The Mark Sexton Band is no more. But fans of the Reno soul quartet shouldn’t fret because the band has merely changed its name to the Sextones.
“We’re the same guys, we are just rebranding ourselves,” Sexton said. “We felt like we were hitting a ceiling and we want to break through it.”
The 9-year-old band, indeed, seems like it’s been on the verge of breaking out ever since its superb 2013 EP “Young and Naïve.” Its debut album, “Listen Out,” was released in 2010. The “Young and Naïve” release concert was held at the sold-out Celebrity Showroom in the Nugget Casino Resort.
The name Mark Sexton Band is too pedestrian to resonate with music fans, Sexton said. “The Sextones feels like a British soul band and it explains our music,” he said. “It’s the perfect balance of new and familiar.”
Another reason for the name change is that the Mark Sexton Band was often confused with New York singer-songwriter Martin Sexton.
Memphis music promoter Brett Harding, who books shows for Cargo and the Crystal Bay Casino, told Tahoe Onstage that Sexton’s group could possibly be the region’s next breakout band, such as Reno’s Jelly Bread or Lake Tahoe’s Dead Winter Carpenters.
“Everybody that sees him, and not just me but professionals who have been around and have seen talent a lot, are noticing Mark,” Harding said.
The band began as a trio, and the three have known each other since they were children. Sexton, 27, plays guitar, piano and sings. Alexander Korostinsky plays bass and Daniel Weiss is the drummer. The band added keyboardist Ryan Taylor almost two years ago.
The musicians made recordings for what will be their third album last August in the Prairie Sun Studio in Cotati, California. The 10 or 11 songs for the album are being mixed and Sexton targets spring for the release. The band made three videos from songs that will appear on the new album at the old Lear Theater in Reno. The one video that was released will be edited to have the Sextones’ name.
Sexton’s greatest influence is Stevie Wonder, and he describes the Sextones sound as West Coast soul and funk.
The Sextones first show will be Friday, Feb. 12 in the Crystal Bay Casino Crown Room. It will open for Con Brio, a pop-funk band from San Francisco. The band’s website went live on Dec. 28: LINK
Sexton also has a side band, Whatitdo., with Korostinsky and drummer Aaron Chiazza.