Submitted Sandy Graham
Our global pandemic storm isn’t over quite yet but, the end of 2021 certainly feels more like we’re all coming together again rather than drifting further apart, doesn’t it? Right on time, Canadian Celtic folk rocker Séan McCann brings us a rollicking new song that celebrates the power of love’s connection even from “10,000 Miles Away”.
The second single landing from the Newfoundland born-and-bred troubadour’s critically acclaimed and isolation inspired folk opus, SHANTYMAN, “10,000 Miles Away” could very well be the happiest song ever written and recorded about long distance love. It’s irresistible to tap or clap along with the hand jive rhythm and join McCann on the rousing “Sing blow ye winds high-o” chorus.
Check out “10,000 Miles Away” here: https://youtu.be/IPRhoBbo_HE
Resistance is truly futile. However, within this shanty’s fun and frolic lies an age-old tale of love-triumphs-over-all that parallels stories of rising above hard times at any time, including today.
“This song may be set back in the age of sail and silent movies”, says McCann, “but its romantic tale of love conquering isolation strongly resonates with everyone living through these pandemic days.”
Speaking of sailing, McCann gives a proud nod to the maritime tradition by featuring archival footage of the world famous, 100-year-old Nova Scotian racing schooner Bluenose in the video for “10,000 Miles Away”, now available to watch on YouTube. After all, when you’re singing a song about needing a boat to cross the ocean to get to your love, it should definitely be one of the best boats this country has ever known.
“I wanted to remind Canadians what it felt like to win again, and the mighty Bluenose is one of the biggest winners in our country’s history.”
When she wasn’t fishing for cod on the treacherous Grand Banks off Newfoundland, the Bluenose, under captain Angus Walters, was busy dominating international sailing races in the 1920s and ‘30s, eventually earning her spot on the Canadian dime. For McCann, this iconic Canadian sailing ship and its achievements are symbolic of our own strength and resilience.
“It’s a joyful reminder of how strong we really are in the face of adversity and a celebration of how far we have all come”
Séan McCann has certainly come a long way as a musician, songwriter, entertainer, husband and father over the years as well. He’s perhaps best known as a founding member of world-renowned and beloved folk rock band Great Big Sea — a group he co-founded and performed with until his exit in 2013.
Along with his auspicious tenure with Great Big Sea, McCann has released five successful solo albums, touching on a coast-to-coast worth of subjects and Canadian cultural moments like the infamous Fort McMurray, Alberta, wildfires (2016) in which he partnered with the Canadian Red Cross.
In conjunction with his philanthropy work, McCann also went on to organize a songwriters benefit in 2017 in support of veterans suffering with PTSD and addiction, enlisting his fellow musician friends, Joel Plaskett, Sarah Harmer and Jeremy Fisher. McCann’s good deeds would not go unnoticed — the musician earned the Order of Canada for his advocacy in 2020.
Coming to terms with the hauntings of his past, which ultimately resulted in a spiralling battle with alcohol addiction, coming clean and owning his truth has been paramount to who he’s become as a husband, a father, a musician, and a human. Armed with the strength and support of his wife, Andrea Aragon, McCann co-penned his first book One Good Reason (April, 2020). “It’s the story of how love saved their marriage, and music saved his life. It is the story of a man freed from the weight of a lie; a man who is changing his narrative and never forgetting… that he is not alone.”
Now that Canadian stages are open again, McCann and Aragon have been on the road very recently in support of both the book and the new album with appearances and performances in Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton and Strathmere, Ontario, with more dates to come in 2022.
Those in-person opportunities to connect and share some harmony, health and joy are just one big sign that music and community are two keys to helping us all get through.
“We may not be completely out of the woods yet, but it’s beginning to feel like we have finally turned the tide and that VICTORY is getting closer now,” says McCann.
“10,000 Miles Away” is now available via YouTube, and the new album Shantyman is available exclusively via www.seanmccannsings.com.
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