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Interview:
Less is more for singer-songwriter Martin Sexton
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Martin Sexton has done albums all his life — nine of them since debuting with 1992’s “In the Journey.”

But this year the singer-songwriter from Syracuse is changing this up. “Fall Like Rain,” which comes out Jan. 24, is his first EP, a five-song set that, while shorter than his usual output, feels just right at this point in time.

“I wrote these songs quickly and recorded them and I didn’t have another five or six songs to go with ’em,” explains Sexton, 45. “But I really liked these songs, so instead of waiting around it felt like the time was right.

“And I like the idea of putting out a record that you could buy for a $5 bill. There are a lot of people who are out of work or under-employed, so it feels good to say, ‘Here’s some new music for basically the price of a fancy cup of coffee, and it won’t be gone in 20 minutes. It’ll live with you forever.’ So it was for all the right reasons.”

Also driving Sexton’s decision was the socially conscious track “One Voice Together,” which, though inspired by current events, takes a tack of unity rather than choosing sides.

“I’ve just been paying attention to all this talk about left and right, red and blue, all this division talk and talk that separates us,” says Sexton, who addressed a similar theme on his 2010 album “Sugarcoating.” “I think if we could lose some of that division, we could be unified. It’s not about everybody singing the same song; it’s about people losing the false left and right paradigm that’s project upon us.

“I’m rejecting the question, ‘What are you, Republican or Democrat?’ That’s like saying, ‘What kind of music do you listen to, country or western? That’s the only way it is and that’s it, brother.’ It isn’t, so I’m singing about it and saying something about it, and I think there’s a lot of people out there who feel the same way.”

Martin Sexton performs at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. Tickets are $40. Call 734-761-1451 or visit www.theark.org.

Web Site: www.theark.org

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