FANS.LIVE or the VPAC YouTube channel
Where: Vilar Center for the Performing Arts, Beaver Creek
Cost: $80 general admission (in person)
More information: Visit http://www.vilarpac.org.