Get this crazy baby off my head!


Sean Costello

Sean Costello - Sean Costello - 2004 - Tone-Cool/Artemis

This self-titled album is Atlanta blues guitarist Sean Costello's fourth solo release, and although he is still only 25 years old, his informed knowledge of the blues genre (and lately, soul and R&B as well) belies his age. The contemporary blues scene is full of hotshot young guitar players, but Costello is somewhat of an exception, having learned that less can be more, and his guitar playing doesn't take center stage here, but falls instead into a wonderful ensemble style that draws as much from Steve Cropper's economic playing as it does from the slash-and-burn approach of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Not that Costello can't amp it up when necessary (his version here of Tommy Johnson's classic "Big Road Blues" is nothing short of thundering), but he has learned to play the song rather than play the guitar, an important distinction that some of his flashy contemporaries have yet to discover. Nor is this strictly a blues outing, as Costello explores an intriguing mix of soul, funk, and hard rock, covering songs by Johnny Taylor, Al Green (the horn-driven "I'm a Ram"), and Bob Dylan (a version of "Simple Twist of Fate" that features Levon Helm on drums — Helm's daughter, Amy Helm, helps out on backing vocals on several tracks here as well), along with seven original compositions, including the dynamite opener, "No Half Steppin'." It is worth mentioning, too, that Costello's voice has matured into a surprisingly flexible and expressive vehicle, and he even moves into a kind of urban soul mode with the self-penned ballad "All I Can Do." Although this is a fine and impressive outing, one gets the feeling that Costello is just starting to hit his stride as a songwriter and singer, while as a guitar player he has obviously learned the vital and difficult lesson that drawing attention to your playing should only happen when the song demands it. © Steve Leggett © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:w9fqxq9sldhe [N.B: REVIEW PRE-DATES SEAN'S DEATH]

Sean begun playing blues at the age of 9 and became an instant prodigy. By the age of 16 he had released his first album. During his short life Sean released 5 critically acclaimed albums and played with greats like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and James Cotton. His guitar technique was wonderful, and he had an innate understanding of blues, soul, and R&B, which is demonstrated brilliantly on this s/t album, HR by A.O.O.F.C. There is info on Sean's "Cuttin' In" album @ SEANCOST/CUIN Buy Sean's "Moanin' for Molasses", and "We Can Get Together" albums, and keep his memory alive. Sean also plays some great guitar on Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won’t Burn" album. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, as Sean did, why not check out The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research


1 No Half Steppin' - Sean Costello 3:52
2 I'm a Ram - Al Green/Hodges, D./Hodgs, D./Memphis, E. 3:51
3 She Changed My Mind - Sean Costello 3:45
4 Hold on This Time - Banks, E./Davis, D./Russell Jackson/Memphis, E. 4:29
5 Simple Twist of Fate - Bob Dylan 5:42
6 I've Got to Ride - Costello, S./Linden, P. 3:45
7 Take It Easy - Costello, S./Patscha, G. 5:40
8 Peace of Mind - R. Ward 4:46
9 Father - Costello, S./Patscha, G. 5:09
10 All I Can Do - Sean Costello 4:45
11 Big Road Blues - Tommy Johnson 3:00
12 I Get a Feeling - Johnny "Guitar" Watson 4:07
13 Don't Pass Me By - Costello, S./Helm, A. 6:09


Sean Costello - Guitar, Vocals
Jimi Zhivago Guitar - (Acoustic), National Steel Guitar
Melvin Zachary, Willie Weeks - Bass (Electric), Guitar (Bass)
Byron Isaacs - Bass (Electric), Guitar (Bass), Double Bass, Bass (Upright)
Glenn Patscha - Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals (bckgr), Vibraphone, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3
Matt Wauchope - Organ, Piano, Keyboards, Organ (Hammond)
Paul Linden - Harmonica, Piano, Keyboards, Clavinet, Wurlitzer
Steven "Steven J." Jordan, Terrence Prather - Drums
Levon Helm - Drums, Vocals (bckgr)
Tony Leone - Percussion, Drums
Jerry Vivino, John Ellis - Saxophone
Mark Pender - Trumpet
Fiona McBain - Vocals (bckgr)
Amy Helm - Vocals (bckgr), Vocal Harmony


Teen blues phenom Sean Costello was born and raised in Atlanta, receiving his first guitar for his ninth birthday. A primarily self-taught player, he initially gravitated toward hard rock but soon discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan, moving on from there to Howlin' Wolf; under the wing of local bluesman Felix Reyes, a 14-year-old Costello won the Beale Street Blues Society's talent award in 1994. Another contestant was Susan Tedeschi, and soon Costello began touring as her lead guitarist and stayed with her band for a couple years. He also provided guitar on Tedeschi's 1998 album, Just Won't Burn. Soon after leaving Tedeschi's band, Costello assembled backing outfit the Jivebombers — bassist Carl Shankle, keyboardist and harpist Paul Linden, and drummer Terrence Prather — and issued his debut album, Call the Cops, in 1996. After touring extensively and revamping his band by replacing Shankle with Melvin Zachary on bass and adding keyboardist Matt Wauchope, Costello released Cuttin' In in early 2000. The album was a success in the blues community, gaining him a W.C. Handy Award nomination for Best New Artist Debut. In 2001 Costello released his third album, Moanin' for Molasses, and further cemented his reputation as one of the best young blues guitarists on the scene. The self-titled Sean Costello was released on Artemis Records in 2004. Unfortunately, Artemis folded a few months later and the album — intended as Costello's breakthrough — never received the publicity it deserved. It would be four years before Costello would release another album with 2008's We Can Get Together. Sadly, on April 15, 2008, just two months after the release of that album and a day before his 29th birthday, Costello was found dead in a local Atlanta hotel room. A subsequent toxicology report found the cause of death to be a mixture of drugs including heroin. © Jason Ankeny © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:0jftxq8gldfe~T1

BIO (Wikipedia)

Sean Costello (April 16, 1979 – April 15, 2008) was an American blues musician, renowned for his fiery guitar playing and soulful singing. He released five critically-acclaimed albums before his career was cut short by his sudden death at the age of 28. Tinsley Ellis called him ‘the most gifted young Blues guitarist on the scene... he was a triple threat on guitar, vocals and as a songwriter’. Costello mastered traditional blues guitar at an early age and began his career while still in high school. His records became increasingly eclectic as his career progressed. Born in Philadelphia, Costello moved to Atlanta at the age of 9. Obsessive about the guitar from a young age, he got hooked on the blues after buying Howlin’ Wolf's 'Rockin' Chair Album'. At 14 the young prodigy created a stir in a Memphis guitar shop, where an employee tipped his father off about a talent contest sponsored by the Beale Street Blues Society, which Costello duly entered and won. He formed his first band shortly after. At sixteen, Costello recorded his first album, Call The Cops (1996), already ‘displaying a flawless command of 1950s blues guitar’, in the words of music historian Tony Russell. His lead guitar work on Susan Tedeschi's gold-selling album, Just Won't Burn, (1998), subsequently brought him national exposure. Costello's band later toured as Tedeschi's backing group. "His playing is shockingly deep for a 20-year old", wrote the Allmusic guide of Costello's second album, Cuttin’ In (2000), which was nominated for a W. C. Handy Award for Best New Artist Debut. The follow-up, Moanin’ For Molasses, was equally well received; the Allmusic guide drew attention to Costello's "soulful voice" and his "ability to mesh blues, R&B and soul". "Passionate... distinctive and often compelling... Costello's vocals are most astonishing," reported Blues Revue Magazine. Costello honed his skills through almost constant performing, playing over 300 gigs a year and touring widely in the USA and Europe. His reputation as a brilliant live performer enabled him to play alongside blues luminaries such as B. B. King and Buddy Guy (Ma Rainey House benefit concert, Columbus, Georgia, June 1997), James Cotton (Cotton's 64th birthday concert in Memphis) and Hubert Sumlin (South by Southwest, Austin, Texas, March 2005). When not touring, Costello made a living playing small venues in his home town of Atlanta, Georgia, such as the Northside Tavern. Richard Rosenblatt, former President of Tone-Cool Records, recalls Costello's performances: As a guitarist he was astounding, but for Sean it was never about showing off monstrous chops or stroking his own ego. His playing always fit the song; he would work the tone and phrasing, sometimes with an economy of notes that let the empty spaces hang achingly for what seemed like hours. When he did take off on the occasional blazing run, he was the ultimate tightrope walker, flirting fearlessly with danger before bringing it all back home with the unlikeliest of phrases that was still, somehow, perfect. Through Amy Helm of Ollabelle, Costello met her father, Americana musician Levon Helm, formerly of The Band, whose eclecticism encouraged Costello to further develop his interests outside the blues: "he really blew it wide open for me. He’d play a Chuck Berry tune, then a blues, then a country tune or a rock number or whatever, and he didn’t even think twice about it.". Levon Helm and the members of Ollabelle were among the contributors to Costello’s fourth, self-titled album, recorded in New York with input from local musicians. With an eclectic set list, and arrangements reminiscent more of Memphis soul than Chicago blues, Sean Costello (2005) marked a departure from his earlier work. Costello’s guitar took a backseat to his voice, which by now "had acquired a ragged edge of considerable power" (Tony Russell). In 2007 Costello's playing on Nappy Brown's comeback album, Long Time Coming, was singled out for praise by the critics. The following year Costello released what was to be his last album, We Can Get Together, acclaimed by many as his best work. His guitar playing on this record was described variously as "incendiary", "searing", and "blistering red hot". Hal Horowitz of the Allmusic guide wrote the following: - "The material is so strong and the ensemble playing of his band so effortless that he doesn't need to distract attention from the songs with the extended soloing he is capable of... he establishes a greasy groove that weaves through each cut, connecting them even when the styles differ. While Costello is clearly inspired by the blues greats, many of whom he has covered on previous collections, he slants more to '70s Southern soul, rock, and R&B here, dousing these genres with a bucket load of swamp water and spearheaded by his whiskey-laced vocals. There's a thick, gooey atmospheric vibe that hangs over the album, gels its contents, and shows Costello to be a terrific singer and songwriter and guitar talent just hitting his peak". Sean Costello was found dead in his Atlanta hotel room on April 15, 2008. A medical report later determined that he died of an accidental drug overdose. Posthumously, Costello's family revealed that he had suffered from Bipolar disorder, and set up the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research in his honor.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for Sean Costello, it is a real discovery for me (your presentation made me try for it) a nice surprise

Thanks again


A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Alexfripou. Thank you for comment. The guy was a wonderful musician, and I hope he is remembered

bluesis said...

Dear A.O.O.F.C.,
Sean Costello was a promising young artist. I love learning about the musicians and there body of work. This link is corrupted. Thanks for your fantastic efforts.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, bluesis. I hope you are well.I have lost the original 320 bit file, but I can re-up a 160 bit version in 1-2 days. Check back soon, and thanks

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK(160 kbps)

p/w if required is aoofc

Mizar6 said...

yes, didn't know about him until i went looking for stuff about amy helm's brother who, like sean, died before it seemed to be his time.
what a legacy he has left behind...
you're a gem too :-)
Mizar5 eh 6

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Mizar 6. So sad. The list of young great musicians who have gone to Rock Heaven is a long one. Hey, are you moving planets (LOL). I've been called a rough diamond before! See you on Mizar 7. There's a boom there now!

bluesis said...

Hi A.O.O.F.C. Please repost as the link is down. Thanks for your great blog.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,bluesis. There is a Hotfile link a few posts above you. You can also try


Thanks a million for your comments. TTU soon