As the speakers ring out, immediately following another late night sound check the inevitable happens. The crowd stands still, and the only thing you can here is that buzzing sound from the speakers. Along with the clinks of glass from the crowd who are impatiently waiting for the show.
Then Boom!!! Out walks Sean Patrick McGraw. The Speaker pop’s as he plug’s in, and as always he set’s another stage on fire.
“This ain’t no rodeo, no dog and pony show, ain’t no roller coaster ride.” “Ain’t no highway, sure ain’t no river baby, it’s just my so called, – just (My So Called life.)”
Check out what Sean Patrick McGraw had to say during our interview.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Dunkirk/Fredonia NY. It’s a small kind of place that’s just west of Buffalo. (No Where near New York City). Dunkirk is close to Canada, I grew up watching Canadian TV, playing hockey and riding snowmobiles.
When did you start performing music?
I soloed on trombone in front of the concert band when I was like eight. I used to hop on the counter and sing along with the radio like I was holding a concert from about the time I could walk…as my dad would say,
“There isn’t enough mustard for that ham….”
Which instruments are you most proficient with?
I’m comfortable on guitar, occasionally proficient on piano; I have played keyboards, drums, trombone, mandolin, banjo and accordion on my forthcoming CD.
Describe your music interests and abilities.
“I can love anything musical that is sincere and soulful.”
I grew up listening to everything from Van Halen to The Bee Gees to Beethoven.
“I still listen to everything I can find.”
What famous musicians inspire you?
Django Rheinhardt, Jimmy Hendrix, Vladmir Horowitz, Brad Paisley, Paul Rodgers, Bob Dylan, Todd Snider, etc, etc….
What’s your fondest musical memory while growing up, or professionally?
Years ago I was invited to a “session” by Maura O’Connell. I had no idea when I walked into the room I’d be jamming with Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Nanci Grifiith, Pat McLaughlain, Jonnell Mosser…
“It still almost feels like it never really happened.”
Do you have anything new in the works?
I’m trying to release a CD that’s been mostly done for a while. I stopped being in a hurry to get it out. I write about a song a week on average. I have lots of new stuff.
“Some of it might be worthy of the world hearing it.”
Any Public events that you’d like to shout out?
I’m touring Ireland with Pete Kennedy most of February.
How do you balance your music with your family and friends?
“Most of my friends are friends I’ve made because of music.”
That said, I’ve always tried to maintain a balance between being focused on a career and having a life. I have LOTS of other interests and I have friends who are friends because of Hockey, Harleys, Surfing, and Skiing…
Do you get nervous before a performance?
Not usually. Ironically, the only times I can remember getting butterflies was when I was playing for small audiences that were paying attention to me.
Do you have any advice for artists’ just starting out?
“Be true to who your are and be nice to everybody.”
How do you handle mistakes on the big stage?
“If I make a mistake, I purposely make it again….then according to definition, it’s jazz.”
Who is your biggest supporter?
It’s a tie between my sister/Mgr. and my girlfriend.
“The faith and love I get from both of them is pretty overwhelming.”
What is your most Favorite Song to perform and why?
It’s called, “Someone Somewhere Tonight” written by Walt Wilkins and Davis Raines.
“Somehow within three minutes and thirty seconds that song explains the meaning of life.”
Where can we follow your career at?
I share most of what I’ve got going on, from Facebook. That’s without trying to bore everyone with the most mundane details of my life or endlessly and shamelessly self-promote.
So tell us about the video you are sharing with us.
“My So Called Life.”
It features brief clips of my band and specifically, Randy Hofgren (bass) bowling… My band lived together on the road non-stop for a few years. It’s not like your friends at that point; it’s not like your brothers. It’s more than that.
“Randy was a larger than life character, he was literally a large, hairy, Swede.”
He died almost a year ago.
“Fittingly on the day the Vikings said the world would end.”
“The worst fate a Viking wants is to be forgotten.”
I and many others still promote the shit out of the man….
About Johnny Naylor:
Johnny Naylor is the founder and owner of 1st Shot Music and a feature writer for Jammerzine. His work can also be found on 1st Shot Music and Naylor’s Notes. You can also get his latest updates on his facebook page.