End of an era

Séan McCann, the beloved Shantyman of Great Big Sea, has set off a firestorm of reaction by announcing that this is his last tour with Great Big Sea. He posted this up to his Facebook wall:

Sean's Done
Sean’s Done

Dara and I have kind of felt this coming for a bit, actually. Between Séan falling hard off the radar a couple of years ago, just after dropping his second solo album… and Alan and Bob also being off doing their own solo projects… and there being a distinct lack of new material in the big GBS box set… the whole XX tour has had a feel of “last hurrah” about it. And this announcement now just pretty much clenches it.

I can’t imagine that GBS will last past this point. Séan is far too critical to the band’s overall sound, and Alan and Bob do have other things going on–though to be fair, I haven’t seen the band announce specifically yet what the group plans are. We’ll have to stand by and see whether they have the band as a whole stand down, or what.

Either way it’s the end of an era for me. I’ve put thirteen years of love and joy into the music of Great Big Sea, and have therefore been with them for a good chunk of their twenty-year run. Twenty years is a good strong epic run, and if they’re going to stand down, I do actually prefer them to do it while they’re still fairly energetic and happy. And I like the idea of Séan going home to raise his kids and mentor the next generation of Newfoundland musicians. And maybe have some epic jam sessions at Erin’s Pub in St. John’s, now that Bob owns the place.

I’m very grateful at this point that I got to see GBS three times this year, and especially that I finally got my pic with Alan. A wistful-making day for all of us in GBS fandom. Much love and many hugs to all my fellow fans. I’ll be raising a glass in the Shantyman’s honor as soon as I’m medically okay with having alcohol again. I recommend y’all do the same. And go express your best wishes to Séan if you’re on Facebook or Twitter. Let the man know he’s loved and he’ll be missed.

6 Replies to “End of an era”

    1. I’m hearing rumblings that the B’ys may get in a guy to succeed Sean–but I haven’t heard the band themselves confirm this yet, so I don’t know when this will happen or who a new guy might be.

      Still very much the end of an era, regardless! Séan’s sound is too critical to the band I’ve loved all these years. If they’re bringing in a new guy I’ll give him a fair shake. But we’ll have to see… I’d have a hard time imagining that they’d bring in a new guy at the same “lead singer” level that Séan’s had all this time. I’d rather more expect that they’d bring in another guy to fill the slot in the harmony, but shift more lead singing over to Bob.

      And if they haven’t put Kris and Murray on the promo materials after all this time I’d be kinda stunned if they would do that with a new guy, so. I dunno!

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