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Martin Sexton 

Thursday, January 12; VooDoo Lounge at Harrah's Casino (777 Casino Center Drive, Maryland Heights)

New-school troubadours Ray Lamontagne and Marc Broussard borrow quite a bit of their blues-folk shticks from Martin Sexton. The Syracuse native first made his mark in Boston as a subway songster and busker, spare-change-earning gigs that eventually produced 1992's sparse, self-released cassette In the Journey and (later on) an album deal with Atlantic Records. But while Sexton's two major-label records feel slicker and more gussied up than his independent work, the common theme on all of his releases is his weathered voice — a Dylan-meets-Van Morrison warble — and the way he relates to downtrodden souls with the knowing touch of one who's lived through that suffocating loneliness. Sexton's latest effort is the soulful 2005 holiday set, Camp Holiday.

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