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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

A Conversation With Sean Cotton

Douglas McLean chats with Sean Cotton for his latest Sound Cafe Podcast, they chat about Sean's latest album 'Almaguin Gothic' and lots more.

You can listen to the entire interview and music HERE

The first Covid lockdown created a window of opportunity for Sean Cotton to spend each day in his home studio in Burk's Falls Ontario. After purchasing a 12 string guitar, dobro, and a mandolin, he could finally get down to laying all of the tracks down for the songs that he'd been writing. Self produced, Sean performed all of the instruments on the album and employed the assistance of Burk's Falls neighbour and singer-songwriter Gina Horswood as well as Gravenhurst Blues singer Tamica Herod to add background vocals.

Inspired by his home region of Almaguin Highlands, Sean wanted this record to be a harsh contrast to the more upbeat, "touristy" lyrical elements of his 2019 album Only in Muskoka. He wanted it to be less Jimmy Buffett, less Stompin' Tom, and more Robbie Robertson, more Stan Rogers. He wanted this album to reflect the more rural experience of living and trying to survive in Almaguin Highlands. On the album, fact and fiction coexist. Sean even elaborated on a Burk's Falls songwriter's existing work, expanding Pam Millar's local hit song Small Town Girl into the epic Ballad of Pam Millar, in true troubadour tradition. The regions mythology is richly reflected in this epic Folk Rock album Almaguin Gothic.

The CD album artwork features three works of art by Emsdale, Ontario visual artist Janet Stahle.

A Georgetown , Ontario native and Toronto expat, Sean Cotton currently creates and performs in the Central Ontario regions of Muskoka and Almaguin Highlands. After retiring from a 20 year career on the road and in the studio as a guitar player and harmony vocalist with performing-songwriting duo The Undesirables, Sean has settled in the village of Burk's Falls, Ontario where he operates a recording studio producing artist, recording his own albums as well as working as a jingle composer for radio.

Over the years Sean has been a sideman for artists as diverse as Indie New Country Artist Marshall Dane, Blues and R&B singer Treasa Levasseur, and Pop singer Suzie McNeil. His first record producer credit was for his longtime collaborator Folk singer Corin Raymond. Sean still receives SOCAN royalties from writing collaborations with the latter three artists.

You can see Sean performing solo from Gravenhurst to North Bay, from Burk's Falls to Parry Sound. These performances are a highly revered one-man band experience, with Sean filling out the back beat of the music with his feet by performing percussion on a tambourine adorned guitar case and sporting ankle bells on his left leg. He is constantly creating bands to suit all occasions that get thrown his direction. He currently performs his original music with a quartet fittingly named The New Locals.

The songs on his 2019 solo album Only in Muskoka, celebrate the region while offering some character sketches that touched on some of the rougher edges of Muskoka. Songs like Hard Time of Year, The Accidental death of Thomas John Thomson, and his anthemic regional hit Broke in Muskoka.

You can listen to the entire interview and music HERE


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