I received an e-mail yesterday, pointing me in the direction of one of country’s newest artists, Sean Patrick McGraw – who I’m told is not related to Tim McGraw in any way. I really haven’t heard enough of his music to love what he does. But I did enjoy both “Dollar Ain’t Worth a Dime,” and “Honky Tonk Life.” You can see him do those two numbers, and more, at CMT, by clicking here.
I called him one of country’s newest artists – but like most singers, he didn’t just start yesterday. He’s been at this for a while. His bio says that he and his “band of brothers” have spent the last few years playing upwards of 150 dates a year, last year alone racking up 80,000 miles on his new SUV.
He has opened for Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Patty Loveless, Pat Green and Miranda Lambert. But, he says he’s not above working in grungy clubs, playing for “nothing more than the hope of selling five CDs or winning a handful of new fans.” I’m sure he has won many more than just a few fans along the way.
The following came from Sean’s bio: “For all the good days I ever had working in a factory,” McGraw says, “I’d rather have a lousy day in the middle of nowhere singing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ anytime. Not out of laziness—” he adds, “I’m all about hard work. I just want that hard work done with a guitar in my hand as opposed to a hammer or a shovel.” Hard work it is, and not just up on stage. Whether behind the wheel or on the phone booking gigs, McGraw creates his own success with the tenacity to never give up.
Call it Irish grit. “If you grew up where I grew up,” McGraw recalls, “you were automatically hyphenated either Irish, Polish, or Italian, and your dad worked in the mill, that was a given.” Hailing from a small steel industry town about 50 miles outside of Buffalo, New York, McGraw was raised on Hee-Haw (“We loved Conway Twitty, or at least his haircut”) and rough games of hockey and football. Small for his age and showing little athletic promise, he gravitated towards music, and good thing: “If I’d have stuck with the sports I liked any longer I might have ended up getting my head taken off. We never wore pads, let alone helmets.” Instead, McGraw grew out his hair, picked up a cheap Japanese guitar, and at 13 started a rock band with friends, playing in bars a couple of nights a week—with a note from his mother in hand, in case the cops asked any questions.
Here’s a little video from YouTube that was taken at the Stagecoach Festival.It’s very nicely put together, and you get to hear a little more of Sean’s music.
I’m sure I’ll be getting more up soon about Sean Patrick McGraw. I was told that his song, “A Dollar Ain’t Worth a Dime,” is now playing on some of our country radio stations nationwide. Sean has a free download you can get by clicking here. It’s a Christmas song, called “Santa Claus is Back.”
I better get going. I finished decorating my tree last night, so tonight will be my time to answer e-mail! Talk to you all soon!