Sounds of summer

Coming up at the M.V. Summer Concert Series.


American singer-songwriter Martin Sexton plays at the Old Whaling Church on Sunday, July 21, at 5 pm as part of an extended tour to celebrate his ninth studio release, “Mixtape of the Open Road.” A Syracuse, N.Y., native who got his start busking in the Boston subways, Sexton is known for his ability to combine all kinds of American genres, including folk, rhythm and blues, jazz, and rock, into his music. Rolling Stone describes him as having “outstanding taste in songwriting as well as a soul-marinated voice.”

Performing at the Old Whaling Church on Tuesday, July 23, at 8 pm are the husband and wife duo of Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, who are known for their skills on the banjo and at the songwriter’s table. They attracted attention when their debut album, self-titled “Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn,” won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Album in 2016. They have a folksy, all-American sound, which has been described as “strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody’s heard before.” Together Fleck, who is a 15-time Grammy awardwinner, and Washburn, a clawhammer banjo player by trade, put out their second and most recent album, “Echo in the Valley,” in 2017. The album contains very little production — only the sounds of Fleck and Washburn singing, playing banjo, and tapping their feet against the floor. It was the hope that everything recorded on “Echo in the Valley” could be played live onstage, which makes them an exciting act to come see this summer. 

Besides recording as a musician, Abigail puts her degree in East Asian Studies to use: She has done work with musical diplomacy in China, been named a TED fellow, and was named a U.S./China fellow at Vanderbilt University. 

Playing the Old Whaling Church on Wednesday, July 24, at 8 pm is I’m With Her, made up of singer-songwriters Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz, and Aoife O’Donovan. Formed in 2014, the group is known for their fantastic chemistry, detailed lyrics, and soulful harmonies. Rolling Stone describes their sound as “delicately plucked acoustic guitars and loneliness-quelling harmonies.” 

Their most recent album, “See You Around,” released in 2018, made best-of-the-year lists from the New York Times, NPR Music, and more. Part of what gained them their new popularity is their covers like Adele’s “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” and Vampire Weekend’s “Hannah Hunt,” which has become a favorite on the festival circuit. They were also nominated for Duo/Group of the Year by the Americana Music Association and Artist of the Year at the International Folk Music Awards. 

For tickets and information about upcoming concerts, visit