Charlie Sexton


Releases: Pictures for Pleasure (1985), Charlie Sexton (1989), Under the Wishing Tree (1995), Cruel and Gentle Things (2005)
Years at MusicFest: 2

Charlie Sexton made his musical debut with Pictures For Pleasure in 1985 at the young age of 16. He followed up with a self-titled second album four years later. Because his reputation as a prodigy guitar player spread far and wide, he found himself an in-demand session player while still in his late teens, and he had the opportunity to record with Ron Wood, Keith Richards and Bob Dylan. As a child growing up in Austin, his mother would take him to clubs like the Armadillo World Headquarters and the Soap Creek Saloon. Venues like the Split Rail and Antone’s blues club became his classrooms. After living outside of Austin for a short while, he moved back when he was 12 years old, and musicians like Jimmie Vaughan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely and others took him under their wings until he could earn a living on his own. From 1992 to 1994, he was a member of Austin’s Arc Angels, along with Doyle Bramhall II, Tommy Shannon and Chris “Whipper” Layton. By the time the Arc Angels decided to disband, Sexton was 24 years old and already pegged as a blues musician. Sexton may play gutsy, fluid blues guitar, but he is also known for his spirited rock ‘n’ roll guitar. In 1994 he formed and recorded with his new group, the Charlie Sexton Sextet, and his album, Under The Wishing Tree, was released in 1995 to much acclaim. As a songwriter, Sexton writes about what he knows, so Texas themes permeate his songs. He considers Bob Dylan his strongest songwriting influence, while he counts Austin legends Jimmie Vaughan and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan among his prime influences for guitar playing.