Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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, 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 (for the sake of the song, general, music, Simcoe County, Songwriting, Tiny, Uncategorized) by Sean on January-22-2014

Each January, about 40 friends rent Wildfire Outdoor Education Centre in Wyevale Ontario for a DIY musicians getaway weekend of great food, music, and workshops presented by the participants.  Here is my DIY workshop on how February Album Writing Month and Nanowrimo changed my creative process.

Outline and links.

How to Lose Your Mind in Thirty Days

Creativity and impossible online challenges.

Sean McGaughey: ,

In 2013, I accidentally fell into a creative whirlwind. From February 1 to December 23, I wrote 49 songs and 1 novel.

Read Forevuary prologue.

February Album Writing Month

  • Http:// (stay very away from .com)
  • Write 14 Songs in 28 days.
  • Online forums, personalized page. Supportive community.
  • Song skirmish– someone suggests a skirmish at a certain time. At the given time, they post a title. Then you have one hour to write, record and post a song
  • Feedback on the site is invaluable. Usually within an hour of posting you will get a couple or more comments from other writers.
  • Collaboration: some writers are pure lyricists and will post –‘ needs music’ to invite people to set their song to music.
  • Strong culture of sharing your music and providing constructive feedback to others.

Fifty-Ninety: 50 songs in 90 days


  • Premise: Write a novel in 30 days from Nov 1 to Nov 30.

  • Supposed to be a new novel project– not one in progress 1667 words a day– 50000 words minimum. You will not write a novel in 30 days, but if you succeed you will have a very good start on a first draft.

  • I finished nanowrimo as did my daughter and niece.

  • Culture of Nanowrimo: Local events and write-ins, online chatrooms and forums,

  • Word wars– timed writing against others.

  • Culture of not sharing writing in progress. Would be too time consuming– interfere with people’s ability to write 1667 words daily.


Midland Penetanguishene Songwriters on Facebook.

  • Saturday Songwriters at the MCC. Third Saturday morning of the month at 11am in the Roxy Cafe at the Midland Cultural Centre. For FAWM we will meet Jan 18 then every Saturday in February 1,8,15,22 and March 1.

Time to Write: Song Skirmish Title: Polar Vortex, Snow Day, Do It Yourself


We had 4 writers in the group and here is our finished song.

Do It Yourself

      Listen Here

(DIY 2014  Jan 11, 2014)  (c) Mary  Marcolin, Ed Winacott, Sean McGaughey,  Chris Johnston


Remember the story of the Little Red Hen

She didn’t get help again and again

No one stepped up to hoe, or reap

But they all lined in time to eat.. the bread


Don’t you know you can do it yourself

Best not to count on anyone else

Take a deep breath and give it a shot

All you need, you’ve already got.


The Little Red Hen told her chicks

Together, there’s no problem we can’t fix

By the end of the day we’ll all get fed

When we work together for our daily bread.


Don’t you know we can do it ourselves

Best not to count on anyone else

Take a deep and give it a shot

All we need, we’ve already got.

Sometimes life gets a little perverse

When you least expect, a turn for the worst

For a home cooked meal with all the fixin’s

Free Range, Grain Fed, is Finger lickin’

Filed Under (Midland, Penetanguishene, Songwriting, Tay, Tiny, Uncategorized) by Sean on September-21-2013


For several years I have discussed and procrastinated the idea of forming a songwriter’s group in the Midland-Penetanguishene area. I have never felt an urgency to do so because my needs to belong to a community of fellow songwriters are well met through my membership the Barrie and District Association for Singer Songwriters (BADASS) and online through February Album Writing Month and the Fifty-Ninety Songwriting challenge.  But the idea of having a collective of writers supporting each other and building opportunities within our communities of Midland, Penetanguishene, Tiny, and Tay remains.




I would like to gather with like minded songwriters to form GrUMPS  or GUMPS  (or another less cutesy acronym)  GRownUp Midland Penetang Songwriters


GrU=  Grownup =  This would be a group for adult writers to get together and share and hone their craft.  We would not turn away talented exceptional young adults (in fact welcome them), but young musicians are already being served in our area by several groups notably Stellula.

MP–  Midland-Penetanguisene  (and Tiny and Tay)  The four townships define the general boundaries of our community.  We would not turn away songwriters from Coldwater, Barrie, or even Saskatoon, but we want to keep the focus on our community.


S–  Songwriters.  The GBMA and HFA serve the needs of many musicians and artists.  Songwriters have a need to gather as peers, share our songs, hone our craft, collaborate, create opportunities for songwriters to showcase their music.

Who?  I personally know a bunch of area songwriters who may be interested in such a group.  If you are reading this, I likely sent it your way via facebook or email.  Please share this idea with your musician-songwriter friends.


When? Where?  The songwriting group I currently belong to meets once a month at one of the members homes.  We have a core group of about 25 members scattered over the North of GTA area from Newmarket and Tottenham, to Barrie, Orillia and Midland.

We could use this model of meeting in member homes or perhaps use a public use room at

one of the libraries.   (I’m looking at you Scott).


Why:  To promote collaboration and community among the songwriters in our community, to hone our craft, …


How? Good Question.  Let’s dive in and figure out what kind of a group we want.  We could have meetings to co-write, share songwriting tips, we could organize showcases, we could use social media and websites to promote local songwriters…

 I have set up a Facebook group called Midland Penetanguishene Songwriters.  Let your songwriting friends know and let’s see what we can build together.

Filed Under (for the sake of the song, Mariposa, Midland, Ontario, podcast, Uncategorized) by Sean on August-7-2012

Photo from

I am launching a new format for this podcast.  Think of it like the director’s commentary on a DVD movie but for albums.  I will have a conversation with musicians while we listen to one of their albums.  The conversation will last for the duration of the album.  Enjoy.

Christopher Thompson
 is a young fingerstyle guitarist from Orillia.  He recently released his second EP, La-La on Sleeper Records.  Sleeper records was founded by Aaron Howes as a way to promote young Orillia area musicians.  You can download it on Bandcamp  or find it on iTunes.  We are joined on the podcast by Chris’ Sleeper Records labelmate, Aaron Mangoff.

All Songs ©  Christopher Thompson from the EP, La-La

You can leave comments on the blog, send me an email to ductapeguy at hotmail dot com or join the For The Sake of the Song Podcast group on Facebook.

Add this podcast to your favorite podcatcher at
Add Sean  McGaughey- For the Sake of the Song » podcast to CastRoller

As usual, all songs and musical performances are copyright by the performer-songwriter.


Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Sean on August-1-2011


I first saw the Breakmen performing at a little stage behind the booths in the middle of the midway at the Edmonton Capital City Exhibition in 2006.  Their tight harmonies and obvious respect for bluegrass, country and roots music delighted me from the first song.    It was my pleasure to interview Ben, Matt and Lee at the Mariposa Folk Festival last summer.



For the Sake of the Song (©2003 S. McGaughey)

Play Me Another One  © The Breakmen

Belong to that Band

Km 19 © The Breakmen

Links:  Find the Breakmen on Facebook,  Myspace, Youtube, and Sonicbids.


You can leave comments on the blog, send me an email to ductapeguy at hotmail dot com or join the For The Sake of the Song Podcast group on Facebook.

Add this podcast to your favorite podcatcher at
Add Sean  McGaughey- For the Sake of the Song » podcast to CastRoller


I only captured a part of the Breakmen and Deep Dark Wood’s powerful rendition of Belong to that Band at Mariposa 2010.  Fortunately someone else got it on video and they posted it on their youtube channel.

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