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SEAN SMITH


Music from Ireland, England, Scotland and sometimes elsewhere


(Photo by Lee Pellegrini)

I began playing folk music in my teens, and have scarcely stopped since then -- well, except to go to work or pick up groceries and stuff like that.

Drawing inspiration from the folk revival in Ireland and the UK, I've focused largely on music from the English, Irish and Scottish traditions: songs and tunes heard from various musicians and singers or found in books or other publications, sometimes tinkered with to suit my particular needs, abilities and whims.

In addition to playing solo, I'm a member of the trio Ceol Corvus with Emily Peterson and Steve Levy, and also am in a duo with Colleen White.

The social amenities are a big part of what draws me to the music, whatever its point of origin. Playing a toe-tromping reel at a packed-to-the-rafters Irish ceili, backing a brisk 6/8 march at a convivial Scottish fiddle session, belting out a chorus at an English-style pub-sing -- put me in any of those settings and I'll be happy beyond description. But I also enjoy the performance aspect, and so I try to arrange songs or tunes creatively and imaginatively, so they will (hopefully) be pleasant for the listener to experience.

One of my foundational experiences was spending a year in the UK and Ireland, during which I went out to numerous folk clubs, festivals and sessions, soaking up all the music and zeitgeist of the folk revival. Two years later, in 1981, I moved to Boston and was thoroughly pleased to find a robust, multi-faceted folk/traditional music community that offered many opportunities to learn, participate and contribute. Since then, I've been incredibly fortunate to meet, and play music with, many talented, affable and downright brilliant people -- whether for a "one-off" or a more long-lasting collaboration.

I've also appeared at a goodly amount of events and venues in Greater Boston and beyond, including Club Passim, The Burren Backroom Series, Gore Place Carriage House Series, Boston Celtic Music Fest, New England Folk Festival Association (NEFFA), Blackstone Valley Celtic Festival, Dorchester Irish Heritage Festival, Boston Irish Festival, Newton Festival of the Arts, The Press Room, The Wayside Inn, Oasis Coffeehouse, The Mill, Nameless Coffeehouse, Boston College Arts Festival and J.P. O'Hanlon's Pub.

If I'm not playing music, I'm often writing about it, as a contributor to the Arts section of the website/quarterly publication Boston Irish.


INSTRUMENTS

My approach to guitar -- such as my use of DADGAD tuning or my syncopated thumb-picking -- reflects a lot of contemporary styles that flourished in the US and elsewhere during the folk revival. I also play bouzouki, mandolin and bodhran, with occasional flailing at tenor banjo and Anglo concertina.


RECORDINGS/MEDIA

*I have solo albums, and a couple with Colleen White, available for listening and free download on Bandcamp.

*My Soundcloud includes recordings with Ceol Corvus and Colleen White, my "Steadfast Sessions" project, and some miscellaneous tracks.

*I've put together two video series on YouTube, "Feeling@Home" and "Music@Morn."

*I appeared on the album "Land of My Youth: American Piping in the Scottish Tradition," by Mark Cushing and Donald Lindsay, which was originally released in 1981 by Front Hall Records and reissued as a CD in 2016 by Donald.

  

GIGS

As you might guess, none at the moment (thanks, COVID). Hopefully, that will change at some point in the not-too-distant future.


Questions? Comments? Reasonable offers? Drop me a line [seansmithmusic@yahoo.com]



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