Every time Sean Barrette listens to his album, he hears something new that makes him smile. Sometimes it’s a keyboard arrangement, and other times it’s the expression his father uses while singing a particular harmony.
Every time he listens, he hears something that still gives him goosebumps.
The process of making his debut album was similar to the end result.
“Everything about it has been relatively effortless,” he said.
Considering the album, Live Through This, was made with help from some long-time musicians, it only makes sense.
Local artists like Stephanie Fyfe, Luke Selle, Matthew Graveline, Brian Dunn, Nick Krawczuk, Marc Donato, Matt Foy, Peter Learn and Don Kunto all appeared on Barrette’s “wish list,” as well as on the album.
The real challenge for Barrette, he said, was committing to make the album. It’s not every day a person decides to make a CD. Especially not a 40-year-old, with a wife and two kids, who has played guitar for less than a quarter of his life.
Maturity has proven to be an asset. Barrette said his good and bad experiences have “blessed” him, giving him meaningful content to work into his songs.
“I’ve got that advantage,” he said. Some of his music reflects the hard time he faced when his best friend, Reggie Wainman, passed away, and others reflect on more jovial times.
It’s only rock n’ roll.
The album has songs for each of the members of his immediate family, all which “came about out of love.” The first song he wrote after he learned to play guitar was Coat of Armour — a track dedicated to his wife Lara. Strawberry Girl is for his four-year-old daughter Marley and Little Man is for his seven-year-old son Evan.
He said he tries to “just let the songs happen,” never denying them the opportunity to be expressed.
As a “word person,” who spent nearly a decade on air at Q92, then in media relations at the Sudbury Regional Hospital and now the Community Care Access Centre, lyrics are the easy part for him.
Life experience and the ability to write songs isn’t the only thing Barrette has going for him — he comes by music naturally, too. His dad, Guy, “has always played in bands, since before I was thought of,” Barrette said.
Barrette said he was glad to include Guy on the album, because in all the years his father spent making music, he never once recorded. And it gave Barrette the opportunity to give his album “that friends and family feel.”
Although playing guitar is relatively new to Barrette, he said he has enjoyed singing his entire life. But he wasn’t interested in seriously pursuing it until now.
However, he’s only partly serious about being a musician. Barrette said living the “rock star” life doesn’t appeal to him at all.
He’s just doing what feels right, when it feels right, he said.
“I’m not really attached to any outcome,” Barrette said, adding that the album has already fulfilled all the expectations he had for it. After all, “It’s only rock n’ roll.”
Barrette's album can be purchased by going to www.seanbarrette.ca, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, or at Records on Wheels, Cosmic Dave's Vinyl Emporium and Ramakko's Tackle World.
-Posted by Heather Green-Oliver