by Martin Sexton


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Given that Martin Sexton waited seven years after his album Wonder Bar to release Seeds, the fact that a mere three years passed between that disc and Sexton's next studio set, Sugarcoating, suggests something resembling urgency about getting these songs out to his fans. And if in many ways Sugarcoating follows a stylistic path that Sexton has pursued in the past, the title cut is certainly a surprise, a jazzy shuffle leavened with slide guitar and silky harmonies whose lyrics offer a pointed critique of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how they were sold to the public, a blending of sweet and sour that recalls Phil Ochs' "A Small Circle of Friends." "Sugarcoating" is the most impressive track on the album, and on the majority of this set Sexton stays in the same soulful acoustic groove that's become his trademark, but this music falls on the side of creative consistency rather than routine. "Wants Out" describes the painful end of a relationship, but the following number, "Friends Again," finds a broken-up couple trying to make sense of the aftermath, and the juxtaposition brings out a potent undercurrent in both songs. The strong piano chords and harmonies that surround "Always Got Away" suggest a gospel influence that adds to the song's emotional power, and the spare but flavorful jazz guitar accompaniment that builds to a dynamic finish makes "Just to Be Alive" an ideal conclusion to the disc. And if the other songs are mostly what you'd expect from Martin Sexton, the evidence shows he's still a fine singer and a capable guitarist and he and producer Crit Harmon certainly know their way around the recording studio. Sugarcoating is short on surprises, but the ones that are here work, and if you've liked Martin Sexton's work in the past, chances are this one will please you too.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/06/2010
Label: Kitchen Table
UPC: 0634457524729
catalogNumber: 7
Rank: 213464

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Martin Sexton   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Bongos,Conga,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,Triangle,Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Clavinet,Claves,Vibraslap,Hand Clapping,Shaker,cowbell,Guiro,Finger Snapping
Duke Levine   Guitar,Electric Guitar,national steel guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,Guitar (Nylon String),Octave Mandolin
Marty Ballou   Bass,Electric Bass,Upright Bass
Ned Claflin   Bass (Vocal)
Eugene Friesen   Cello
Brad Hatfield   Accordion
Dave Mattacks   Drums,Tambourine,Crotale
Tom West   Organ,Piano,Clavinet,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer
Crit Harmon   Hand Clapping,Finger Snapping
Colleen Sexton   Background Vocals
Alex Hartman   Hand Clapping,Finger Snapping
Georganne Calyanis   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Duke Levine   Loop
Ned Claflin   Composer
Martin Sexton   Composer,Producer
Crit Harmon   Composer,Producer
Chris Tetzeli   Management
Alex Hartman   Engineer
Adam Taylor   Engineer
Dan Mackenzie   Composer

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