(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Sean Rowe, a Troy, N.Y. native, lifelong naturalist and ANTI- recording artist, performs his original singer-songwriter folk-rock at Club Helsinki on Friday, February 3, 2012, at 9 p.m. A throwback to 1970s-era soulful rock poets like Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison, Rowe boasts an impossibly deep and rich baritone, a gift for melody, and a knack for the perfectly hewn image to get across his haunting, brooding folk-rock anthems.
On the song “Night,” from Rowe’s ANTI- debut, Magic, the singer turns his rich baritone to a moment of childhood innocence. Rowe’s deep, magical voice is nothing if not wise and experienced; he knows full well that after the innocence comes the fall. This ability to conjure dueling emotions – the elation of childhood versus the bruising of real life – marks the arrival of a skilled lyricist and songwriter.
The spare arrangements on Magic forefront Rowe’s expressive, anguished vocals and serve to color his moody melodies with swatches of electric guitar, cello, and other carefully placed instrumental touches. The sparseness and Rowe’s vocal command at times recalls recordings by Greg Brown, another folk-rock poet with a deep growl.
Magic was recorded in the small upstate town of Troy, N.Y., in a studio above the space where Sean’s grandfather once ran an Italian restaurant. The recording process, as he describes it, was intimate and incredibly specific. Brushes of fingertips on strings, hushed breaths, even the darkness of the studio seeps its way into the record, enhancing its live, trembling feel. “I wanted to create an abyss, something to take you far away, a dark but familiar space for people to get lost in,” he explains.
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