Martin Sexton and the Soul of American Song: Live at From the Earth Brewing in Georgia

Martin Sexton is one of the prolific American singer-songwriters and road warriors of the modern era, earning his stripes throughout many rigorous years on tour. His live performances are truly magnificent and one of the reasons John Mayer once said he was “the best live performer [he’d] ever seen”: his transcendent vocal range and unique uses of every square inch of the guitar are truly a sight to see for all music fans.

In the chaos of 2020, Sexton brought his live show to Roswell, GA’s From the Earth Brewing Company for an outdoor, socially-distant pod show in the venue’s parking lot. He sang many songs from his 1996 record, Black Sheep, as well as some fantastic new songs written this year.

And, man, that voice. With seemingly limitless range, Sexton brings every ounce of heart and blue-eyed soul to his excellent catalog of music live. No vocal inflection or melody interpretation is undue. All notes capture hints of folk, Americana, roots, R&B, and everything in between. The crowd in Georgia sang some of his staples “Freedom of the Road,” “Glory Bound,” “Gypsy Woman,” “Angeline,” and “Hallelujah” in their pods, as many were clearly feeling the joyful bliss of the rare live show atmosphere during this unprecedented year.

Sexton noted that the silver lining to 2020 has been the fact that it has been a nice reprieve from his typical touring schedule to spend quality time with his family, and he even sang a song that he wrote in the newly-built treehouse for his son. Sexton also commented that living in in our current climate of divisive opinions is nothing new to him, as he grew up with a left-leaning mom and a Reaganite father. That being said, his message was a great one in this heated time: people must find a way to look past differing opinions and appreciate the love for one another.

At the start of 2020, who would have thought that Martin Sexton would be playing in a parking lot to a scattered crowd of masked attendees in separate pods? I sure didn’t. But, hey, Sexton has made the most of the year and has adapted to the times. That’s the unifying American spirit.

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