Sean Rowe: An Outdoorsman Enters Civilization | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Sean Rowe: An Outdoorsman Enters Civilization

Sean Rowe has a voice and a style that stands out in popular music. His voice is deep — really, truly deep — fine, and often doleful. He's a baritone troubadour who sings of roads not taken, regrets and the dreams that shake you awake at 3 in the morning.

After years of working bars, road houses and more bars, Rowe is playing concert stages and winning over critics for his story-songs and that remarkable voice. But, as he tells NPR's Scott Simon, he wasn't always so proud to be a singer.

"I was terrified of my own voice, and not because of the tonality of it," he says. "I was very introspective; I sang for myself, mostly. And when I started going through the teen years and all the baggage that comes with that, I got really self-conscious. I got self-conscious of hearing my voice on a tape recorder, and I would erase everything before I would show it to somebody. My practice tapes were basically only music."

Rowe's new album, The Salesman and the Shark, was recorded at the historic Vox studio in Los Angeles. Recording in L.A. and performing in New York are odd fits for Rowe, who says he prefers the rhythms of nature and the outdoors.

"It's a bit of a paradox for me. I do enjoy aspects of the city: I love the arts, I love people. That's about where it stops," Rowe says. "There's an energy in the city that doesn't sit right with me.

"I have spent an extended period of time in nature — the longest was about 24 days," he adds. "I slept in a shelter that I built. I was hunting, I was trapping primitively and I was consuming a lot of wild plants. And that was a tremendous lesson — in humility, bit also in nature connection."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For The Autumnal Equinox, A Poem As Chilling As The Fall Weather

Tuesday is the first day of fall. This time of year reminds critic Abigail Deutsch of Stephen Dobyns' "How to Like It" — a poem about a man who ponders his lost summers and fleeting dreams.
NPR

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
NPR

Should The U.S. Pay Ransom For ISIS Hostages?

Videotaped murders by Islamic State have sparked outrage around the world. But while some European countries have paid ransom to retrieve victims taken by ISIS, Britain and the U.S. have not.
NPR

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Home Depot says some 56 million card holders were possibly compromised in a cyber attack. It says there's no evidence that debit PIN numbers were comprised or that the breach affected online shoppers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.