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

Weekend Musher Finds Dogs Keep Her Hanging On

Julia Bayly of Fort Kent, Maine, works as a reporter at the Bangor Daily News. Her passion outside of work is dog sledding. It's the latest installment in our hobby series "Alter Egos."
NPR

When Zero Doesn't Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food

One in 10 packaged foods still contains trans fats, according to a new study. The problematic oils give foods a rich taste and texture and extend shelf life, but have been linked to heart disease.
NPR

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Congressman and former Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan discusses his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea.
NPR

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans ranks Amazon's new batch of five series pilots, asking why none of them seem break the rules of TV quite enough to draw attention.

Leave a Comment

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