On Monday, Nippertown.com broke the news that our own hometown singer-songwriter Sean Rowe had signed a recording deal with Anti- Records, who will be releasing his latest album, “Magic” – originally released last year on Collar City Records – on February 22. (Read the story here.)
Here’s Rowe’s take on this whole, massive, new, mind ‘n’ market-expanding development in his musical career:
Thank you to all those folks who continue to shower their support and love for my little songs. Without the reciprocated energy between myself and all of you, there wouldn’t be much of an opportunity for me to be heard. I sincerely owe my musical career to those who have supported me throughout the years – my family, friends and all the relentlessly passionate fans I have been lucky enough to meet along the way.
While music has always been my life, it hasn’t always paid the bills. As any artist with integrity knows, breaking out into the “music industry” (a contradiction of terms, in my mind) is not easy. These days, there’s a lot of gritty DIY involved and sweat and blues and blood to be dealt with.
You start out frequenting the open mics, you scream over drunk jocks who actually think that “Nickelback” or even “Brown Eyed Girl” is in your repertoire. You play for no one on a Tuesday night except the waitress who is listening intently and moved enough to buy a CD with the only tip money she has left.
One night, you even finish the set with an evil version of “Folsom Prison Blues” when a man offers to pay you $40 to stop playing so he can watch the football game on the TV above the stage. You jack those fuckin’ amps to the max and revel in your seething swan song – even if you’re the only one there who appreciates it.
Then there’s the night when all of your equipment blows up on stage like the Fourth of July (sparks included). Or at gigs like the now-extinct LA Express, when your hair catches on fire from that ostensibly benign candle you put on top of the amp for purely aesthetic reasons.
Yes, on those days you contemplate whether dropping out of college or defaulting on personal loans to pay for your PA system was really a worth while idea at all.
Of course, the reason why I haven’t given up is because of all the people who have spilled their hearts and opened their doors to my voice and to my words and to my songs. If it hadn’t been for so many of the uncanny, amazing nights when my fans and I have walked away from a show feeling that something really special was transferred between us … I would have called it a day long ago.
Organization has never been my strong point (those of you who know me well … stop laughing!) Over the years, I’ve relied on other, more civilized and clear-headed people to help me out with what you would call “gifts” that I was not born with. Help is good. I’ve been lucky enough to come across the right people who resonated with the music and style of performance that I’ve grown into over the years.
Most recently I have signed on with Anti- Records. To say that I am excited about this would be a severe understatement. Anti-’s reputation was sealed in the early ’90s when they brought aboard the mighty Tom Waits. To me, Waits embodies the unyielding grit and raw emotive purity that stands out among the sea of crap that passes for mainstream music these days. To be on the same label as this man, one of my musical heroes, is at once thrilling and humbling. On top of that to share the same label home as Nick Cave, Neko Case, Dr. Dog and Mavis Staples is, in my mind, one insanely sweet sheet of icing!
Everybody knows there’s a lot of corporate insincerity flying around in the music business these days, but hidden amongst the insanity, there are still a few labels who actually care about the music and the artists that they sign. Anti- Records is one of those few.
With the help of Collar City Records, who was instrumental in both producing “Magic” and releasing it locally, the record found its way in the hands Anti- who loved the record enough to want to give it an official world-wide release.
With that said, “Magic” is scheduled for release on February 22 (a few days after my birthday. (I’ll finally be old enough to drink!)
In light of the the new changes… I will be touring on “Magic” for a bit longer before I put out the next one. So for those of you who have been aching for new recordings… you’re just gonna have to trek out to the shows for now. Sorry, gang.
Thanks again for your continued love and support. Plans for upcoming tour will be announced soon. Promise!
Take care everyone,
Sean Rowe is currently slated to perform at the Marketplace Gallery in Albany at 7:30pm on Saturday, December 4 at the MarketPlace Gallery in Albany, as well as at Club Helsinki Hudson in Hudson at 8pm on Monday, December 20.