The brother of Dolores Keane, one of Ireland's finest singers, Sean Keane has consistently garnered acclaim for his own talents. A former member of Reel Union, which featured his sister, Mairtin O'Connor, and Johnny Faulkner, and Arcady, which featured Johnny "Ringo" McDonagh, Sharon Shannon, Cathal Hayden, and Frances Black, Keane has made his greatest mark as a soloist. His first solo album, All Heart, No Roses, released in 1994, was named Debut Album of the Year by Q Magazine. Three years later, Keane was voted Performer of the Year by readers of Irish Music Magazine.
Keane displayed musical talent at an early age. Although he tried his hand at the accordion and fiddle, he felt most comfortable as a vocalist. Singing from the age of seven, he soon placed first in a singing competition at the Connaught Fleadh. By his late-teens, he had received 13 all-Ireland medals for his singing. Despite his involvement with music, Keane was initially drawn more to the theater. He starred in Druid's production of Merriman's poem "The Midnight Court" and a production of Tom McIntyre's play Sheep's Milk on the Boil at the Abbey Theater. He did not fully commit himself to music until 1994. Throughout his musical career, Keane has balanced traditional music and modern compositions. All Heart, No Roses focused on traditional tunes, many of which Keane had learned from his grandmother. His second album, Turn a Phrase, released in April 1996, took a different approach and showcased contemporary songwriting. Keane's third album, No Stranger, released in July 1998, continued in a similar vein. Keane's current band features James Blennerhassett (bass, background vocals), Robbie Overson (guitar, background vocals), and Ted Ponsonby (guitar, background vocals). ~ Craig Harris