Sean Patrick Mcgraw

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Jager Tour St Paddys Madison WI

You’d think it would be hard to get a rowdier crowd than the crowd you get on St Patrick’s Day and maybe you’d be right. I know what we expected upon rejoining the Jager Country Tour with Eric Church. State Street in Madison WI appears to be a never-ending party to begin with…after a pleasant visit with John and Mallory over at Q106 we met up with the tour at the Orpheum theater and what a nice venue it is; classic old opera house, great acoustics, ornamented architecture and one VERY high stage. Now, normally on a St Patrick’s day I’d start the celebrating first thing in the morning “you can’t drink ALL day….unless you start in the morning…” But when there’s work-–as in a concert–to be done—we party like rockstars, but we do it after the show, and that was an especially good idea since, given very little real estate at the front of the stage I had no choice but to stand at the precipice and, I’ll tell you all I could think about was Steven Tyler at Sturgis…to fall off this stage could seriously KILL you, if not break your leg and/or neck. It was scary to look down. I took video from the stage and the crowd was thick and rowdy but with the security barricade you’d never reach the hands that could catch you and the hands were in the air and the place was rockin’ from the get-go.

And so we rocked pretty hard onstage and then we rocked pretty hard off stage and we had an awesome time and thank you Eric Church and thank you Jagermeister and thanks Lisa and Phil for letting us crash at your house; that was some awesome spread ya put out. We had a blast!!

Slainte!!

Sean Padraig



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Jager Tour w/ Eric Church, Green Bay WI

We recovered from St Paddy’s (thanks for breakfast, Lisa!!) And headed east from Madison to Green Bay. Day ???? of the Jager Country Tour. Tom Dick & Harry’s is a new venue and not that big so we expect a very full house. Word is the night is oversold. We get there early and it’s a beautiful sunny day in Green Bay. I go and do a live on-air with Brian at the local country station (y 105? I should know, but htinkgs get blurry) and the folks at the station are very nice; Sherry (??) Thanks for helping a hardworking band hook up somewhere to stay; Cambria Suites, we’re all about the rooms, the breakfast and the BAR….

And I do the interview and I’m walking away and I’m hollered at from across the room and I go over and talk to these gals Linda and Shelly and it’s great to meet people that are there for the music and to have conversations about songs and artists and if it makes your day to meet me, it makes my life what it is to think that there’s actually some people out there who give a rats ass about what I do.

Thanks girls.

And I had lot’s of conversations like that that night, from the Canadian dude back stage: “people around here are so mellow, there’s never any hassle.” I told him after saying that there would be a fight tonight: there was. All the people who came up to me after our set (which aside from a litany of small glitches went pretty great) it was really really nice to meet you and if I don’t remember your names I’l remember your faces and I hope to see y’all again.

Thanks again, Eric, Jager. Thanks Green Bay. I hope we make it back real soon!!



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Jager Country Tour w/ Eric Church in K’zoooo!!!

Kalamazoo Michigan is familiar territory. We used to play an awesome Dance hall near there called the Bresa Del Rio. The folks who ran the Bresa should be an example to anyone who owns a bar or books bands; they’d make ya supper when ya got there, keep ya in beer all night and make you breakfast after the gig. When you left, they sent you off with a box of homemade cookies. No shit. Cookies. It was a great place with great people.

Sure enough it burned down.

When the Bresa ceased to exist we started playing in town at the Wild Bull. Actually we played there just one weekend. The Wild Bull is a nice new bar restaurant in downtown Kalamazoo. Downtown Kalamazoo is a pretty cool place and the Wild Bull put you up in an old apartment in an old building that had a lot of character: I remember really liking the “band pad” when we were there last and I remember sitting in the front room of that apartment when I got the phone call from Jeffrey Yapp at CMT saying that we needed to make a video for my song “Dollar Ain’t Worth a Dime,” and that he wasn’t sure how he’d make it happen but he’d make it happen–and he did-and things changed a lot since then. Everything didn’t change, but a lot changed; stuff I wouldn’t have believed would happen happened and my life hasn’t gotten easier but the gigs sure have gotten better and I wish we never had to play “Mustang Sally” ever again to a room full of drunk people who have their backs turned to us, but we probably will and that’s okay so long as we get nights like the one we just had in Kalamazoo. Indeed, the State Theater was rockin’, I had a shot of Jager in my hand and my swagger on. Some nights you (I) really feel like I know what I’m doing; more than just playing your parts on guitar and getting the words right and on key, there’s times when I think I know the right things to say to an audience, when I’m comfortable in my hat, when my guitar stays in tune….This was one of those night.

I’m working on having that be the situation on amore consistent basis.

But either way…thanks K’zoo…it was good to see you again.



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Back on the Jager Tour

We’ll start with this morning. Not that this mornings events have anything to do with anything Jager or Eric Church, other than the fact that these events occur whilst on the road with Mr Church and his Jager sponsored tour.

Well okay, let’s start with last night.

I went to bed comparatively early.

(We’ll give you details regarding the interesting earlier events when I stumble upon a convenient segue back to those events).

So I went to bed comparatively early (1 a.m., maybe?) Knowing that I had to be up at 6:45 to get on the road to our next show in Kalamazoo, MI. Sometimes I get insomnia. What it really is (usually) is anxiety surrounding the knowledge that I have four to five hours to get my rest, that I desperately need that rest, and that I’m not gonna be able to fall asleep. And in that case I can almost never get to sleep.

So last night was one of those nights and I tossed and turned and tossed and turned and finally might have dozed off around 3am only to wake up at 5am rehashing the previous nights performance in my head and thinking about what I need to do to improve my show, debating whether or not I should get up and go running before we leave (on two hours sleep?) Trying to solve all the worlds little problems, wondering what’s for breakfast….

So I get down to the lobby way earlier than I need to be there for bus (SUV) call, and I really am thinking about breakfast and my stomach is growling and I think I get hypo-glycemic sometimes; I can’t seem to connect my thoughts and when the guys come down from their rooms I can’t seem to complete a sentence and I have this dull ached at the base of my skull and when I try to talk to Keith (road Mgr) I stutter and pause and finally just tell him my brain-computer needs to defrag. I Just cannot function yet. I mean really can’t connect the dots, and we get loaded and I just hand the keys to Lizzie and say “you drive,” and we have three vehicles in convoy and who’s leading? And I call Keith and I’m trying to say “who’s leading,” but it’s like I’m talking gibberish and I know how I get when I’m tired, let alone out-of-whack with my blood sugar and I’m apologizing for my inability to communicate and man do I truly NEED to eat and get some coffee in my blood and the plan is to hit a Micky-D’s asap before we hit the interstate and Keith is in the lead and we have the GPS on and there’s a detour-our entrance ramp is closed and Keith is turning one way and the GPS is saying go the other way and with three vehicles trying to stay together we’re not doing a very good job of staying together and I’m trying to be patient and not say anything to help or hinder and here we are three trucks driving in circles around Green Bay, and not only is our ramp closed but the one that the GPS leads us to is closed and then when we hit the interstate Keith is turning one way while the GPS is saying go the other way and we still have not found food and I’m doing my best to maintain but I am painfully hungry and that pain at the base of my skull just gets worse and it’s like I’m doing my best to deal but it ain’t easy-I just keep my mouth shut-but I have to say “I’m not crabby or in a bad mood guys, I just feel like Holy Hell.” And after an HOUR of driving in circles trying o find our way out of Green Bay (as a team) we pull over at a Hardy’s and order up a few breakfast burrito’s and all I can say is, if I’m that hungry and your food tastes that bad that doesn’t say much for your food, and no offense Hardy’s your burgers (last time I had one) are pretty great but you do an unkindness to eggs in the a.m. And eventually we get on the road agin and now my stomach ain’t growling and I really want to sleep but the coffee has my brain racing and Hofgren is snoring and screw it I might as well sit up and blog like they want me to for the Jager Country Tour w/ Eric Church, so I guess I should talk about that now….

Ah hell. I really am whupped. Putting the seat back. I’ll fill y’all in later.

 





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Benefits Benefiting

Benefits.

I’ve done a LOT of benefits in my day; Benefit for the Cure, Benefit for the Northen Chautauqua Youth Hockey Organization, for my friend Kerry Peterson, for Tiffany Lindquist after she a car accident, to help the Mason boy get home, for the Silver Creek Flood Victims, for Second Harvest Food Bank, for the March of Dimes, for the Variety Club, etc…

I’ve done a lot of ‘em.

I don’t know WHY I expect them to be poorly organized…looking back at the ones I’ve participated in they’ve all been run pretty well, some better than others, none incompetently. I expect the sound (system) to be bad; looking back in my experience it’s usually pretty decent; If there’s a house band I expect them to be lame: thinking back on it most have been pretty okay, some even excellent. I expect turnout to be slim: that’s not usually the case..I’ve played early on the bill on a few that have been light in attendance but they always had a fair turnout over the day for the most part.

Still I have these prejudices, these reservations, these low expectations for anything I sign on to for free in the name of a cause.

Cause why? I have NO idea-thinking back now-yet I do.

So after having spent way too-late of a night revelling with my buds Bare Back Jack (see you all in rehab) Saturday (and having-to-drive I behave and it was weird to watch other people get hammered for once and holy shit, If I though WE could party, the BareBack guys have a leg up.

Be proud of that guys. That says something. I AM impressed.

So anyway, after spending a late Saturday in Erie watching Chris and Pete pass the tequila back and forth I get up Sunday and load up the SUV withn a small PA for my afternoon gig at the Lakeview and pack some merch for the St Judes Benefit and it’s a spectacular day to be driving through Amish country…blue skies and snow covered hills, but pretty warm and the roads are dry and I go to Olean thinking–expecting=-to play for a small handful of people at two-in-the-afternoon and that it might only be less than a handful later in the day at the Lakeview; after all; who want’s to be inside on a beautiful day like today and why would anybody come out tonight when the Academy Awards are on? My expectations are very, very low. I’m steeled against the thought of playing to the bar staff after being spoiled with weeks of sell-out crowds on the road w/ Eric Church. I’m okay with it. I almost feel like I deserve it: things have been too good lately, the other shoe must drop. I’m heading back to cover band hell with my head held high, but I’m expecting the journey to feel like work. Again.

So.

I make my way up over the Hill on Route 83 past Blacks Corners, through Chicken Tavern (there really is a place called that–Jimmy-my-drummers -parents live there) through South Dayton and Little Valley, past Jeff Beckley’s house to the Allegheny Casino where I get on the I-86 and head west to Olean (pronounced Oh-Lee-Ann) NY. My GPS tells me to turn into a small industrial park after I get off the interstate and I’m thinking “oh No…” And the road winds around and the Magellan is going “approaching destination,” and lord-have-mercy the parking lot of the Premier Banquets Center is FULL. It’s FULL and it’s a BIG parking lot. I’m thinking maybe there folks who work at the mill-or-whatever-it is next door are parked here and I walk in and Woah! There’s a LOT of people here..It’s TWO in the afternoon, am I hallucinating? There’s a band on stage-and they sound great. The whole thing is running on schedule…

Go Figure.

So-I had all these plans for what I’d play and what I’d say and they kind of get thrown out the window. I hurry to set up my merch table and get my guitar tuned (they’re ON schedule) and I’m introduced by Mark Thompson from WPIG Fm and I play “Honky Tonk Life” and introduce Myself to the audience which is mostly a lil older and I call out to any other musicians who are waiting to play that wouldn’t mind backing me up and I go into “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” and by the time I’m to the end of the song I have most of a band backing me up and I figure “older audience. play older songs,” and if you’re reading this and you didn’t know that I love the old school stuff, well I LOVE the old school stuff and after playing Merle I went into “Together Again” and these guys jamming with me know this stuff real well and I’m having too good of a time and as the story goes I have a Big Ole’ time playing Classic Country for an hour before I relinquish the stage and tell this awesome audience that I’ll be at the table by the door with CD’s and t-shirts and that I’m not just donating my time today, I’m donating half the take on merch to St. Judes….

And by the time I even make back to the table-which was tough ‘cause I got hounded for autographs all the way there-the line at the table is very long and that stack of CD’s I had to sell is GONE, as in SOLD OUT. Woah! And I sold and signed a ton of T-Shirts and Posters and when I finally had to sneak out the back to get to my next gig that “half of the take” amounted to several hundreds of dollars.

And I think it’s a fair assumption to say that my assumptions surrounding Benefits have had a paradigm shift in the wake of yesterdays events. My faith has been-if not restored-then established.

Thanks WPIG. Thanks Olean. Thank you St. Judes Childrens Hospital; it was an honor and a privilege.

 



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Mayberry

And from Olean I hurried on westward, I am-scrayed, ski-daddled– what have ya– on over to the Lakeview in “Mayberry,” Mayville, NY. Again, my expectations low. Justifiably so ; We came here right on the heels of “Ten Days on Tour,” an experience I thought would change my life and there we were, watching ourselves on TV at The Lakeview with maybe twenty people there. Not that the Lakeview is a big place, twenty people and it doesn’t feeel empty, but still it’s twenty people. We’re on TV. Nationally syndicated TV….I think twenty people saw that show, and that’s a liberal estimate.

And If twenty people seems like not-a-lot, consider that I have played the Lakeview to NO one. I mean NO one, not even the bartenders. At one of my Sunday afternoons there two summers ago, It was suggested that I play out on the patio (at least until the Bills game was over) and I did And it was a nice enough late summer day when I started and I think the plan was that maybe some bikers might stop by if they saw me playing out on the porch and that might have worked ‘cept the weather turned ugly and there I was on the patio, playing in the rain, soaking-wet, to the passing traffic. It was about the best example I can give of “this is so beyond-lame that all you can do is laugh about it,” And I did if I remember correctly. There I was in this god-awful weather and I was like “this looks like Ireland right now…” and I ordered up a Guinness from Inside and started singing Irish stuff: Pogues, Flogging Molly’s, Traditional stuff and after awhile a few cars stopped––probably mostly out of curiosity– and by the end of the afternoon I was under the awning sitting at a table with some folks who had a cottage across the lake. Playing them whatever they wanted to hear..they invited me over to the house for dinner (I didn’t go) and threw a couple hundred bucks in tips at me and the day ended up being a victory and one I’ll never forget.

Regardless. I drove a gazilion- miles-an-hour from Olean to Mayville to try and make the gig on time and I get there at about 4:45 for a 5pm start and there’s a few cars in the lot and maybe forty people inside waiting for me…they’re not just there coincidentally. I know this because I walk in and its “where the hell ya been?” and I’m like “I’m not late, yet..” And there’s a few of my regulars: Kat and Dawn from Erie are there, Pug from-the-bar is there, the Dunkirk people are there.. Randy Hofgren is there. “Dude, isn’t this show a lil OLD already?” But I’m happy to give the Swede an excuse to get out of his man-cave on a Sunday.” And Elaine is out with him so I’m figuring there’s your designated driver..Randy is going to misbehave (this later proves to be a correct assumption). And I get set up and Coach and Teri show up and Stacie St. George and Missy Coyle show up and the two-Nancy’s-from-Erie show up and I’m walking to the Mens rooms and this fella walks up and say’s “hey man, I’m the guy who re-soled your boots,” and thus I made the acquaintance of Tony “short-shoes.” And I get to playing and everybody is havin’ a good time and making noise and the beer is flowing and the Jager starts coming and I have to put the brakes on when they’re lined up in front of me “Dude’s I’m driving.” And Keith and Heather show up some other folks with familiar faces whose names I don’t know show up and I’m thinkin’ all I ever wanted to be way-back-when is to be that guy who has that show that is the “thing to do.” Keith Urban had that way back when I first moved to Nashville. Before he was famous. He played Jacks Guitar Bar once a month and If you were hip you didn’t miss it: It was “the thing to do.” The Warren Bros had that at the Bunganut Pig: “We ain’t the best band in the world, but ya gotta admit we are FUN.” It’s a hard thing to build. And there I am in Mayville, NY– looking at the room that– on a Sunday afternoon (make that a Sunday evening) when the Academy Awards are on–is FULL. And it’s just me and my guitar and the place is rockin’ and the girls are dancing–Randy HOFGREN is dancing–and when it’s time to call it a night and let everybody watch the Oscars on TV the tip jar makes it around the room and comes back with some tens and twenties in it and it’s “Hell with the Oscars McGraw. You ain’t done playin’ yet!”

And between the nice people in Olean and my friends who came over the hill to the Lakeview I came home with some cash in my pockets (a good thing considering I’d have to invest in a new snow tire, a new spare and some maintenance on my trailer the next day) and the very satisfying feeling that maybe I’ve finally gotten to that point in my so-called-career where maybe I’m not rich or famous but my show is “the thing to do.”

It was a great day. Thanks Kat and Dawn, Coach and Teri, Randy and Elaine, The two Nancy’s, the Dunkirk people, Keith and Heather, Pug, the snowmobilers and Ice fisherman, Stacie and Missy, all those familiar faces who’s names I don’t know…you’re why I do what I do.

Peace

Sean



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St Judes, Mayberry, Jager, etc, etc….

Hey all

Enjoying just a few days off between Jager Country Tour dates and NASCAR dates (I think we picked up a few more of them today) and then we’re off on that road again, and for a good cause.

This SUNDAY, March 7th, I’ll be headin’ up North to participated in the 10th Annual WPIG St Judes’ Jamboree at the Premier Banquet Center in Olean (pronounced OH-LEE-ANN) N.Y. The folks at the “Big Pig” have always been awesome to me and there’s no better cause than fighting children’s cancer. There’s a whole host of bands playing all day. I’m on at 2pm. The Premier Banquet Center is located at 2000 Constitution Ave., Olean, NY. More info at wpig,com

Later on Sunday I’ll head down the road a piece to our favorite little watering-hole-on-water-str

eet, the LAKEVIEW HOTEL in Mayville, NY. I guess we didn’t know that the Academy Awards were going on Sunday night, but no worries, I start at 5pm, end at 8pm (just as the show starts) let’s think of it as a pre-party…

LAKEVIEW HOTEL is located at 13 Water St. (Rte 394) In “Mayberry” (Mayville) NY.

NEXT WEEK: We head to Wisconsin to get a jump on the JAGER COUNTRY TOUR w/ ERIC CHURCH. We’ll be at ROPERS in Superior all week and then meet up with Eric and Josh Thompson in Madison WI, on March 17th (St Paddy’s Day. Woo hoo!!)

Til then…

PEACE ya’ll!!!

Sean



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Jager Country Tour w/ Eric Church Vol 9

From the goings-on at the bridge bar I sauntered on over to the Wild Horse (actually NO I didn’t “saunter,” who the hell ever does? Dude’s don’t “saunter, they swagger)– Make that I swaggered over to the Wild Horse–kind of in a hurry ( perhaps “scurried” is more like it) part of life on the road is losing things: on this Jager Meister Country Tour we-as-a-band have thus far liberated ourselves of Keith’s winter coat, Joe’s very-expensive winter coat, my cool-but-cheap-pleather winter coat, my brand-new hoodie…I’m looking back in amazement that of all of us in the entourage neither member of my Scandinavian rhythm section has contributed an offering to the universe. I

It’s coming Hofgren, you’re due, Isula.

I hurried over to the venue hoping I could help find the lock to the trailer–too late; Keith cut it off. Nice to know how easily those expensive locks will protect your property eh?

(There I go with the Canadian….speaking of which, CONGRATS CANADA, It really hurts to lose to you after such a hard-fought game, but anyone who loves hockey should love watching Sidney Crosby and from what I heard it was a great game and from what I saw it was a great goal. I love my country, but why be a sore loser? Fine, Canada, you WON. The LaBatt’s— NO make that the BUDWEISER— is on YOU.)

So anyway, where was I? Yeah, at the Wild Horse, waiting to open for Eric Church on the JagerMeister Country Tour. Keith cut the lock off and the gear made it’s way upstairs and the usual routing changed to let us play a full ½ hour and Jonathan Singleton is on the bill as support and Josh Thompson is somewhere else. Where, I don’t know.

Thursday night in Nashville is wive’s night I guess. Renee met up with me over at the Hard Rock for a little meet-greet-and-grab-a-beer with the nice gals from Country Tattle tale and I don’t remember who does what but it’s weird–or shall I say untypical of yours truly-–to remember that their names are Jessica, Mariah, Elisabeth and Leslie (and this occured before the Jager flowed…go figure?) Anyhow..We had a nice hang before the show and my wife is there and I go back over to the “Horse and Rick Monroe’s lovely wife is there and after we Rock it (and I’d say we did) I walk back in the dressing room and Katherine Gooch-Blasingame is in the green room standing behind Eric Church and she’s like “Sean, how’ve you been!?” and give’s me a big hug and I look at her and I look at Eric and I’m like “y’all got married a few years ago, didn’ ya?” Ya see, Katherine used to be the song-plugger at Jody Williams Music Publishing, which is the company that bought my old catalog, so in a way she used to pimp out my songs and I guess I know Katherine well enough, but it’s been along long time and I’m like “wow’ it’s great to see you, I guess I vaguely remember reading in the paper that you kids got hitched and I remember thinking damn, that Eric Church did alright for himself…”

After exchanging niceties (sincere niceties) with Katherine and Eric and their families I went out front to be with my family–meaning I watched Jonathan Singleton rock it with Randy and Jimmy and Joe and we all though Jonathan’s band was pretty great and I think the dude has written some great songs (Red Light, Watching Airplanes, etc..) and it was cool to meet him after and tell him that I think he writes great songs and he seems like a real good dude and anyhow..the Jager got to flowing and a good time was had and Eric really, really tore it up and I’m just happy to be a part of the whole thing.

Thanks again, JagerMeister

peace and love

sean