A rootsy singer/songwriter known for his passionate but down-to-earth approach, Sean McConnell was born in Massachusetts, where his parents were both musicians who played frequently on the Boston folk circuit. At age 11, McConnell and his family moved to Georgia, and Sean began teaching himself to play by watching a video of one of his father's favorite performers, David Wilcox. (Wilcox would be a major influence on Sean as well.) Dealing with the isolation of leaving his friends behind in Boston, McConnell started writing songs, inspired by the songwriters his parents listened to -- Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Bruce Springsteen, and Harry Chapin -- as well as the performing style of Michael Jackson. After completing high school, McConnell relocated to Nashville, Tennessee; he enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University, where he studied the music business. McConnell expanded his performing schedule, playing venues in Nashville and in surrounding college towns, and put a renewed focus on writing his own material.
In 2000, McConnell self-released his first album, Here in the Lost and Found, and 200 Orange St followed in 2003. By this time, McConnell's songs had impressed a representative of Warner-Chappell Music, who encountered Sean when he sang on a friend's publishing demo, and he was signed to a publishing deal. McConnell's songwriting career soon proved fruitful, and his compositions were recorded by Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, Martina McBride, Meat Loaf, the Plain White T's, and many more. Despite his success as a tunesmith, McConnell continued to pursue a career as a performer, releasing material at a steady clip through his own label -- three albums, Cold Black Sky, Saints. Thieves. Liars., and Midland, and two EPs, The Walk Around and The B-Side Session, were released between 2006 and 2014 -- and touring frequently, finding an especially loyal audience in Texas, where he was adopted as part of the regional Red Dirt singer/songwriter community. His hard work as an independent paid off and in 2016 McConnell scored a deal with Rounder Records, which released his self-titled fifth album that summer. ~ Mark Deming