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Sean McConnell Sean McConnell
Album: Sean McConnell
Label: Rounder
Tracks: 10

This is a new name to me and I am sure to many other listeners in the UK. To decide whether or not you will like his music you will need to ask yourself two questions. The first is "Do I like modern country music?" The second is "Do I like the Sky TV programme, Nashville?" If the answer to either question is yes then you will quite probably be totally hooked by this album just as I am already.

A fine singer songwriter and performer from Massachusetts, Sean has already written for such artists as Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Martina McBride for whom he has recently opened in concert and the aforementioned TV programme. That alone should amply demonstrate the pedigree of this young man's writing skills.

He started writing songs at the age of ten when he began to learn to play the guitar. He rapidly became passionate about the instrument and the outlet it gave him to express his emotions and feelings. He has strong family ties that offer both support and ideas for his music.

This album demonstrates exactly why Sean has already won such a devoted audience in the States. He writes vivid, forthright, effortlessly catchy songs whose incisive melodic craft is matched by their resonant emotional insight. Such instantly memorable tunes as "Holy Days," "Beautiful Rose," "Bottom of the Sea" and "Best We've Ever Been" are both catchy and personally charged, conveying an unmistakable sense of personal experience while exploring universal truths. "Running Under Water" is the stand out track for me although all ten are superb examples of this genre of music!

Sean released his first album at the age of 15 in the year 2000 and has gone from strength to strength in the intervening years touring the US and building a large fan base everywhere he has been. The term storyteller is used perhaps too often but this guy really is one. Linked to very catchy music, the balance between words and music is bordering on perfection.

He is appearing in London in November at the "Texas Music Takeover" and based on this album alone, I can thoroughly recommend buying a ticket. It is just a shame that he will not be visiting my home county of Yorkshire where I am certain he would garner a new host of fans.

This is an album that will greatly enhance Sean's reputation as a top drawer song writer and performer and is one that I am struggling to stop playing just now. Very addictive music.

Rory Stanbridge