Great Big Sea

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about marketing your own creative endeavor from my efforts as an author, it’s that word of mouth means everything. So since it’s Fun Friday and I’m more or less obsessed with these guys, I’ve just got to introduce you to the group Great Big Sea.


I’ve been pestering my coworkers for more than a week with “Oh my gosh, these guys are awesome! You’ve got to listen to them!” And of course I get asked “Well what kind of music do they play?” I think I would have to classify it as modern Celtic rock with a few traditional Irish songs and some songs that sound a teensy bit like the love child of The Chieftans and Mumford and Sons. On their website the band describes themselves as a “dysfunctional-family-bar-room-brawl-student-art-project-musical-pirate-crew” Here’s one of my favorite songs (um, EVER):

Okay, a little technical background. Great Big See is a Canadian band, from Newfoundland. They’ve been together for 20+ years. The band consists of Alan Doyle, Sèan McCann, and Bob Hallett (with past or occasional members including Darrell Power, Kris MacFarlane, and Murray Foster of another great Canadian band I love, Moxy Fruvous). Most of the guys come from a whole different world than I do, steeped in Canadian fishing village traditions with strong Irish-Catholic traditions.

But really, it’s their music that is so awesome. It’s snappy and fun, but also incredibly emotional and uplifting. How can you listen to something like this and not be happy?

Also, singer Alan Doyle (who happens to be a friend of Russell Crowe and sang on/produced his album, which is how I discovered Great Big Sea) has put out a solo album with the single greatest break-up song I’ve ever heard:

Can I also add that Alan Doyle has one of those deep sexy voices that I can’t help but respond to and that I sort of have plans for a romance novel hero using him as the template?  I’m sure he’d love to hear that.

So yeah, I can tell you about Great Big Sea all day, but really you just need to listen. Their latest album, XX, is a massive compilation of their very best work and is available to listen in its entirety on Spotify.

Also, for those who live near me in Philly, they’re playing at the Keswick on April 18th!!!! Who wants to go with me?


6 thoughts on “Great Big Sea

    • They seem like guys who know how to have a good time and love life. Heck, if everyone in Newfoundland is like that, sign me up! It’s definitely on my list of places to visit now. 😉

      • It’s true. Just the other day, when interviewed on a local radio station, the guys noted that THIS was exactly what all three had set out to do in the first place. Moreover they want on to say that, while they enjoy all aspects of musicianship–writing, recording, promoting, etc.– the best part, by far, was the live performances. I’ve seen them live quite a few times and can attest to that! I’m a distance education school administrator and a couple of years ago when we asked them if they’d come to one of our offices and do a live event by videoconference they agreed; no problem. It was great! Here’s a link to a few pics from that event:

        The song they were doing was ‘merry Christmas everyone’
        Here’s a link to a version of it:

        I bet $$$ you CANNOT watch the whole thing without smiling. Let me know if I owe you :>)

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