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MP3 Sean Keane - A Portrait Best of 1993-2003

Irish traditional and folk songs from a voice which, once heard, will never be forgotten - the true sound of Ireland

18 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Traditional Folk, EASY LISTENING: Crooners/Vocals

Sean Keane, who hails from the the famous traditional music family from Caherlistrane, Co. Galway, needs no introduction to lovers of folk, traditional and indeed country music. His background in music and singing stretches back to early childhood and his solo career is now ten years strong. In that time he has released six solo albums, with material ranging from unaccompanied traditional songs, through folk and newly penned offerings, to country songs and even some blues. In all cases, the hallmark of Sean`s work is his unmistakeable voice which lends itself perfectly to all these genres and allows him to take ownership of a widely diverse selection of material. Over the years, writers have made a point of complimenting him on his treatment of their songs. Among others, Sonny Curtis who wrote No Stranger to the Rain, said that Sean sang the song exactly as he imagined it should be sung when he wrote it. Sean’s traditional work has featured in many ways - May Morning Dew was used as part of the soundtrack for the docufilm The Irish Empire, and Stor Mo Chroi in the soundtracks of two other American documentaries. Joseph O`Connor calls Sean ‘the Caruso of Irish music’ in his book, Star of the Sea.
`A Portrait` features 18 audience favourites, taken from Sean`s first four albums - it has unaccopanied traditional Irish songs, old and new folk songs, along with some country and blues. `Isle of Hope Isle of Tears` written by Brendan Graham has already become a classic in Ireland- a beautiful song based on the true story of Annie Morre, a fifteen year old Irish girl who was the first person to pass through Ellis Iland on her way to the Land of Hope.
You Got Gold, the seventh album from Sean, features eleven new recordings - There are two new songs from Irish writers - The Penny Falls, written by Anth and Gerry Kaley, is a beautiful ballad which showcases the emotional qualities of the voice perfectly. Mary Greene wrote the song Even Heaven Has To Cry, a mid tempo gentle country song. Other songs on the album come from the American well and provide a mix of country and folk, including The Wining Side, written by Robby O`Connell ( Man From Connemara, Home Away From Home), a song which was inspired by a wrongful imprisonment and miscarriage of justice and which Sean viewed in the light of the events involving the Rossport Five earlier this year. You’ve Got Gold, the title track, is an up tempo John Prine song. John spends a lot of time in Ireland and, along with the album producer, Jim Rooney, has had many sessions with Sean. It was through this contact that Sean decided he would like to do his own version of some of John`s songs and there are two of them on the album – the title track and an evocative song called My Darling Hometown. Maybelle Carter is one of the writers of Troublesome Waters, a song which lends itself to both country and gospel interpretations, depending on the treatment, and Sean decided to record this song after meeting Jeanette Carter who was in Ireland to accept an award for the music of Oh Brother Where Art Thou. Jeanette was so impressed with Sean`s voice and singing that she asked him to record some of their songs- and this is one of them. Shingle by Shingle was chosen after Sean heard the writer Eric Bibb sing it while they were both on tour in Australia – an up tempo song with a blues bent, it is irresistible. The musicians on the album include Arty McGlynn and John McLoughlin on guitars, Rod MacVey on keyboards, Liam Bradley on drums and percussion, Mairtin O`Connor on accordion, Paul Moore and Damian Evans on bass, Rick Epping on harmonica, Sean Regan on fiddle and backing vocals and Deann Whelan on harmonies. The album was produced by Jim Rooney (Iris Dement, Hal Ketchum, Nancy Griffith, John Prine) and Sean. The cover of the album is a portrait of Sean, painted in an afternoon by Vincent Crotty, a very successful Irish painter who now lives and works in Boston. After a series of shows held in Boston before Christmas 2004, Vincent expressed a wish for a sitting and this portrait was the result.

"Manna from Heaven" - Folk Roots.

"Exceptional" - Mojo

Performer of the Year - 97/98 and 98/99. Voted by readers of Irish Music Magazine.

Seán Keane has been labeled "the greatest Irish musical find of the `90`s" (London Independent), and "the fastest rising star of the Irish music scene"(Irish Times).

With three solo albums since 1994, he has firmly established himself as one of Ireland''s most esteemed and talented singers. He has been voted "Performer of the Year " by the public for two years in succession, a testament to his popularity with his audiences. He has become renowned not only for his voice, which is unique, but also for his wit, humour and charm.

From Co. Galway, Seán''s musical background is impeccable. He is a member of one of Ireland''s most celebrated musical families, with a long tradition of music and singing on both sides.

Traditional songs sung in a traditional style marked his earliest performances, which began in childhood. Almost as a hobby, he spent his youth collecting All Ireland titles - a mammoth 13 in all - for singing such songs. His early career remained close to the traditional, as he sang with such groups as Shegui, Reel Union and Arcady, the latter of which also featured Sharon Shannon.

His solo albums have not been exclusive in genre though the style of singing they contain is unique to Sean Keane and always incorporate sean nos undertones. While primarily a folk singer, he successfully mixes country, blues and pop songs.

Seán''s many past performances include such prestigious world festivals as the Cambridge Folk Festival, Galway Arts Festival, Tonder in Denmark, Lowell, U.S and many others. In Autumn 1999, he performed at a series of concerts in Dublin''s NCH hosted by the `fifth Beatle`, Sir George Martin. Sean performed the Beatles classic `Blackbird` with Sir George''s arrangement. Sir George was deeply impressed with Sean''s rendition and afterwards generously offered him the musical arrangement of the song for his fourth album ''The Man That I Am.''

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