Monday, December 8, 2008

Martin Sexton, Winterpills, a delightful pairing, play the Calvin Theatre on New Year's Eve, Wednesday December 31st at 9PM

''Martin Sexton is the Best Live Performer I've Ever Seen.'' -John Mayer

On the heels of his fantastic album Seeds Martin Sexton released his first solo live offering, Solo, last month. Documenting a series of recent unaccompanied live appearances, the album captures the singer-songwriter's critically acclaimed incendiary live set in theatres coast-to-coast. It's easy to forget there's only one man on stage listening to rarities like ''Caught In The Rain'' and covers like ''Purple Rain'', Ray Charles' ''Hard Times'', and a crowd sing-along on ''With A Little Help From My Friends''. Spine-tingling performances from the ''Master of Dynamics'' (Acoustic Guitar Magazine), brilliantly recorded in theatres coast to coast. Two bonus band tracks complete this collection of 72 minutes of raw, sensual emotion from America's soul sensation.

Rather than quote the press, we’ve selected some quotes from actual fans:

“I'm a huge fan of Martin Sexton -- he has produced some really amazing and listenable music. This new album is my favorite. Sexton has a way of making just about any song he does sound like it was written for him -- even songs made famous by other artists. He does some really unusual and intriguing things with his voice and he's one artist who is truly unique” – E. Derrenbacher

“I have been to many a concert and I tell you this artist is just an amazing live performer and rates at the the TOP of my list. We've followed him from small venues to larger halls and whenever he's within driving distance, we don't miss a performance. I have never seen someone become one with their guitar and voice like Martin Sexton. I don't hesitate to send anyone to see him... he's moving and makes a difference. This latest CD rocks. –Jane Pierce

The Springfield Republican’s Kevin O’Hare reviews the new Winterpills album, Central Chambers:

Like any good band that has gotten known for one distinctive sound, the challenge for Winterpills is to break beyond those sonic confines into new worlds. And while their low-key brand of ambient, celestial music thankfully hasn't evolved into anything metallic, there is an evolution that can be heard on the Northampton, Mass.-based quintet's third album. Sad, stark and airy at times, it also finds the time and the space to open up into joyous, harmony-filled, fully-evolved arrangements. Like the group's previous two releases, notably 2007's magnificent "The Light Divides," this is not music made for a quick spin while instant messages are careening across your computer screen, political debate is blaring on T.V. and the dog's howling at the door.

Winterpills, led by chief songwriter Philip Price, make music for immersion. Indeed, it'd be best to listen to some of these songs underwater, but with some of the technical limitations of that, a quiet room will do just fine. Price's primary musical complement is harmonizer and keyboardist Flora Reed, who also takes the occasional lead vocal, and their blend gets to the heart of Winterpills' sound. Voices interweave against colorful keyboard runs in the hallucinatory "Gentleman Farmer," while cuts including the drum-driving "Take Away The Words," and the uptempo, "We'll Bring You Down," prove they're as capable of stretching the limits of their music as well as anyone on the contemporary scene. Often compared to acts such as Elliott Smith and Velvet Underground, Winterpills reveal a definite Fleetwood Mac influence as well in one of the 12-song disc's most captivating songs, "You Don't Love Me Yet." Other highlights include the steady-building "What Makes Me Blind;" Reed's gentle piano ballad "Immortal;" and the hushed "Secret Blue Thread" - one of a few songs here to refer to Price's recently discovered heart condition - which also ties into the album's title. Central Chambers is elegant, provocative and frequently enthralling, a sturdy third edition from one very entrancing troupe. –Kevin O’Hare

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