Brooklyn-based music artist Sean Kershaw, whose swaggering, “high-octane honky-tonk” (New York Times) has thrilled and seduced audiences from New York to L.A. and beyond, is releasing a long-anticipated EP, The Aussie Sessions, scheduled to drop in the States on December 7, 2013.
Recorded in Melbourne, Australia at Hailstone Studio — an apropos recording space for Kershaw’s roughhewn country-rockabilly that doubles as a greaser workshop and contains a '65 Ford pickup, shovelhead chopper and collection of vintage amps — the album comprises seven original compositions featuring a more retro rock ‘n’ roll sound than Sean’s previous musical ventures. Recorded live, Kershaw was backed by Justin Rudge on guitar, Sweet Felicia on bass and backup vocals, and Scott Bennett on drums. Paulie Bignell, who was The Aussie Sessions’ recording engineer, also contributed a guitar solo.
Kershaw is slated to embark on a promotional tour of the United Kingdom supporting the album early next spring. However, audiences here at home can purchase the EP and experience the new songs when Sean plays the Way Station in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, on the December 7th date of release.
The Aussie Sessions is just the latest musical trek in the journey of The Coney Island Cowboy (the title of Kershaw’s acclaimed debut CD). While Kershaw’s lead vocals and rhythm guitar suggest the whisky-soaked angst of Hank Williams Sr., a gritty brand of rockabilly that drives restless boots straight to the dance floor. It was a writer for Playgirl magazine who, after listening to the single “Moonlight Eyes,” Kershaw’s most popular recording to date, observed that those same boots might sooner be kicked off and placed under a lover’s bed. Coney Island Cowboy enjoyed regular airplay in the U.S., Australia and Europe upon its release.
A lifelong wanderer born in Baltimore and raised in a military family, Kershaw has lived overseas and all over the continental U.S. Early in his career, Kershaw embraced the road by busking throughout the country. Starting out in New Orleans, he headed west to play in Los Angeles and San Francisco, went north up to Seattle, back across to Chicago and St. Louis, and eventually settled in New York.
It was in Brooklyn that Kershaw became a driving force if not the face of a growing country music scene, spurring notices in various high profile media outlets such as the New York Post, New York magazine and Time Out New York, and eventually becoming the cover story of a Village Voice article dedicated to Brooklyn country.
From 1996 through 2003, Kershaw played with a band called the Blind Pharaohs. The rockabilly group developed a plugged-in and loyal following touring up and down the East Coast. However, by 2007, having written and continuing to hone a host of original country and rockabilly songs, “Sean Kershaw and the New Jack Ramblers” became Sean’s main musical vehicle.
Depending on the venue, Sean Kershaw and the New Jack Ramblers scale up or down in players, and feature Sean on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, an upright bass, lead guitarist, drums, pedal steel, and occasionally keyboards, banjo, fiddle and the mandolin.
“Audiences that respond to mainstream country music will readily hear the influences of Johnny Cash, jump blues and western swing in the New Jack Ramblers,” stated Sean Kershaw. “But it’s the remnants of my background as a punk rocker, and the strange, unexpected tales our songs tell that subvert country purists’ expectations and appeal to an even broader, often younger audience. The new set of songs from The Aussie Sessions brings yet another dimension to our sound,” continued Kershaw.