Sean McConnell - The Front Porch Stage - Long Road
Taking to the stage in dark glasses, as the bright sunshine was out for one of our favourite performers, who immediately opened with "Shakey Bridges" giving a soulful almost Springsteenish feel to proceedings. Having already opened for Ashley Monroe this year and shortly to revisit the UK supporting Ashley McBryde, Sean is perfectly positioned to knock out these 8 or 9 song support slots, our hope is to see him back here headlining a show at some point. For those who had not seen him before his life story is pretty much summed up in "St Mary's Choir" the second song of the set, delivered today in a slightly slower more considered version than we have seen previously.
It was after all a Sunday and what better than the Gospel feel of "Save Our Soul" off his "Midland" album, which saw a quite extraordinary performance from Sean with his vocals rising at times almost Prince like. It was back to the title track of his latest album for the next song the wonderful "Secondhand Smoke" during which he found time to wave to a small child while capturing an absolutely perfect version. It was then on to "Mercy" the US number 1 hit that he co wrote with Brett Young, he apologised in advance for not having Brett's deep voice but this version was superb anyway, it was amazing just how much volume he was able to generate with just his voice and an acoustic guitar. To give an idea of how well his set was going down with the crowd, when Sean asked "How long have we got left?" someone shouted out "The rest of the day!" such was the enjoyment being given .
It was back to "Secondhand Smoke" for "I Don't Want To Know", starting slowly before building the volume up once again into a great climax. His final song of the day was he claimed 1 of only two happy songs he has, "The Best We've Ever Been" was a stirring end to a great well received set. He'll return next month wiht Ashley McBryde and is a good reason for getting to the venue early.