Several years ago musician and naturalist Sean Rowe walked out into the wilderness alone. He spent the next 24 days constructing shelter and foraging for food to eat. He would come away from the experience with the songs that would eventually comprise his dazzling debut album Magic. The San Francisco Chronicle described the record as “beautiful and haunting.”
On his new album The Salesman and the Shark, Rowe has created a work that brilliantly reconfigures classic sounds in support of his intensely observational lyrics and the remarkable ever evolving vocals which inspired No Depression Magazine to succinctly state, “Man, that voice.”
Producer Woody Jackson adds, “Sean Rowe is just an amazing singer. When you first hear his voice, you can’t figure out if it’s for real or not. The atmosphere was just really amazing throughout the recording. Everything just came together naturally. My main goal throughout was to just be true to the songs which were phenomenal. His vocals and the melodies were king.”
As Rowe’s explains, “The songs on this record are all very different structurally but they have this consistent sound and feel which has to do with where and how they were recorded. Early on we agreed on the aesthetic of the record which was just keeping it as organic and as live as possible. And I think it really gave it that timeless feel. “
Listen to Sean Rowe's album 'The Salesman and the Shark.' Order online at Anti Records
1) "Bring Back The Night" 2) "Flying" 3) "The Lonely Maze" 4) Joe's Cult.mp3 5) "Signs" 6) "The Wall" 7) "The Ballad of Buttermilk Falls" 8) "Horses" 9) "Old Shoes" 10) "Downwind" 11) "Thunderbird" 12) "Long Way Home"
At this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas Acoustic Cafe's Rob Reinhart invited six artists to write and record songs with songwriter Ben Arthur and SongCraft Presents at SXSW 2013. Each session was only three hours (additional instrumentation and mixing/mastering happened back in NYC). From developing the concept and lyrics to its actual composition and arrangement to performance, the pressure was on to make not a good song, but a great song. A video team was with the artists every step of the way to document the trials, missteps, successes, and eventually, the magic that lives in a great song. Dubway Studios producer and engineer Mike Crehore and artist Ben Arthur supervised the song development, while Acoustic Café’s Rob Reinhart interviewed the artists as the process unfolded. Taylor Guitars provided a selection of its popular acoustic-electric guitar models, including its new Grand Orchestra guitar, to offer sonic inspiration to the songwriters as they pursue their task.
One of the first artists to participate was ANTI-recording artist Sean Rowe, The song he wrote with Ben Arthur--which he titled "The Coat"--was something he'd had been trying to finish for seven years. Sean, whose been described as a modern-day Leonard Cohen, wears his heart on his sleeve in this folky song of loss, “The Coat.”
My good friend Matthew Hendershot of The End Men worked on the New York City part of it with the SongCraft project and shared his thoughts with us.
As a creative person it is often the case that you have to pile on as many creative projects as you can. That is why I'm really excited to be partnered with Mike Crehore and Al Houghton at Dubway Studios and Ben Arthur to bring SongCraft to life. It is a perfect pairing for me. I get to make fantastic video pieces about the making of something I really love, creating music. Mike and Al are also top notch professionals, so getting to see their philosophy and their techniques is priceless. I feel like I have snuck into something just because I have a camera! It is like spying on professionals with their permission!
Watch the behind the scenes process of creating the song.