For over two decades, singer-songwriter Martin Sexton has been entertaining audiences around the world. A lover of touring and performing, this musician’s musician is equally at home with pop concerts (like collaborating with John Mayer, who calls Sexton “the best live performer I’ve ever seen”), to the Jam scene, to classic rock (collaborating with Peter Frampton); and has played at the Newport Folk Fest to Bonnaroo to the New Orleans Jazz Fest to L.A.’s House of Blues to a performance at Carnegie Hall. In short, he’s all over the musical map. He’ll be appearing at the Waterville Opera House Sept. 26 and to that end, I gave him a call recently to ask…

Q: How are you doing?

Sexton: I couldn’t be better, man. I’m sitting in my boat and we’re at this wild beach up in the Adirondack mountains where I spent the summers. It’s wonderful. I have my little boy and our dog and we’re just sitting here in the sun drying off.

Q: That sounds like a little slice of heaven right there.

Sexton: It really is a slice of heaven. It’s the very northern part of New York — a six-million-acre state park basically the size of Vermont. It’s just a beautiful, historical, geological wonder — thousands of lakes, rivers and mountains — it’s not dissimilar from your Belgrade Lakes region.

Q: Speaking of that central Maine locale, you will be up in Waterville at the Opera House. Have you ever performed there before?

Sexton: I have not.

Q: Well, Joan Baez stood on that stage and proclaimed it to be one of the best sounding halls she’d had the pleasure of visiting, so I guess you’re in for a good night.

Sexton: Every night’s a good night when I’m singing … from the Fillmore to a small hall in Arkansas.

Q: Did I hear you are working on a new project right now?

Sexton: Yeah, I’m writing now and I’m going to start recording next month, probably a release of early next year. I’m going to be touring behind it next year around the world. In the meantime, I’m doing some Northeastern dates — actually not just Northeastern, I’m also going out some other places. I’m going to have some of the new material when I come up to Maine.

Q: I was just about to ask if your fans at the Opera House would have the chance to hear some new songs.

Sexton: Yeah, at least a couple of them.

Q: Will this be a solo performance or will you have backing musicians with you?

Sexton: I’ll be solo. I tour in all different configurations — sometimes I’ll have an eight-piece band, sometimes I’ll be solo. I enjoy all of the ways but the solo show is special because the spontaneity is immediate and there’s also the participation from the audience — and anything goes: I rarely write set lists and the audience becomes my choir, my rhythm section. They kind of participate on most nights and it’s just a spectacular time for me. Sometimes I feel like I need to pay the ticket price to get into the show because the audience is so entertaining.

Q: Do you get to Maine often?

Sexton: Yeah, my usual stops in Maine would be, for Portland I did the State Theatre last time and I’ve done the L.L. Bean Concert Series a couple of times over the last few years up there in Freeport — they do a wonderful summer series up there — so, yeah, I play Maine as much as I play any other state. You know, I’m blessed with a career that just keeps going and growing, it keeps feeding the family, sending me around the world singing my songs — I’m just a blessed guy. I mean, I’ve been doing it since the early 90s and sometimes I feel that making a living with any kind of art is like defying gravity and so if I can actually have a very fruitful living by means of music then I feel very lucky and blessed.

Q: And in all seriousness, what more could you ask for?

Sexton: I really don’t think I could. I’ve got my beautiful son and my dog in the sunshine on a wilderness beach in the Adirondack mountains talking about myself on the telephone … I don’t know, life doesn’t get much better than that!

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the readers of this article?

Sexton: Well, let’s see … how about: “Hope to see you at the show, it should be a good one!” (www.martinsexton.com)

Lucky Clark has spent 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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