200,000 miles in two and a half years! This may sound like the description of a trucker or a traveling vagabond, and I guess Sean McConnell is a little of both, but mainly he is singer/songwriter. Touring around with his band, in Moby Dick the big white van, he has chosen to build his career the hard way…on his own. One radio station, one venue, one performance, and one fan at a time. And it’s working!
Growing up in the coffee houses of the Boston folk scene, Sean watched his parents playing songs written by Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, David Wilcox, Shawn Colvin, Harry Chapin, CSNY, James Taylor and others of the like. Unknown to himself or his parents, Sean was soaking it all in and locking it away somewhere inside.
Fast forward pass the moments where Sean would sneak in to his parents room and steal his fathers guitar from under their bed, pass the bloody, tired fingers, pass the awkward fledgling songs trying to take flight, pass the years of teeth cutting open mikes and coffee houses, pass the 7 independent record releases, pass the countless band auditions, pass the last few years of full time touring, and find Sean where he is now, driving to another show in his 200,000 mile old van.
Now, an artist in his own right, Sean travels the states performing his own style of music that he describes as “Lyric Driven Roots Rock with Soul.” A live Sean McConnell show is truly a dynamic experience. One moment reckless rock, and the next an intimate acoustic pin drop moment. While most of his performances these days are backed by his four piece band, you can sometimes find him by himself on a stool with a guitar getting back to the basics. “In whatever case”, McConnell says, “It’s all about the song. That never changes. It always starts with an acoustic guitar and a notepad. The lyrics are the point. The story is central.”
These days, Sean finds a lot of his time spent touring Texas where he has truly been adopted into the “Red Dirt” scene. Last year he took home the “Emerging Artist” award from Lone Star Music Awards.
As well as being an artist, Sean also boasts a successful songwriting career. After signing a publishing deal right out of college with Warner/Chappell Publishing, His songs have been recorded by such artists as the Plain White T’s, Jason Castro, Phil Stacey, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, the Randy Rogers Band, Wade Bowen, The Eli Young Band, David Nail, Julianne Hough, Jimmy Wayne, and many others. Whether in his Nashville home, in a hotel room, or in the back of his van, Sean is always writing.
The Heart Of My Music (In his own words) “For me it’s all about the SONG. I remember watching my father sitting at our dining room table for hours and hours with his pencil and pad crafting his songs; spending the time to find the perfect word, the perfect chord, the perfect melody. That really made an impression on me. When I write a song it really is a kind of science, an operation; but it isn’t mathematical or calculated, it is alive and breathing and moving. At the risk of sounding like a hippie on a soapbox, music is still powerful and holy and sacred to me. You can turn it into a product and a business, but you can’t start it that way. To me the genesis of a song has to be honest and unassuming. I truly believe that God hands me these gifts and it is my job to translate them as honestly as I can. You have to let a song be what it is. We can’t lose that. When I write songs, I like to focus on the fact that we are all the same and we are all just searching for answers and trying to make sense of everything. It’s about exploring life and celebrating truth when you find it.”