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Martin Sexton – Mixtape of the Open Road Review

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I knew nothing of this artist before this arrived for review, just a vague feeling I had listened to something by him on Spotify once. It qualified as ‘Americana’ in my head so I put my name down for a review copy and on the very first listen it could not be anything else.

Martin Sexton is American and his music could have come from nowhere else, the influences are all there from country and pedal steel to do-wop chorus, soul and gospel, swing, jazz, a few rock riffs, a smattering of the blues, even a bit of beat box, but all of it unmistakably American.

He is a very talented songwriter, and he co-produced the album, the attention to detail is apparent, this is a very well crafted and recorded album, but without losing any spontaneity, it leaps off the turntable into the room and makes you so glad you play vinyl.

The songs jump from subject to subject and style to style but the common link is Sexton’s superb voice, the lead instrument in all of these songs, I gave up picking out influences, Sexton is a musical sponge soaking up everything he has heard since his upbringing in the 80s and defying categorization (as far as a singer songwriter can), he references Col Sanders, The Grateful Dead, Scorsese and the Six Million Dollar Man, (did I say he was American?).

This is an upbeat and joyful album, it is impossible to listen without your foot tapping and a smile on your face, you have a half an idea that at least some of the songs are covers as they seem instantly familiar, no ‘difficult, complex music’ requiring ‘concentration and chin stroking’ here, this is instant gratification and great fun but certainly not throwaway and forgettable. I am extremely pleased I now have this album in my collection and it will be getting plenty of play, especially on rainy winter’s nights when music can bring some sunshine into your day.

If you like Americana, or want to know what it means, then buy this!


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