Sean Olohan has 'A Love for the Music'

Published 19/02/2014 | 05:22

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Sean and the band on ‘Live at 3’.
Sean waits for the RTE cameras to start rolling before another appearance on Live at 3.
Sean and his band on tour over in Germany.

Sean Olohan's involvement in the music industry goes back to his school days as a youngster growing up in Rathdrum with great passions for the latest sounds hitting the radio airwaves.

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He plays extensively throughout the county with his bands 'Avoca' and 'The Cantons', while also venturing much further afield and touring America and Europe to much success.

Sean also finds the time to run his own 'Track One Music' retail store in Wicklow town. However, over the past two years he has spent a considerable amount of his time recording a double CD which will benefit Wicklow Cancer Support and the Wicklow Hospice Foundation upon its release.

His father shared some of Sean's love of music and used to sing in local plays and musicals but Sean's ambitions went much further as he envisaged performing in front of international audiences. 'The Cantons' were formed in his schooldays and soon Sean and his band of Wicklow buddies were venturing out to pastures new and unknown.

One of his first overseas shows was in Germany, where 'The Cantons' travelled to for a serious of dates. Initially the band concentrated on covering numbers by the likes of The Beatles and Rolling Stones, however it soon dawned on Sean that the audiences were more interested in compositions closer to his Irish roots.

'The crowds just kept asking for Irish songs, which took us by surprise to begin with. They could actually sing 'Wild Rover' in German word for word. They had gone as far as to learn the words in German. that's when we really started changing into a more traditional band.'

Sean's globetrotting has taken him around the world from various parts America to numerous European locations, including England, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Holland, Italy, France and Lichtenstein.

He still retains a particularly strong level of support in Switzerland.

'There's venue over there I play at which always gives me a great reception. I could be there every month of the year if I wanted to, on my own, with a two piece or four piece. There's always a wonderful welcome waiting for you.'

Recently enough one of his songs was covered by an Estonian artist and proved a big hit in the charts.

Sean has also been a regular sight on Irish TV screens, appearing on the 'Live at 3' show with Derek Davis on at least eight occasions. One of his most memorable appearances was a guest spot for the band on 'Glenroe' during the height of the rural soap operas success.

'The Director actually approached us about appearing on the show. We played in the bar during a fundraiser Miley was meant to be organising. It was great fun and lots of our fans watched it. For quite some time afterwards loads of people were telling us they switched on 'Glenroe' and were shocked to see us on it.'

Sean, 'Avoca' and 'The Cantons' have also shared stages with such luminaries as The Dubliners, Ronnie Corbett, Brendan Grace and Wanderly Wagon, an Irish children's television series which aired on RTÉ from 1967 until 1982.

He has also performed in front of three Irish Presidents, namely Patrick Hillery, Mary Robinson and current President Michael D Higgins.

At this stage of his career Sean has decided to give something back to the communities that have supported him down through the years. He has decided to release a new double album of mostly newly composed songs and donate all the proceeds to Wicklow Hospice and Wicklow Cancer Support, two charities that are dear to his heart.

Appropriately titled 'A Love for the Music', this double CD consists of a variety of songs ranging from contemporary Irish folk to rock n roll. His love of photography is evident from the sleeve cover he designed for the CD which consists of his own photos on a four panel eight page sleeve. The cover is a collectors limited edition and features a variety of beautiful shots from different locations in the Garden County, with Sean taking all the featured photographs himself.

He has also written one song especially for Wicklow Hospice called 'We Have a Dream.' The haunting ballad was released as a single to great success and is also included on Sean's new album. Also included on the albums are other songs Sean has written for the benefit of various charities, including the RNLI, the Lions Club and St. Vincent de Paul.

'I like doing songs for charities. It gives me great inspiration.'

The CD 'A Love for the Music' is currently available from Track One in Wicklow town and other stores nationwide, as well as from Cancer Support and Wicklow Hospice shops across the county.

It's also available on the internet from www.trackonewicklow.com or by email info@avocamusic.net and from iTunes.

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