Martin Sexton’s music career surely has grown since he began playing on street corners and at open mics in Boston during the late ’80s. The Syracuse native has a discography comprising 11 albums since his 1992 debut, “In The Journey.” This includes two live records, with “Live Wide Open” coming out in 2001 and “Solo” coming out in 2008 along with his “Fall Like Rain” EP that was released in 2012. He’s also been running his own label at Kitchen Table Records for nearly 20 years. Sexton is a versatile singer-songwriter who embraces numerous styles such as country, blues, R&B and soul and he’ll be bringing his repertoire to the Misquamicut Drive-In Theatre on Wuskenau Town Beach in Westerly on Saturday.
We had a talk ahead of the show about his schedule opening up because of the pandemic, spending time with his family, feelings on livestreaming and writing new songs.
Rob Duguay: What were you doing back in March with COVID-19 shut everything down? Has the pandemic had a drastic effect on your music career or have you found other ways to stay productive?
Martin Sexton: I had just come back from touring Europe and the United States The last show was in February at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. For my entire spring, and then summer, touring was wiped off the calendar. This definitely had an immediate and drastic effect on my and everyone’s career. Through this pandemic period I’ve discovered other means of monetizing my music via virtual things like cameo, zoom appearances and livestreams. The real silver lining of it all has been the time I got to spend with my family, building a tree house with my son, waxing the floors with my wife and even writing a few new songs.
RD: That’s awesome. Speaking of livestreaming, how has the experience been for you?
MS: The four that I’ve done have been rewarding in so many ways. It felt great to know that I could transmit my music to thousands of people even amidst such a scary crisis. I was thrilled to discover the generosity of the fans and raise thousands for some important charities like St. Judes Children’s Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project and Hungry for Music.
RD: Do you see livestreaming as a sustainable and viable thing in a post-pandemic world?
MS: Livestreaming is convenient and rewarding, but nothing will replace a live performance. People need human contact.
RD: The upcoming show at the Misquamicut Drive-In is one of a few drive-in shows you’ve been playing. What are your feelings going into this unique situation?
MS: I feel great about getting on stage in front of people again. I’ll have to get back to you on how this upcoming one goes as it’s uncharted territory.
RD: You mentioned earlier how you’ve written some new songs this year and it’s been five years since you put out your previous album, “Mixtape of the Open Road.” Are you currently working on your next release? If so, when can we expect it?
MS: I’ve been working on some more new tunes now. I will probably release something soon that speaks to unity through these divided times.