Martin Sexton brings his message of unity to Park City
March 27, 2012
Singer and songwriter Martin Sexton doesn’t care what political parties his fans belong to. He just wants everyone to come together for the common good.
"I know I have a mission and it’s to bring people together, who may not otherwise be together," Sexton said during an interview from his tour bus somewhere on the East Coast. "My mission is to help them set aside their differences."
That’s the beautiful thing about his job, he said.
"When I’m playing and I look out into the audience and see that it’s not just one demographic," Sexton explained. "There are Democrats, Republicans, gays and straights. It’s filled with older and younger, and the one common theme they have is they are all singing in harmony to my songs. They are leaving their differences at the door and come in and see that we’re all the same, really. We’re one."
The singer will bring his message of unity to Canyons Resort Village for a free concert on Saturday, March 31. The music will begin with the Monophonics at 3 p.m.
Sexton can’t wait to spread his message in Park City.
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"I’m looking forward to coming out that part of the country and I feel if people can set aside their differences and become united, we’ll become a force to be reckoned with. We are going to be strong," he said.
The concept of coming together is the reason why Sexton released his five-song extended-play CD, "Fall Like Rain," in January.
Although Sexton has released a slew of full-length CDs throughout his 20-year career, "Fall Like Rain" is his first EP. He released it out of necessity.
"I had four songs written and I felt a couple of them, ‘Fall Like Rain’ and ‘Once Voice Together,’ were relevant for the times," he said. "I didn’t want to wait to put them out on a full album, because I wanted to strike while the iron was hot. There seems like there’s so much going on in the world right now, with politics, economy and wars."
Sexton said the time was right to put out an inexpensive collection of songs, especially with the way so many people are struggling in the economy.
"The CD has only a $5 price tag, which is as much as a fancy cup of coffee," he said. "I priced it that way to get new music into people’s hands."
The melody for the title track has been "following" Sexton around for the past decade.
"I was searching for what it might be like to live life without all the shelters and crutches we use every day, whether its money or material things," he said. "I wanted people to get an idea of what it would be like to take those ear buds out, and just go out walking in the woods with out any attachment to any of the technical manmade world, you know?"
The song "Happy Anniversary (Six Years)" was his letter to his wife, but is also more than just a love song.
"I was sitting by the piano and started playing chords and kind of made a list doing the laundry, loving me only and called me out on my shenanigans," he said with a laugh. "I tied it up with my friend Dan McKenzie. He helped me co-write the song.
"At the end there is a little tag where I say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the world, Children of God, boys and girls it’s time to come home now’ and that’s just a shout out or a maybe a suggestion to everybody to make sure the home fires are still burning," he said. "When we’re out chasing things like the Almighty Dollar, you don’t want to forget to remember where your family is. Home is where it all begins. My mom said that ‘Goodness always beings at home.’"
After recording those songs, Sexton decided to record a cover of Buffalo Springfield’s "For What It’s Worth" for the disc.
"I think we’re in the new 1960s, and I think it is time to stop and say, ‘What’s that sound,’" he said. "I think it’s fallen up on me as a singer to sing about what I see and hear, as opposed to just entertain."
That philosophy leaked into the song "One Voice Together," which epitomizes Sexton’s mission.
"We’re all going to be in the same paddy wagon and cell together at one point or another, whether we’re left or right, red or blue or whatever," he said. "We as Tea Party members and as Occupy Members need to actually come together and shake hands and realize that we’re all under attack from the same powers.
"That’s what I’ve always wanted to sing about," he said. "We’ve become so divided and it’s easier to conquer a people who are divided than those who are unified."
Sexton said the country’s division comes from the fact that the concept is celebrated in the culture.
"If you look at all these reality shows, there are all these people getting pissed off at each other, whether they are loggers or housewives or Jersey Shore residents," he said. "There are always fights and squabbles, and it’s projected upon us to be divided.
"We can also look at our whole left-right paradigm we live in and when you ask which way you lean, left or right, it’s, to me, like asking what kind of music do you like, country or western," Sexton explained. "I think we’re divided because a false paradigm has been projected upon us that we’re expected to fall into, and I’ve fallen into it myself, until recently."
The song "Burlington" was another collaboration between Sexton and McKenzie.
"The song wasn’t on any of my past records and was the most recently written song," Sexton said. "I wanted the record to have at least one element outside the realm of social consciousness, so, I decided to include it on the CD."
The song is about "getting your butt handed to you," he said. "When you leave a little town for the big city, sometimes you come home with your tail between your legs, but it’s all right, because you can always go home," Sexton said. "Home is an important place. You have to have your home in order before you try to put order to the world."
Martin Sexton will perform a free solo show at Canyons Resort Village on Saturday, March 31. The music will begin with the Monophonics at 3 p.m.