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Camp Holiday

Martin Sexton

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Album Review

The liner notes say this collection of Christmas songs was "unproduced by Martin Sexton and Crit Harmon," and that line goes a long way toward explaining its charm. While Martin Sexton has a well-earned reputation as a performer with energy and passion to spare, Camp Holiday is a loose and relaxed acoustic session that sounds like a friendly guitar pull taking place in your living room, with a few mugs of well-spiked egg nog within easy reach and even a few relatives on hand chiming in with backing vocals (most notably Sexton's dad, who pops up on two tracks). While the bluesy force of Sexton's voice is on full display here, especially on "O Christmas Tree" and "Blue Christmas," he makes a point of not overwhelming his material (all covers except for one new number, the sly and funky "Welcome to the Camp"), and there's a homey warmth and good humor to this album that speaks of the relaxed familiarity of a good Christmas get-together. Since this is the first release from Martin Sexton in three years, some fans may have had higher hopes for Camp Holiday than just a casual collection of yuletide favorites, but while this is a very low-key album, it's also the sort of Christmas album that is likely to appeal to even the cynical — it's short on showy piety and sentimentality and long on simple good vibes, and will still be in rotation around your house long after Kenny G. and Mannheim Steamroller have worn out their welcome.

Biography

Born: 02 March 1966 in Syracuse, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Martin Sexton was one of the most talked-about arrivals on the "new folk" acoustic music scene. The guitarist, singer, and songwriter has an amazing vocal range and makes effective use of it on his recordings and in his live shows. Unlike so many other contemporary singer/songwriters, his vocal style can be described as truly soulful,...
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Camp Holiday, Martin Sexton
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