Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NEAF '13 Feature Artist: Sean Morceau

Sean Morceau seems to have gotten a bit of the dirty delta water of Mississippi mixed in with his blood…along with a bunch of things. The blues, jam band and funky musical stylings run seemingly deep in this man’s veins. Though, this is not all he does, his music ranges from the acutely slide blues style to harder rock music. It seems that Morceau apparently has no bounds with his art. Americana music is a melting pot and this artist blends in just right. Sean kindly answered us a few questions...

1)  First and foremost, who are you, what do you do?  That is, what band are you in or are you a solo artist, what have you guys been up to leading up to the festival, anything exciting we should all know about?  Your chance for shameless self promotion…go!

Sean Morceau, solo artist, singer/guitarist/songwriter.  Life-long Bostonian, raised in Charlestown.  Just returned to full-time employment a few months ago after being unemployed for almost a year, as a manager at the historic Green Dragon Tavern in Boston.  The new wealth of responsibilities has taken it's share of my time.  As have a slew of new songs I'd written over the last two years.  The hope is to have them past the demo stage and ready for studio recording after the New Year.  Preliminary talks have happened with Brian Charles of Zippah Recordings but nothing has been finalized.  As well a large scale graphic-novel idea that has finally gelled into cohesion.  The hope there is to create a strong outline and submit it at the Boston Comics Roundtable to procure an artist and bring the story to life.

2)  New England Americana and the Fest firmly plant their roots and morals in “community”.  The event is a culmination of a community of musicians and artists that is going on all year.  What does that community mean to you?

The community means the same as family, to me.  In that it is a mainstay, able to accept you when you're a presence and a comfort in your mind when the world and its responsibilities tug you in directions that may lead you away for a period.  In those times following my contemporaries' successes can be as satisfying as my own accomplishments.

3)  Name a record that shaped you as a musician early on.  What music initially made you want to sing, or pick up an instrument and make music?

As a kid I owned a 45 of The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations".  I listened to it incessantly.  My love of harmonies I'm sure sprang from there.  While they don't factor in as a solo performer they have been a feature in all the recordings I've done to date.  There were also two random vinyls that my brother and I acquired, I believe from a friend of our Dad's.  Both were collections of honky-tonk, ragtime piano classics.  That was my introduction to any sort of American-root music.  Again, incessant listening.  Simplistic construction conveying complex emotion.  

4) What are you listening to now that you think folks should be aware of?

A lot of Hank Williams.  I downloaded a couple large collections from a former roommate and dove into all the tracks over a year's time.  Gifted guitarist, timeless swing in his strum.  And his phrasing is bar-none.  One track, "Lonely Tombs" is a favorite.  I attempted an at-home recording, studying the harmony style:

5)  Music festivals, in general, are fairly well known for surprise sit ins, improvisational jams and collaborations.  If you could see any two of this year’s acts collaborate on stage at this year’s NEA Festival, who would you like to see?

Really, anyone w/anyone.  Spontaneity is pure human joy.  We get to it so little in adult life.

6)  Why is creating music important to you?  Why do you pick up your instrument and write songs?  Why do you play that dive bar on a Thursday night?  What keeps you going?

"To realize at any point you are what you have always wanted to be is a blessing."  That's a quote, by me, from a conversation had w/a co-worker over drinks years ago.  So I keep doing to relive that principle, as much as I can, when I can.  Kings, presidents, generals, star-athletes...all listen to music for joy, comfort, respite.  It is in my opinion one of the highest human pursuits.  And, the pursuit of greatness.

Check Sean out at :

The Brattle Plaza Stage, Saturday @ 3:10pm

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