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The Salesman and the Shark

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iTunes Review

The songs on The Salesman and the Shark fall somewhere between folk balladry and acts of catharsis, providing Sean Rowe with dark scenarios that perfectly fit his cellar-deep rumble of a voice. Rowe applies his baritone gravitas (reminiscent of such ‘60s R&B icons as Brook Benton and Lou Rawls) to tormented, slightly surreal lyrics about damaged love, shadowy crimes, and uneasy redemption. Producer Woody Jackson deftly varies his sonic strategies, giving “Bring Back the Night” a midnight gospel feel, “Joe’s Cult” a Tom Waits–esque rhumba groove, and “Downwind” a surf guitar–tinged melodrama. Most arresting is “Horses,” a cinematic narrative dressed up in swirling strings. Rowe commands the spotlight throughout, whether he’s relating a sinister traveler’s tale (“The Ballad of Buttermilk Falls”), embracing mystical angst (“The Lonely Maze”), or pairing with Inara George on a bittersweet duet (“The Wall”). Flashes of hope appear in “Old Shoes” and “Flying.” All told, Rowe matches the evocative presence of his singing with vivid, soul-bearing material on this haunting breakthrough release.

Customer Reviews


all you can do is smile and thank god for great music

Great Album!!

Don't hesitate to purchase this record. One of the best of the year.

Utterly Fantastic

I had the great pleasure of seeing Sean in concert this weekend at "Roots on the River" in Bellows Falls Vermont ... utterly fantastic, and this, his latest album, does justice to his undeniable talent as a singer and songwriter. Each song has it's own story, it's own voice, but all of them are Sean's, and each unforgetable.


Born: 1975 in Troy, New York

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Singer and songwriter Sean Rowe's rather astonishing singing voice evokes the sound of the ages. His big rumbling baritone bears traces of John Lee Hooker, Greg Brown, Wilson Pickett, and others, though it is utterly unaffected. Rowe hails from Troy, New York. In his teens he discovered the blues of Muddy Waters and Hooker as well as the soul music of Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles. He began playing guitar and learning songs by virtually every artist he admired -- and then some. By the time he began...
Full Bio
The Salesman and the Shark, Sean Rowe
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Customer Ratings