Filed Under (February Album Writing Month, for the sake of the song, Midland, music, My CDs) by Sean on October-30-2017

This is happening… in less than 3 weeks this is happening. My copilot Nick Howell and I are scrambling to complete my new EP- Life’s Lessons I’ll Never Learn.  The father I venture into the studio process, the more I realize that a record is never really “done”.  There is always something to tweak, improve, or add.  But, … less than 3 weeks.  I am excited because this is some of the best musical work I have done.  On the evening of November 18, I invite friends, acquaintances, family, and fans (do I have fans?) to join me at the Hidden Agenda Cafe in Midland for a concert and celebration of my 50th birthday. Check out the Facebook Event page for more details.


After my set, I’m requesting something I’ve seen done at other musician’s milestone events.  I am inviting my musical friends to come onstage and cover my songs.  To get ready for this I prepared a Big, Ugly, Spreadsheet of all of Sean’s Songs.  It contains lyrics, chords and demos for my 200+ songs.  Before I started it, I estimated that I had written about 150 songs.  Digging through notebooks and old digital folders, I kept finding more.  There are almost exactly 200 songs in my  Big, Ugly, Spreadsheet of all of Sean’s Songs.  I’d love to hear my friend’s interpretations of my music at my 50th birthday celebration.


As if one CD release is not enough, I plan to have CDs available for my 2017 February Album Writing Month digital only release, Guitars, Ukuleles, Etc…   Here is the cover art for Life’s Lesson’s I’ll Never Learn and Guitars, Ukuleles, Etc…  I found a dozen copies of my 2004 album, For the Sake of the Song, in the basement so those will be available too.

Filed Under (for the sake of the song, My CDs, news) by Sean on October-4-2017

In which I ramble about the travails of recording my 50th birthday EP Tentatively entitled, Life’s Lessons I’ll Never Learn and announce its imminent release on November 18, 2017 at the Hidden Agenda Cafe in Midland.  More to follow.

Filed Under (PAB2007, pab2008, Uncategorized) by Sean on May-26-2017

After the passing of Bob Goyetche in November, the Canadian Podcasting community rallied and decided to have a memorial PAB reunion and boat cruise in Kingston where the first PAB conferences were held. This is the weekend. I can’t go till tomorrow, so I made a quick walkcast using just my phone. My how times have changed.

Filed Under (February Album Writing Month, music, My CDs) by Sean on April-10-2017

I completed my 14+songs for FAWM 2017 with a week to spare and realized that I had achieved all my 2017 FAWM GOALS and then some, so I added a personal STRETCH GOAL to release most of the tracks as an album on February 28.  The result is: Guitars, Ukuleles, Etc.. available at for free/ Pay what you  want download.

I’m still shooting for a 50th birthday retrospective album in November, but I may shift focus of the goal more to the event of having a 50th birthday party/concert, maybe even with full band.

One of my favorite memories of this year’s FAWM is that half a dozen of my friends from our local Saturday Morning Songwriter’s circle joined in.  My friend Jacki wrote over 60 lyrics and melodies, two of which I contributed arranging and recording. They are on my album.

I made an official Artistic Licence for each of them to remind them that they RAWK.


The artistic licences need a guide to explain them. The front painting is Tom Thompson . The back painting is by Emily Carr. The three muses are: Alice in Wonderland, E. Pauline Johnson, and Woody Guthrie. The signatures on the back are a smorgasbord of inspiration. I hope you find a favorite in there.


Every year I make a word cloud of my collected FAWM lyrics to see what recurring themes emerge. Here is this year’s word cloud.

Click below to see the archive of all my FAWM 2017 lyrics and comments.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed Under (February Album Writing Month, Uncategorized) by Sean on January-28-2017

Here is a handy jukebox of my FAWM 2017 songs.


FAWM 2017 Resolutions


A Funny Thing Happened on the way to my SemiCentennial


At dinner one night in May, with all the family gathered around, I made a pronouncement.  (Yes, people sometimes actually make pronouncements).  I pronounced that for my 50th birthday in 2017 (then 18 months away), I would like to have an album release party.  Now it’s a little more than 9 months away– a fitting gestation time.   

Once I started seriously thinking about it, 3 things came to mind:


  1. Do i DIY it, or pay to have a full studio production?
  2. How do I choose a dozen or so songs from the 150+ I have written?
  3. It’s time to learn to play my #$%!ing instruments.


It became clear quickly that with family obiligations (like paying for my teen’s college, etc..), and the fact that I am very much a DIY guy that doing as much as I can myself is something I value.  So, … I hired a friend for ‘music lessons’ // pre production.  We have been workshopping songs and I’m down to 20 or so.  He has me trying to get better at playing to a click.  


Last winter I had been semi-regularly practicing ukulele with Aldrine Guerrerro’s play along videos on youtube.  Frequently adds for Yousician would come up on my Youtube channel.  In late May, I decided to give it a try and fell into it.  Yousician is an online software and app for teaching guitar, ukulele, bass and piano.  It’s kind of like a cross between guitar hero and a personal music teacher.  It uses a freemium model that gives you about 20 minutes of free lessons a day per instrument.  


Something clicked.  The combination of playing along to actual tracks, instant feedback and gamification worked for me.  For the first time in as long as I can remember I’ve practiced daily for over 7 months on Bass, Uke, guitar, and since November– keyboard.  On November 14, just before my birthday, I found a casio midi keyboard for $25 at a thrift store.


I am walking into FAWM 2017 with something I never thought I had– CHOPS.  Now that I have upped  my game on bass and uke especially, and I’m learning keys– I want to do more multitrack and multi-instrument work this year.  


So here’s my FAWM 2017 Resolutions


  1. As always, go where the muse leads, or in its absence forge on ahead.
  2. Collab, Collab, Collab
    1. I am always open to collaborations: lyrical, musical or both.
  3. This year several family members my attempt FAWM so I’m making myself available to the kids if they need arrangement assistance or need me to play behind them.  I plan on introducing my non musician son and niece to Music Memos (IOS) or Microsoft Songmith Software which allows you to record your voice, then it magically adds accompaniment.  
  4. Write a song or songs starting with a bassline, or a simple keyboard riff– then add chords + lyrics.
  5. I give myself permission to post weird experiments with my multi-effects pedal, looper and keyboard.  
  6. I was always “just a rhythm player and stummer’. Yousician has opened up single notes and the whole Fretboard for me.  Do you know that guy who plays bad single not leads over everything at a jam session.  That’s Me!  Don’t worry, I’m not planning on living there- just passing throught.  But I do resolve to leave room for instrumental breaks and solos in this years crop of fawm songs.
  7. Last year I had a track with a very simple harmonica solo on a toy harmonica.  I don’t play harmonica, but I was able to make it work for 8 bars.  This year I will again try to record an instrument I don’t know how to play.  If you can make it make a sound, you can make music with it.
  8. Focus on my workflow and multitrack process.
  9. Work on overcoming my click track phobia.  (I find a visual count in Reaper is much less intimidating) .  
  10. Keep my eye on the ball.  After FAWM I’m going to have about 6 months to produce an album for my 50th.

UPDATE Feb 5, 2017
Dear FAWM, I’m doing you wrong. I know there is a strong ethos of write it and post it here in February. There will be time for revising and polishing in the Spring. But, I’ve set a personal goal to release a polished album on My 50th birthday in November.

To that end, I’ve been practicing my little fingies to the bone for about 7 months. I have also been revising and polishing songs from my back catalogue. My next step is to get really adept with REAPER, multitracking, keeping time to a click or drumtrack.
To that end, FAWM for me this year is about production experiments. Sure I’m writing songs, skirmishing, and collaborating.

But I have yet to post the first song I started this year. It’s written but I’m practicing, tweaking, polishing and trying some new techniques to produce a semi-finished track before I post it. This is what I need from FAWM this year.

I will keep up with the short shelf life acoustic one takes, and skirmishes, but I really am focusing on becoming more adept at the instrument that records all the others (REAPER and assorted electronic gadgets, effects and noisemakers).

Then again, maybe FAWM, I’m doing just fine.

2016 FAWM Resolutions
This is my fourth FAWM. Last year I wrote 22 songs during FAWM and 21 during 50/90. I have 150 songs on file since my teen years. about 100 are since I joined FAWM in February 2013. I’m sure some have gotten away on me over the years. Thanks FAWM.

Once again, I’m trying to bring friends along with a local songwriter’s group at the Midland Cultural Centre. I’m still hoping a few local songwriters hop on the FAWM bandwagon. We meet the third Saturday morning of the month at 11am at the Midland Cultural Centre. More info at

Last April, I bought a 5 string baritone uke, then several smaller soprano ukes. I think I’ll probably write a few uke-pop and uke-folk songs this year.

As always, I’m very open to collaboration, whether contributing lyrics, setting another’s lyrics to music or whatever.

My FAWM 2016 Resolutions

* Go Wherever the muse takes me.
* If necessary, continue forward even if I can’t discern the muse.
* Write a bunch of poppy songs on ukulele.
* Live one-off acoustic demos are my comfort zone. I resolve to produce at least 3-5 multitrack demos.
* I am wide open to collaboration both online and face to face. Let’s make music together.
* This year I will try to release a 5 song (or more) EP of my FAWM2016 songs on Bandcamp by the end of March.

Here’s an old bio I wrote about 10 years ago.
Sean McGaughey is a folk singer-songwriter and children’s musician based in central Ontario. My songs seem to revolve around childhood, family, faith and small town themes. I used to do a long running song writing podcast, For the Sake of the Song where I chatted with other writers about the craft of songwriting, and played a few tunes. I will probably do one or two FAWM themed shows.

Filed Under (podcast, Songwriting, Uncategorized) by Sean on December-1-2016

Some reflections on Canadian National Day of Podcasting 2016, growing my chops with Yousician, the passing of Bob Goyetche (RIP) and a public commitment to release an album November 2017.

Filed Under (blog, general) by Sean on August-24-2016

Me and Hank


This summer I opted out of the fifty songs in 90 days 50/90 challenge to focus on practicing the heck out of my instruments using, and to start pre-production on my long time coming, and still a long time to come next album, with my friend Nick Howell, who is just about to release a brilliant debut album.

While my own album remains mired in procrastinati… — I mean pre-production, I keep showing up on other people’s projects. My FAWM 2015 co-write with Daniel Jun Kim, Search For Spock, is on his Pop Mythology and Friends album.
Earlier this year, I had a co-write with Stephen Wordsmith on his delightfully eclectic album, Tinnitus.

It has been a summer filled with music.  Earlier this summer, my family went to an annual favorite, The Canturbury Folk Festival in Ingersoll.  Later my mind was blown by a screening of the Frank Zappa documentary, Eat that Question at the TIFF theater.

We have just returned from a 2 week east coast vacation.  Amongst the great scenery, the seafood, and the good times, we took in some amazing music.  Highlights included the Lunenberg Kitchen Party, where I played a couple tunes and Old Home Week in Charlottetown which featured a nightly showcase of PEI musicians organized by the amazing Eddy Quinn.



A personal musical highlight came half unexpectedly at the Hank Snow museum, in the old train station in Liverpool NS.  As expected, the museum houses a retrospective of the life and career of Hank Snow, but also is home to the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame.  I recorded 2 versions of Hank Snow’s Fool Such as I in liverpool, one in front of the hank snow museum, but the wind noise is overpowering.  The other, on the shore turned out much better.


We capped the holiday off in Kingston with 25000 people for the telecast of the last Tragically Hip concert.




Tragically Hip Kingston

« Previous Entries