Martin Sexton To Release New Album “Sugarcoating” on April 6

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Sugarcoating, Martin Sexton’s new album due out April 6, finds the one-of-a-kind artist doing what he does best: locating larger truths within specific details of the life he’s living. “I write from personal experience – my own hang-ups and quirks, good times and bad times. That keeps it real.” The Syracuse-born artist tracked Sugarcoating live off the floor in seven days with a remarkably cohesive studio band composed of what Sexton describes as “amazing players, the best you could find.”

“Each song is so stylistically different from the next,” adds Sexton, “I’ve always preferred records that range, sort of like the White Album, from ‘Black Bird’ to ‘Helter Skelter.’ At one time, industry types tried to convince me to stick with one genre, but it was like wearing a suit that didn’t fit.” “I recorded this album with no rehearsals, no pre-production, using all vintage gear from what went into the mics to what came out on the analog tape… I like making records like the old jazz guys did – they just showed up and worked it out.”

The title track, disturbing in its theme and audacious in its presentation, takes “keeping it real” to another level. An unsettling look at post-9/11 reality, the song is encapsulated in the lines “I wonder why nobody wonders why/with all the sweet sweet sweet sugarcoating/the nightly news gone entertainment biz/and politicians out showboatin’/One day somebody tell it like it is.” Which is exactly what Sexton accomplishes here. The fact that this urgent message is embedded in a danceable, happy-go-lucky arrangement complete with backing vocals by what Sexton calls his “cowboy trio” only serves to deepen the song’s impact.

Not every song is heavy. The first single, “Livin the Life,” is a buoyant joy-of-existence piece with a churning clavinet burrowing a deep soul groove right through it. “Stick Around” is a piano-driven Beatlesque bouncer complete with an Abbey Road reference in the lyric; and “Easy on the Eyes” is a finger-snapping, ragtime mating call with a voice trumpet solo from Sexton.

The New York Times noted that Sexton “jumps beyond standard fare on the strength of his voice, a blue-eyed soul man’s supple instrument . . . his unpretentious heartiness helps him focus on every soul singer’s goal: to amplify the sound of an ordinary heart.” And Rolling Stone adds, “His outstanding taste in songwriting as well as a soul marinated voice that can easily be compared to the likes of a young Steve Winwood or Van Morrison.” John Mayer calls him “one of the greatest singers of our generation.”

Martin Sexton’s spring and summer tour dates have just been announced and include several highlights: appearances at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Bonnaroo, plus a run of dates supporting Dave Matthews Band.

With Sugarcoating, Sexton may well have made his defining record. It’s an unquestionable high point for the modern troubadour who headlines venues from the Fillmore Auditorium to Nokia Theater Times Square, oversees his KTR label and derives great satisfaction from the life he’s made for himself. These are the fruits of a combination of rarefied talent, fierce determination, “and work — showin’ up,” he adds, sounding like Jeff Bridges’ Bad Blake character in Crazy Heart: “I sing for free, man. I get paid to travel.”

TOUR DATES

April 15 – NEW HAVEN, CT – Toad’s Place
April 16 – WASHINGTON, DC – 9:30 Club
April 17 – BOSTON, MA – House of Blues
April 18 – SYRACUSE, NY – Wescott Theatre
April 20 – TRAVERSE CITY, MI – City Opera House
April 21 – ANN ARBOR, MI – The Ark (2 shows)
April 22 – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Vogue
April 23 – CHICAGO, IL – Park West
April 24 – MADISON, WI – Majestic Theatre
April 25 – ST PAUL, MN – Fitzgerald Theatre
April 28 – NEW ORLEANS, LA – House of Blues
April 29 – NEW ORLEANS, LA – Jazz & Heritage Festival
April 30 – ATLANTA, GA – Variety Playhouse
May 1 – NASHVILLE, TN – Mercy Lounge
May 5 – PHOENIX, AZ – Compound Grill
May 6 – SAN DIEGO, CA – Belly Up
May 7 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The Fillmore
May 8 – W. HOLLYWOOD, CA – House of Blues
May 9 – SACRAMENTO, CA – Harlow’s
May 11 – ARCATA, CA – Humboldt Brewery
May 12 – EUGENE, OR – W.O.W. Hall
May 13 – VANCOUVER, BC – Commodore Ballroom
May 14 – PORTLAND, OR – Crystal Ballroom
May 15- SEATTLE, WA – The Showbox
May 16 – SPOKANE, WA – Knitting Factory
May 18 – BOISE, ID – Knitting Factory
May 19 – SALT LAKE CITY, UT – The Depot
May 20 – DENVER, CO – Ogden Theatre
May 21 – KANSAS CITY, MO – Crosstown Station
May 22 – ST. LOUIS, MO – The Pageant
May 23 – CINCINNATI, OH – 20th Century Theatre
June 5 – NEW YORK NY – Nokia Theatre
June 11 – MANCHESTER, TN – Bonnaroo
June 23 – CLARKSTON, MI DTE – Energy Music Theatre *
June 25 – CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH – Blossom Music Center *
June 30 – CAMDEN, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center *
July 1 – CAMDEN, NJ – Susquehanna Bank Center*
* = w/Dave Matthews Band

http://martinsexton.com/