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

Kids' Films And Stories Share A Dark Theme: Dead Mothers

Why do so many animated movies star motherless kids? Sarah Boxer, a graphic novelist, cartoon-lover and mother, talks to NPR's Kelly McEvers about the phenomenon and the message it sends to children.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

What Will Become Of Obama's Request For Immigration Relief Funds?

NPR's Arun Rath talks to political correspondent Mara Liasson about the chances of a political agreement over how to handle the migration of thousands of Central American children.
NPR

Looking For Free Sperm, Women May Turn To Online Forums

Bypassing commercial sperm banks, thousands are logging on to websites where women can connect with men at no cost. Anecdotes abound, but the scope of the unregulated activity is unclear.

Leave a Comment

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