June 30, 2009
Sean Rowe Interview
Next up in our artist interview series is Sean Rowe, a man whose voice will blow you over on your first listen. Don’t believe us? Head over to the Sean Rowe MySpace page and give Surprise a try or watch him perform it live at the Rockwood Music Hall below. The title is fitting so, we dare you.
Sean was kind enough to chat with us about some of his musical influences, growing up with music and the power of the Internet on new artists.
1. How/when did music enter your life?
I come from a large family heavily influenced by music — piano players, song writers, singers, etc. From my earliest memories, I was always making up my own songs and melodies.
2. Your voice is incredible… though probably not what people would expect when they first see you. How would you describe your sound?
Somewhere in between Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen with a heavy influence on old blues and soul.
3. Who are you influenced by?
Aside from the two artists mentioned in question number 2, Bob Dylan, Otis Redding, Iggy Pop, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Lou Rawls, and Tina Turner.
4. What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
Most of the songs I write I don’t see as having topics or themes, but are an attempt at creating a particular feeling or emotion. Much of the story lines have a non-linear stream of consciousness.
5. Your second album, Magic, was released April 21. How has the reaction been?
So far I’ve been very pleased about the reviews we’ve received. They have all exceeded my expectations. The album is an interpretation of the songs and not necessarily how I play them live, but fans of the live show seem to appreciate the record as well.
6. You’re on Twitter, MySpace, you blog – how important has the Internet been to getting your music out? Have you been able to create a stronger relationship with fans through the Web?
Definitely. Networks like MySpace have exposed me to listeners all over the world. I’ve gotten good reviews from Belgium, Australia, The Netherlands and Canada. The Internet has been central to my exposure. However, nothing replaces meeting new fans at my shows. That piece is important to me.
7. I saw on your Twitter page you recently taught a wilderness survival course at Hudson Valley Community College in Upstate NY. Where does your love of the woods come from?
The woods have always been a part of me, like music. I can’t imagine not being in nature. I started wilderness survival skills when I was 17 and developed my skills throughout the years. I’ve studied with some of the most respected pioneers within the field of primitive technology. I continue to live closely to nature, incorporating my skills into my everyday life.
8. Looks like you’re touring through the summer? Any spots you’re particularly excited about hitting?
Looking forward to playing at the Egg with Boz Scaggs, I’m excited to get out to Boston. I always enjoy playing in NYC.
[We interviewed Sean before the show, but you can catch a terrific review from the Boz Scaggs and Sean Rowe Concert at The Egg in Albany, NY. Here's a quick snippet:
"Speaking of jaw-dropping: Sean Rowe made a roomful of new fans with a gripping 30-minute set. Rowe’s voice is every bit as soulful as Scaggs’, and his delivery was dramatic and engaging. He completely reimagined two iconic classics, Richard Thompson’s “Vincent Black Lightning 1952” and Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire,” and played a bunch of originals that trade on silence as much as audacious bursts of sound. He commanded the undivided attention of the packed house, and got a big and deserved ovation at the end. Kudos to the local promoters who are putting Rowe on these shows. He belongs on the big stage."
To catch Sean's future gigs, check out his upcoming shows on MySpace.]
9. We definitely can’t blame you on that one! What advice would you give to up and coming artists?
In the beginning you do have to do most of it on your own. You can’t sit and wait for the Industry to come to you.
Excellent advice, Sean!
If you want to keep tabs on Sean, you can check out his Myspace page, Twitter account and his personal site and blog!
Posted by A. Sogal at 9:00 am