Séan McCann (musician)

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Sean McCann
Sean McCann in 2012.png
McCann in 2012.
Background information
Born (1967-05-22) May 22, 1967 (age 49)
Origin Gull Island, Newfoundland, Canada
Genres Folk-Rock
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Singing, acoustic guitar, bodhran, tin whistle


Notable instruments
Takamine guitar with a hole worn through, bodran

Séan McCann "The Shantyman" (born May 22, 1967,[1] Carbonear, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) is a singer and musician (playing bodhran, shakers, tin whistle and guitar) in his former band Great Big Sea. He announced plans to stop touring with the band at the end of December 2013.

Early life[edit]

He was born to Anita and Edward McCann. His mother was born in Northern Bay and his father in Gull Island. When he was a child, his family moved to St. John's. He was raised Roman Catholic.[2] He is married and has 2 sons. He now lives in Manotick, a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario.[3]


He met up with his former bandmates at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where he left his pursuit of a Master's degree in Folklore unfinished when Great Big Sea was formed.

McCann is an avid fan of world-music. His tastes vary from Bob Marley to Coldplay. Proof that he is a fan of Bob Marley is shown through his two beagles, Tosh and Marley. McCann used to write a blog on Great Big Sea's website, http://www.greatbigsea.com/, in the eyes of Tosh the dog.[4] Tosh recounts his doggy endeavors while accompanying the band on tour.

McCann has launched a website of his own, http://www.greatbigsean.com/, showcasing his first solo effort, "Lullabies for Bloodshot Eyes", an album that was released February 23, 2010 to pleasing critical success. His second album "Son of a Sailor" was released February 8, 2011.

He, along with his former bandmates, has finished recording their tenth album. He also appeared with the rest of Great Big Sea in British Columbia at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics Victory Ceremony on February 26, 2010, headlining the Newfoundland-Labrador Night.

Séan McCann performed on BalconyTV Toronto in July 2011.

McCann's new solo album, titled "Help Your Self" was released 29 January 2014.[5]

In June 2016 McCann released the folk song "Proud (To Be a Canadian)" for free online in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to benefit victims of the Fort McMurray wildfires.[6] McCann told The Canadian Press that his feelings of despair over the disaster led him to write the lyrics. Once he was finished he contacted fellow musician Jeremy Fisher to help him in the studio.[7]

Departure From Great Big Sea[edit]

On November 14, 2013 Séan McCann announced via Facebook that he would be leaving the band at the end of the XX tour.[8] The same day, McCann refused to comment on his departure, but claimed he will comment on it in 2014.[9]

In an interview with Bob Mersereau for the CBC, Séan discussed his life changes. "I stopped drinking two and a half years ago, I've decided to leave the band I've been in for 20 years. I'm 46 years old, and I've decided to make ...changes." [10]


  • Lullabies for the Bloodshot Eyes
  • Son of a Sailor
  • Help Your Self[11]


{{Official Website [1]}}