Treasure State troubadour ,Sean Devine, has been on a roll since the release of Austin Blues, his critically well-received third album of original songs, recorded live to tape at Cedar Creek in Austin, Texas. That collection of soul-searching songs following a painful divorce has led Sean to some new, exciting places, and earned him a place among new country’s rising stars.
Sean has toured and performed with a host of new and traditional country artists including James McMurtry, Stoney LaRue, Ward Davis, Sunny Sweeney, Micky and The Motorcars, Jason Eady, Jamie Lin Wilson, Porter Union, Jalan Crossland, and The Jayhawks—across the U.S. and in the U.K. and Canada.
A fifth-generation Montanan born in Bozeman, Sean grew up mostly in and around the small town of Livingston. Living in the country as a child, Sean attended a three-room schoolhouse called Pine Creek School (still in operation), where he played his first live show in the third grade singing an original song for the Mother’s Day Tea program.
As a teenager, Sean played in a classic rock-n-roll band with his dad, Mike Devine, his uncle John, Ronnie Taylor, and Steven “Woody” Woodwick. The band worked the bar circuit in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming for four years. Sean then founded a new band with local musicians Frank O’Connor, Jeff Nashan, and Dan Lewis called The Daily Planet, playing college rock material and once opening for Blue Oyster Cult at The Cat’s Paw in Bozeman.
In his mid-twenties Sean left Montana for a six-month sojourn in New York, where he attended every open mic he could find in the Village Voice, and eventually became a regular performer at The Bitter End, CBGB’s Gallery, The Elbow Room, Downtime, The Fast Folk Cafe, and other fine venues in the lower Manhattan scene of the 1990s. While Sean had some meetings with record producers and labels during this time, he ultimately decided to return to Montana, where he recorded his debut album Walking Down the Road independently released in 1997.
Settled Down, the lead single from that album, garnered significant airplay on college and community radio stations where Sean toured throughout the intermountain western region, even making The Gavin Report in the new Americana category. Sean sold the entire first pressing of over 1,100 units playing coffeehouses, bars and colleges in MT, ID, WY, UT, CO, WA, NV, CA, NY, NJ, MA … in a 1990 Buick LeSabre named Dale. Sean managed to write and record a follow-up album during this time called After the Big Parade.
The relentless touring and distance contributed to the demise of Sean’s first marriage, and he became a divorced dad at 31. A new relationship quickly brought more children, and Sean’s touring life was trimmed significantly through the mid 2000s. Sean formed a duo with his musical compadre Kevin Toll called Two Story Ranch, and the two played the Montana bar circuit, eventually adding Kyle Brenner on cello, Jamie Warren on upright bass, and a rotating cast of drummers including Ron Craighead, Paul Decker, and Johnny Regan.
Sean’s second marriage fell apart in 2012. Now with three children and two ex-wives, Sean’s performing life stalled for a few years while he focused on being a single dad. His writing did not, however, and with the help of new love Quenby Iandiorio and stalwart supporter Betsy Greeson, Sean began preparing for a new album. Quenby brought Sean to Austin, Texas, where she had recently called home before moving to Montana, and Sean was embraced by that musical community.
This led to the Austin Blues sessions at Cedar Creek Recording in the fall of 2014. The songs were recorded live to 24 track tape in three days with a host of Austin’s finest talent, then mixed to half-track at 12th Street Sound, and ultimately released on vinyl, CD and via the internet in the summer of 2015. Back on the road as a solo artist, Sean sings songs from his whole catalog, from his life experience, from his heart, for audiences in small towns and big cities everywhere.
Still based just south of Livingston, Sean remains forever a Montana boy, living in a world of music.