may not be a household name – not yet, anyway – but in the intensely
competitive singer/songwriter realms of greater New England, he’s managed to
eke out an impressive reputation, one that encompasses more than half a dozen
albums and graduation from major label status to running his own record label.
So too, he glides easily between genres, from breezy folk ruminations to serious
contemplation, with the studied deliberation of a master musician.
Given a title
like Sugarcoating, one might expect that Sexton’s opting for frivolous intents and only
momentary distraction. Yet it’s a credit to his powers of persuasion that he
can produce such amiable melodies while instilling them with such deliberate
purpose. Take, for example, the piercing commentary imbued in the title track:
“I wonder why nobody wonders why
With all the sweet, sweet, sweet sugarcoating
The nightly news gone entertainment biz
And politicians out showboatin’
One day somebody tell it like it is.”
Still, the most indelible truths Sexton uncovers are those that are less
profound, but more connected with everyday existence. The sturdy, steadfast
“Found” examines the difficulty of communicating in an age of increasing
technology. “Always Got Away” is a heartfelt reflection on missed opportunities
and diminished possibilities. “Long Haul” purveys a down home delivery to
espouse the joys of a committed relationship.
And if the plucky ragtime rhythms of “Easy on the Eyes” and the jaunty
“Friends Again” showcase lesser concerns, no matter. They provide added
enhancements to complement this exceptional set of songs.
DOWNLOAD: “Found,” “Easy on the
Eyes,” “Just to be Alive” LEE ZIMMERMAN