Sean Rowe at the Gladstone Hotel

My last stop of Canadian Music Week brought along a pleasant surprise as I was introduced for the first time to Sean Rowe.

While my financial situation dictates that I have to rely on the generosity of friends or cheap hostels when I come to Toronto, I still always try to stop by the Gladstone Hotel for their music venue. After a couple of days of high intensity rock and punk bands, I was looking forward to capping off my 2013 Canadian Music Week with a low key acoustic folk show.

Sean Rowe

I had originally intended to stop by the Gladstone to profile another artist on the bill, but my favourite performer of the night was upstate New-Yorker Sean Rowe. With his electrifying baritone voice and powerful lyrics, Rowe is a mix of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits with a dirty down south kind of sound.

As I watched the show I remember thinking screw those young, moody emo bands that littered Queen street on Saturday night! It’s a nice to see a performer who is clearly loving life. After declaring that he had a nightmare where he had to shave off his beard (see my Ben Caplan article for my thoughts on bearded men), one of the sweetest moments of my CMW experience this year was Sean Rowe gushing about his young son and then dedicating a song to him. It sent me off to sleep with a smile on my face. If only all our Saturday nights could end this happily.


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