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Sean Costello Profile

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Blues guitarist Sean Costello

Sean Costello

Photo courtesy Delta Groove Music

Sean Costello Profile:

Born: April 16, 1979 in Philadelphia PA

Died: April 15, 2008 in Atlanta GA

For over a decade, Sean Costello's incredible talent has mapped a new course for the blues. The young guitarist was originally attracted to hard rock, but turned towards the blues after experiencing the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan. His curiosity aroused, Costello began listening to a myriad of musical styles, and his influences range from the sweet soul music of Johnny Taylor and Otis Redding to the raw blues of Freddy King and Otis Rush.

A Blues Prodigy

Costello picked up the guitar at the age of nine and quickly displayed an unusual prowess with the instrument. By the age of fourteen, the young six-string prodigy was already performing in Atlanta-area clubs, and he won the Memphis Blues Society's talent award in 1994. Costello would later join Susan Tedeschi's touring band.

Using free studio time he received with the talent award, Costello recorded his debut album, 1996's Call The Cops, a collection of old-school styled blues. Honing his performance skills through constant touring, the guitarist subsequently released 2000's Cuttin' In, receiving a W.C. Handy Award nomination for the album. Costello released the critically-acclaimed We Can Get Together shortly before his death in 2008.

The Evolution of the Costello Sound

Through the years, Costello has been able to perform beside some of his blues idols, giants like B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and James Cotton. Over the course of time, Costello has matured from a young, Stevie Ray-styled six-string hotshot into a complete blues artist. His raw, soulful vocals sound like a younger John Hiatt, though erring on the Muddy Waters side of grittiness.

Costello's songwriting has also evolved through the years, as both a lyricist and a musician. Over the course of five albums, Costello has broadened his reach to incorporate elements of 1960s and '70s soul, classic R&B, Southern rock, Texas-style electric blues, and Louisiana jazz into his traditional blues sound.

Costello also left his mark as a session guitarists, playing on albums by Tedeschi, Levon Helm, Jody Williams, and Tinsley Ellis. Costello's work on Nappy Brown's 2007 comeback album, Long Time Coming, received widespread acclaim.

Recommended Albums: Costello's recording career was tragically brief, but We Can Get Together, a mature and entertaining work, will prove to be the artist's swan song.

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