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PODCAST: Sean McCann is the ‘Shantyman’

TODAY IN B.C.: Former member of Great Big Sea is touring with stops in B.C.

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Host Peter McCully chats with Sean McCann, the musician and singer-songwriter is best known as a member of the Newfoundland-based folk-rock band, Great Big Sea.

McCann began his music career in the many bars of St. John’s before forming Great Big Sea in 1993 with bandmates Alan Doyle and Bob Hallett.

The members of the band were multi-instrumentalists.

‘I think it’s because none of us are trained, it’s great to get into theory and stuff, but it tells you what the rules are,’ McCann says. ‘So having not been made aware of what the limitations on us would be, we had no fear in trying anything ever.’

In 2013, McCann announced his departure from Great Big Sea to focus on his solo career and personal life. Since then, he has continued to release music and tour extensively, drawing on his experiences of addiction and recovery as well as his Newfoundland roots to create poignant and heartfelt songs that resonate with audiences around the world.

McCann tells host Peter McCully, that now he is a solo act.

‘The audience, whether they know it or not, they are the band, everyone is expected to sing. And even if you can’t sing very well, it doesn’t matter because if everyone sings, It always ends up being some kind of harmony.’

McCann and his wife Andrea wrote a memoire about addiction and recovery, called ‘One Good Reason’.

‘I’m a survivor of sexual abuse myself, people drink and use drugs for reasons. That was mine. I wasn’t facing it for a long time. But I’ve been sober now 11 years, and I’ve tried to apply myself and share my story with people who are willing to listen,’ says McCann.

‘It’s important that we do know it’s there and a lot of people are afraid to talk about it. But I am doing my best to change that because one thing I believe is that a secret can kill you, and there’s only one way to defeat secrets, and that’s to share them.’

Sean McCann will be touring extensively in 2023 with stops in British Columbia.

The podcast includes ‘The Shantyman’ as performed by McCann.

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Peter McCully

About the Author: Peter McCully

Peter has been a broadcaster and publisher on both of Canada’s coasts and has owned a small newspaper and run an advertising agency along the way.
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