Sean Carney’s biography


"Sean Carney is the real deal...echoes of T Bone Walker and Pee Wee Crayton permeate his tasty guitar solos, while his songwriting and singing reveal an artist of depth and class. He has played our festival twice in the past 5 years, to exceptional crowd response. Highly recommended."


Cam Hayden

Producer, Edmonton Blues Festival

Announcer/Producer, CKUA Radio Network

Talent Buyer, Blues at the Bow

Sean performing live with legendary guitarist Hubert Sumlin and Noah Hunt of The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band - photo by Dusty Scott.

It’s no accident that Sean Carney’s career has been arcing steadily upward.  The Columbus, Ohio bluesman has it in his family genes, with jazz horn players in the previous two generations.  He’s put in at least his share of work and dues laying the foundation as he enters his third decade as a pro.  Onstage locally he mastered his craft backing a wide array of local and national R & B greats such as Christine Kittrell and Jimmy “T-99” Nelson and making it known that he was a skilled and tasteful guitarist and vocalist.  In 1998 he recorded his debut CD Provisions (re-packaged in 2007 with the inclusion of Kittrell’s last recordings).  He gained exposure and experience serving as vocalist Teeny Tucker’s musical director and co-writer.  Offstage he was a tireless advocate for those same artists, the blues and jump they represented and the area’s musical heritage, writing articles, being a dj, promoting concerts and serving three terms as President of the Columbus Blues Alliance.


            Sean’s profile has gotten a major boost in the last five busy years, and in fact is decidedly international these days when European tours often in the company of major historical figures have become almost routine for him.  Drummer Eric Blume, who performed with Sean for over a decade, and Sean founded Nite Owlz Records in 2006 and issued Sean’s CD Life Of Ease.  It was a welcome surprise and a triumph of substance when The Sean Carney Band won the Albert King Best Guitarist and took first place at the 2007 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.  Opportunities and touring increased dramatically.  His 2007 and 2008 Blues For A Cure shows and CDs raised over $50,000 for the cause.  In 2009 his 2007 Canadian recording Live Blues On Whyte was released.  He has performed worldwide with Big Joe Duskin, Duke Robillard, Charlie Baty, Columbus standby Willie Pooch, Hank Marr, Joe Weaver, Johnnie Bassett, “King Saxe” Gene Walker, Sir Mack Rice and Hal Singer as well as his own group.  As his visibility has grown, so has the growing realization that Sean is a noteworthy, sophisticated master of tone and taste with a broad appreciation for the music before him and around him and a knack for turning out interesting songs.  His discography has shown a solid, well-considered approach and, as he puts it, “solid songs and tight arrangements.”  And his reputation as a talent, a respecter of tradition and a humble and gracious person has become deservedly widespread.


            With recent studio recordings with Duke Robillard and Jimmy Thackery, Sean Carney reaffirms his importance and value as a part of the blues scene he has supported so tirelessly for so long.  It’s extra easy to root for him because of all the good he’s done and the road he’s taken.  But even someone who knows nothing about him is bound to take notice of this grounded, savvy and rewarding musical affirmation of so many great things about Sean Carney and the blues.


Dick Shurman

November 2010