In 1989, Tom Paxton kicked off a concert that was held to raise funds for the Farmington Rail to Trail Association and the CT Fund for the Environment. Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Emmy Lou Harris, Odetta, and Peter Yarrow followed. There have been a few name changes along the way, but the organization is now known as CT Folk.
The group began giving concerts on Friday evenings, and that eventuated into a three day folk festival, which then became a FREE festival, one day a year.
The CT Folk Festival takes place in Edgerton Park, the first Saturday after Labor Day. Here is your link to all the festivities happening today!
Just When You Least Expect It…
…an artist previously unknown to you, turns on a light.
Such was the case with Martin Sexton.
Sexton was the last act to take the stage at this year’s CT Folk Festival. It was immediately evident that he had a loyal following, and these fans were not about to let a little rain dampen their enjoyment of this singer/songwriter’s set. He completely won me over from the get-go.
His delivery is straightforward, with no frills. Just a man and a guitar. His playing and his voice work so well together that they sound like they were born as a set of twins. An easy falsetto that sometimes trumpets a lyric and a low range that reveals a good sense of humor and tenderness. His style is a combo platter, combining folk, jazz, a little blues with some gospel thrown in, this Boston based singer engages instantly.
Dave Matthews considers Sexton one of his favorite singers, and John Mayer says, “He is the best live performer I have ever seen.” So I wonder why I have not heard of him before the CT Folk Festival?
In an interview with Stated Magazine, Sexton said,
“It became apparent to me in 2002 that I didn’t need the funding and big guns of a major corporation to reach the audience I’ve been blessed with, and now it’s a wonderful time to be independent with the climate of the industry and the social media revolution.”
Whatever formula he followed to have an independent, successful career, worked. His fans are passionate, his work is steady, and I will be watching for more performances.
Martin Sexton at a Ted talk: