Soul singer Martin Sexton releases his best work yet, the highly anticipated seventh record, Seeds. The troubadour says no thanks to several label offers and remains fiercely independent on his own. This album ranges like an American road-trip with stops in the regions of gospel, country and western, and rock, crafted with keen pop sensibility. The New York Times says, "His unpretentious heartiness helps him focus on every soul singer's goal: to amplify the sound of the ordinary heart." Seeds oozes with that soul ... infused with spiritual hunger and child-like joy, all delivered with Sexton's fervent vocals. Sexton's raucous rendition of the late Billy Preston's "Will It Go Round In Circles" rocks with fuzz bass and Leslie vocal shimmer. Sexton, along with Crit Harmon, combines traditional rhythm sections - with anything from minnow buckets and whiskey jugs to a guitar as drum kit - to frame the tracks with unique, timeless production. Digipak.
Flaunting the playful, bluesy voice that has kept him popular for almost two decades, folkie extraordinaire Martin Sexton returns on Seeds
, his first new set of songs in seven years (not counting 2005's holiday-themed Camp Holiday
). Of course, for a renowned road warrior like Sexton recorded work isn't really the point, as this release like all the others is just more fodder for his famously blistering live sets (memorably captured on 2000's Live Wide Open
). Still, it's a welcome dose of the man's music--a mix of broadly appealing jams, Van Morrison
-esque drama and Sexton's earthy pipes, reminiscent of R&B greats like Otis Redding
. "Happy" opens it up with a cheery, gospel-tinged vibe, riding easygoing organs and guitars straight into the equally summery "Thought I Knew Ya." Later, an electrified vocal track plugs a charge into the hop-a-long tune "Marry Me" while guest Nils Lofgren
's juke joint guitar vibe livens up "How Far I've Come." Sexton can get a little corny with his lyrics ("Wild Angels" contains a few samples), but as a musician his overt earnestness is the secret to his success. It's not always subtle but the guy has an absolute knack for classic roots music. With the energy of a true believer, Sexton manages to infuse a timeless appeal into every track. --Matthew Cooke