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Review: Sean Wiggins, "Clothing Optional Fridays"

Clothing Optional Fridays is a relatable and rollicking reality-check that just happens to feature some great vocals and pretty mean guitar licks. Sean Wiggins & lOne gOat take their seasoned songwriting skills and put them on glorious display with this record.”

Upon first listen to Sean Wiggins, it’s tough to believe that she lives in LA. But then a look at this road-tested artist’s touring schedule will help you put in perspective where that bluesy, rootsy, woman-of-the-world rasp comes from. Sean Wiggins & lOne gOat are now seven albums (and over 10,000 CDs sold) into an independent music career that has spanned a decent chunk of time and seen its fair share of songwriting awards. Listening to the most recent record, Clothing Optional Fridays, it’s easy to hear why.

There’s an easy confidence to Wiggins’ earthy, blues-laden vocals and the guitar licks courtesy of collaborator Paul Houston. “Grounded” is the perfect example of what’s great about Wiggins and Co. and the approach to music-making featured on this album: strong vocals, strong guitar lines, and accessible blues-rock with an edge. But though much of Wiggins’ music on Clothing Optional Fridays could be described this way, it’s far from formulaic or predictable.

“Sinners” and “Don’t Tell Me It’s Over” show off Wiggins more serious side, and they also highlight the rich, expressive vocal tone that’s a hallmark of her material. It’s on these songs that Wiggins captures the spirit of a soul rocker like Janis Joplin or someone more modern like Susan Tedeschi. She sings with an impassioned and joyful quality that just captivates you from the first moment through the end of the record.

“Keepin’ the Truck” and “Thank God for my Stalker” show off the one quality I haven’t yet mentioned, Wiggins’ ability to tap into a wry sense of humor and sing with a wink and a smile. There are plenty of artists that take themselves very seriously, and those songs tend toward feeling overwrought and undercooked. What’s missing is that soulful, rooted-in-reality experience that highlights her formidable storyteller-style of singing and song arrangement. Besides the twang in her voice, that’s the hallmark of what turns her music into a warm and wildly entertaining cross-genre of R&B-meets-country.

Most of all, Clothing Optional Fridays is a relatable and rollicking reality-check that just happens to feature some great vocals and pretty mean guitar licks. Sean Wiggins & lOne gOat take their seasoned songwriting skills and put them on glorious display with this record. It’s pretty shocking to think that Wiggins isn’t a huge star; but what I love the most about this record and her attitude in general is that she keeps on keeping on because it’s a labor of love. Look out for her on the road, because that’s where you’ll surely find her singing about life and living it to its fullest.

IndieTude Spin Cycle

Sean Wiggins & Lone Goat • The Kitchen Sink

It’s hard to believe that I’ve known this artist for seven years. Wiggins never ceases to amaze me with the depth of her talent, both as a musician and as a songwriter. For this release, Wiggins joined forces with Lone Goat, a great kick ass band and together they take on life on the road, love and relationships. Kitchen Sink offers it all.

The songs have a sly country flavor, driving rock rhythm and a few tasty blues riffs too. For those of you who
remember Wiggins from back in the day, she has included some beautiful mellow songs too with just her
and her guitar. The songs are rich, reflective and playful displaying wisdom and growth in spirit.

‘Crazy’ hits a definite groove and it’s good rocker to enjoy while driving down the highway. Other personal favorites "Into the Blue" and "I’m not your maid." Lord knows you will shaking your head in agreement. Kitchen Sink is a solid release proving once again that - like a fine wine, Wiggins just keeps getting better with time.

Again, this is another hot ticket to see Live. Wiggins will bring it all home for you when she visits your town.

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Curve Magazine

Sean Wiggins in Curve

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Santa Barbara Independent

Sean Wiggins joins the songstress (Rikka Z) as the evening's opening act, with a voice that is reminiscent of Melissa Etheridge and Bonnie Raitt but a style that outshines any comparisons. So, if your :rodeo heart" is achin' for some good country tunes, head down to SoHO.

-J.S., Santa Barbara Independent

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Sean Wiggins in Talk Magazine

Sean Wiggins and "The Kitchen Sink"

Sean Wiggins and LoneGoat have released a new CD entitled "The Kitchen Sink". Fortunately, the album is better than the title. Sean Wiggins is new to me, and I'm glad that I've discovered this wonderful singer/songwriter. This is Sean's 4th album and her first with LoneGoat.

Sean has a warm alto voice, reminiscent to this listener of Mary Chapin Carpenter. Further, she has the grittiness of say, Melissa Etheridge. Overall, a wonderfully rich voice that showcases her lyrics and melodies. She lists her influences to be Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin and Joni Mitchell, among others. The influences are definitely there, but Sean has taken them and made them her own. This is the first CD I've heard in a long time that was original without being outrageous.

My favorite track on "The Kitchen Sink" is "Old No. 7". If there are any Jack Daniels drinkers out there, you'll recognize it as an ode to your favorite whiskey. Sean says that she set the bottle up in the recording studio and with some other musicians, played to the bottle. In a song dedicated to a whiskey, the narrator does not forget to call a cab "if I start to see double".

Other tracks that stood out for me, not only on the first listen, but on repeated plays were: "I'm Not Your Maid", a song whose chorus starts with "I'm not your slave, your teacher or your maid, if that's the case, I really should be paid". "Cold Wind" and "Crazy" are both beautifully written songs that touched this listener's heart.

"Watchin' the World Go By" is another jewel on the album. There are two versions; I preferred the acoustic version. Anytime an artist gives more than one version of a song, pay attention to the song. There's something about it that the artist doesn't want you to miss. To purchase Sean's music, download from seanwiggins.com or www.myspace.com/seanwiggins

-James Jackson, Talk Publications, Palm Springs, CA

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Lavender Lens (6th Anniversary Edition)

Sean Wiggins Brings Everything, Including The Sink

If rock critics compare you to Melissa then you must be good, and Sean Wiggins is. Sean has honed her skills as a rock & country goddess with a blues edge and humorous banter, powerful vocals, and insightful lyrics that are completely captivating. Her sweet but tough voice borders on the bluesy side that grabs you by the gut and refuses to let go until you have really grasped what she is trying to get across on a track. One listen to "INto The Blue" and you'll be checking the liner notes to see if Janis Joplin herself did some ghost vocals on the track! "I'm Not Your Maid" is truthfully funny, while "Watchin' the World Go By" will have you scootin' your boots, and "Cold Wind" sucks you in from the first few cords. It's a good thing Sean brought The Kitchen Sink, we needed it.

-DJ Muse, San Diego, CA

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This New York City native folk rocking troubadour is now based out of LA and touring everywhere in between. On her seventh solo release Wiggins has set all her skills to honing in on success by mixing a little bit of everything into the aptly titled Kitchen Sink. Stylistically, Wiggins has been compared at various times to Melissa Etheridge, Janis Joplin and the Indigo Girls while maintaining a quality that is completely true to herself. Musically, the attention grabbing lOne gOat are deeply steeped in country, rock and the blues while relaying gritty stories of life as they live it. The 13 songs on Sink are a down home rinsing of the soul that ultimately finds Wiggins cleansed and content in her circumstances. On Track 3, "Watchin' The World Go By" finds Wiggins "taking a break, slowing down the pace" in a fast-moving 3 minute rocker. Track 6, "Taking It Slow", is a heartening acoustic romp describing how Wiggins has come to her current frame of mind. The talented Wiggins has over 100 songs in her catalog and this award winning performer and writer has had tunes on TV, in films and on the radio both nationally and internationally. Live, her dynamic stage presence, humorous banter, powerful vocals, and insightful lyrics, are completely captivating. Kitchen Sink is a mature statement from a singer songwriter who has lived her life through song and this just might be the breakthrough record she's been waiting for. Remember, your indie CD collection won't be complete until you throw in The Kitchen Sink!

-Richard J. Lynch

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Quote: "Sean Wiggins proves to be one eclectic cowgirl throughout this CD, and listeners will be glad that she decided to throw in the kitchen sink."

Sean Wiggins is dressed like a true cowgirl on the cover of The Kitchen Sink. She’s got the hat, the Levis, and the boots. So you might expect this CD, which was cut with her band Lone Goat, to sound like a real hoedown. But a gander at Wiggins’ MySpace site reveals that her influences include Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, ZZ Top, Aretha Franklin, The Beatles, and Tina Turner. Notice anything un-country about this group? That’s right, there’s not a hat act in the bunch.

A key to Wiggins’ story can be found on her website, where it states that she was born in New York City, before settling in Los Angeles. “Sean Wiggins has honed her skills as a rock/country goddess with a blues edge.” I tend to see that description a little differently; she sounds to me like a blues mamma, with a touch of twang. But that’s all semantics anyhow.

Wiggins is a girl brought up in the country but raised on soulful rock & roll. And the first two tracks on this CD, “Into The Blue” and “I’m Not Your Maid," bring out Wiggins' soulful side. But “Watchin’ the World Go By," which bemoans the high cost of living these days, is a toe-tapping, country tune. Wiggins sings it nicely, with just a slight yodel in her voice. But she’s back to her soul sister ways with “Crazy," which is a pumping bass and guitar workout. “I might be crazy,” she states during this one, “but I’m feeling fine.”

I particularly like the track “Taking It Slow." Backed by unobtrusive acoustic guitar, Wiggins sings about the wisdom of taking it easy. It’s one song where the sonic perfectly matches the lyric.

With its soul shouts, country weepers, and ballads, this CD has a little of everything. “There is no rhyme or reason to the style of the tunes,” Wiggins states in the liner notes. “We threw in everything…including the kitchen sink.” And for what it’s worth, that lone goat shows up pictured inside the CD booklet.

The lone goat band includes Paul Houston on electric and slide guitars; Todd Connelly at the bass; and Robert Dill holding down the drums. Sylvia Owens also adds bass to “More," and Jim Patterson is the bassist for “Crazy." This disc also sports a few guests. These include Linda Kodaira, who plays violin on “You Done Me Wrong”; Candler, who adds percussion to the acoustic version of “Watchin’ the World Go By”; and Jeddrah Schmit, who provides backing vocals for “Whole Enchilada."

Wiggins is not only a vocalist to be reckoned with, but she is also a writer. She wrote eight of these twelve tracks, and collaborated on four of them. Her guitarist, Paul Houston, helped her produce it.

Sean Wiggins proves to be one eclectic cowgirl throughout this CD, and listeners will be glad that she decided to throw in the kitchen sink.

View Article at Indie-Music.com

-Dan MacIntosh

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Boston Girl Guide

Sean Wiggins latest release is once again not one iota of disappointing. Her outstanding bluesy/country forte is in full swing, intensified by the remarkable players of Lone Goat.

Quintessential Sean checks in on tunes like “Wathcin the World Go By” and “Into the Blue”, flaunting a songwriting, guitar playing & vocal style that proves she is one of the most talented independent artists in her genre. To no one’s surprise, there is a rock & roll streak that flares up on the track “Crazy.”

Not to add peer pressure, but you don’t one to be one of the few human beings on the earth that doesn’t own a copy of “The Catchiest Song”, do you? Sean’s fun sense of wit showing itself again… but it ain’t false advertising – that & all songs on The Kitchen Sink are quite infectious.

Another round of fantastic tunes executed with supreme talent – we highly recommend you git yerself a copy of The Kitchen Sink.

-TC Krentz

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Sean Wiggins - Old #7

“Some people may think that I’m a little high-strung, but I like to believe I’m the type that gets things done.” Well, the guitars and vocals are hot enough to cook my dinner tonight, so go ahead and get’rdone. “Got three dogs with mouths to feed, I got a bunny and a bird, and five fish last I heard.” Well, the narrator is on top of most of the fine details. There’s tons of fun here, so let’s cut to the chase here. Sometimes even the most well-rounded person can get the blues, so the narrator her will “pour myself a glass, and try to make it last, that Old #7.“

In these politically correct and sue-happy days we can’t say what we used to say in song, so we are down to using nicknames. What’s cool about that is the nicknames will eventually become as popular as the real name and then there’s no difference at all so there’s probably a lawsuit brewing in Tennessee right now because I used the nickname on a website. Well, that’s distracting from the music at hand, and we are reminded that a few sips of Old #7 has the ability to get a person “half-way to heaven.”

“Well, I don’t take Prozac or those other drugs. Seen what it does to my friends, it doesn’t impress me much. I got problems like most people do, and my friends have told me I have a screw loose or two. Need a little help every now and then, and just to be sure I don’t wind up in the pen, I make myself a drink so I don’t have to think, with that Old #7.” Escape from life for awhile. Used to be acceptable. Still is, if you use a doctor-prescribed drug instead of stuff Jesus turned water into. I love the fickleness of humanity, and I’m glad Sean is willing to put the truth out there in a fun, but meaningful way. And you have to hear the slide solo! And, to keep the naysayers happy, the narrator even promises to call a cab, “if I start to see double.” Shoutout for Watchin' The World Go By.


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Curve Magazine

Her Nashville Sound

Sean Wiggins could be the next Melissa Etheridge – if only the music industry would notice her.

Sean Wiggins - Curve Magazine“If I am not playing live somewhere, I’m sad,” says Los Angeles-based ... singer-songwriter Sean Wiggins, who played more than 200 live gigs last year – “and loved every minute of it.”

The hardworking guitarist and vocalist offers a fresh mix of country, folk, rock and blues that often garners comparisons to Janis Joplin, Melissa Etheridge and Dusty Springfield. “I like to write more wordy stuff but sing it with a more soulful approach,” she says of her style.

Born in New York, Wiggins was lead vocalist in her high-school jazz band, which included jazz great Chick Corea’s kids. By the time she was 17, she was recording in Corea’s studio. After a brief stint at UCLA to study music, she worked her way up from New York cabarets to the competitive rock scene in Los Angeles, taking turns in various metal, punk and funk bands on her way to solidifying her own, more acoustic-roots style. Her fourth and latest self-released album, Everyday Life (recorded, she says, along with some great Nashville musicians), showcases 13 beautifully produced roots-country tunes, including the hook-filled, country-rocking “Business As Usual,” which will no doubt garner her comparisons to Mary Chapin Carpenter due to the song’s playful pop-friendliness.

Sean in Curve MagazineThe inspirational title track sums up Wiggins’ personal philosophy on life. “Basically, I am talking about how hard it can be to pursue your dreams and to live the life you want to live,” she explains. “Sometimes it feels like it isn’t worth it, or sometimes it seems impossible. The tune is just a simple statement that says, ‘go out and breathe, notice the beauty around you, and go back and start again.’”

Though a lack of cash for promotion is Wiggins’ biggest hurdle as an independent artist, she’s done pretty well on her own, getting airplay on SIRIUS Satellite Radio’s OutQ as well as various other Internet and indie radio outlets in the United States, Europe and Japan. Her songs can also be heard on the soundtrack to the short film Gillery’s Little Secret, starring Annabeth Gish, and on the ... CD compilation From the Heart.

And aside from appearances around the country this year, including New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta, Wiggins hopes to tour the U.S. this fall. “My everyday life is just making music and loving it no matter how much money is coming in.”

-Margaret Coble

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Donderslag Radio, Hengelo

The Kitchen Sink's A Must Have For All Music Lovers

Starting of with the first track called Into the Blue it takes you along different roads of music genres from blues, Folk to Country, you name it, it's well presented. Sean Wiggins and her band have done it again. Suprising us with a new sound and yet still staying familiar. With lyrics that tell a story, a voice that holds you captive and melodies so refined and well played. All in All a CD that shows that true musicians are out there working hard on staying pure and are doing a might fine job in producing a CD with major quality. It rocks.

-Gwenn Lemmons, RTV Hengelo, The Netherlands

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Sean Wiggins - Everyday Life

Quote: "Her music's rough edges and down-home sensibilities give her work the feel of a close friend just kicking back, having fun, and letting it rip."

There's a little bit of quantum strangeness surrounding Sean Wiggins's latest album Everyday Life. Every time I play it, it gets louder. Before we go any further, you need to know this about me: I've not been a big country music fan. I'm much more comfortable with the intellectualism of jazz or the clear-minded mantras of electronica. But - and I've always maintained that there's nothing quite like a well-placed "but" - that just changed. I still probably wouldn't cross the street to step on a flaming ten-gallon hat, but I'd travel a good seven or eight hours through driving snow to catch a Sean Wiggins show.

You see, Sean's music is honest. There are no pretensions in her lyrics; nothing fake about the power and beauty of her voice. She calls things the way she sees them, and that is both rare and golden. Everytime she sings, Sean seems to open a doorway straight to her heart and lets out whatever's in there. Her music's rough edges and down-home sensibilities give her work the feel of a close friend just kicking back, having fun, and letting it rip without any self consciousness. Sean's included a little of everything on this album; from a beautiful, soft questioning of fate, to a rollicking reckoning with last night's antics, to a dark, pounding, insistent inspection of her hard times, she covers a lot of emotional and musical ground.

Sean and "The Band," her trio of talented backing musicians, switch effortlessly from Country to Blues to Rock and Roll, tastefully mixing tempos, as well. I'll let Sean's writing speak for itself:

Walk down to the cemetery
When my old man gets a little rough
It's a lot less scary
No one there to bother me
I listen to the Stones
And share their memories
Thunderclouds are looming over head
Preparing for a summer rain
Tear off my socks, my hat, my shoes
And I hope that it won't be in vain

It seems to me that Sean's decided to sing her heart's truth on Everyday Life. With that passion melded to her life experience, Wiggins has created a truly remarkable album that ought to be on the shelf of anyone who's looking for vibrant, heartfelt music. (View article Indie-Music.com)

-A.J. Van Beest

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Sean Wiggins, The Band - Everyday Life

All the hype and anticipation on this new release cemented a high expectation and II gotta tell ya – I was left with no disappointments at ALL. Superior musicianship and expert delivery just plain old catchy tunes and each track presented a smorgasbord of style. The commonality is left with Sean’s flawless vocal delivery in a manner deserving of CMT Awards for vocalist of the year. Glowing a slight new country and pop cultural diversity, Sean is as engaging as possible without being right in front of you. This belongs on my A-List shelf. And shall be : ) Great Job! Annette Warner January 2005

- Annette Warner

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Music Insustry Newswire

Sean Wiggins Lives the Indie Life

Singing, songwriting, recording, and playing lots of gigs may be the traditional way for an independent music artist to get ahead. With the release of “The Kitchen Sink” by Sean Wiggins and her band Lone Goat, the singer shows that the quality of the work may be as important as the quantity.

G-Man: Your songs seem very personal and yet universal at the same time. Is that deliberate, or is that just the result of you writing what you feel and it turns out a lot of us might say “I’ve been there!” as well?

Sean Wiggins: Some are stories that may not be something I have completely experienced, and is more of a creation from my mind and what I have seen. But mostly they are stories from my life and then as a writer I add to it and make it a better or sadder or funnier story (laughs).

G-Man: You guys describe the album as having many styles. What are your influences?

Sean Wiggins: Hmmmm. I love all sorts of music, so I’ve been influenced by many people and styles. Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aerosmith, Joni Mitchel and Alan Jackson, just to name a few.

G-Man: What is your process when creating a song?

Sean Wiggins: I usually get a hook in my head, just words or maybe words and a melody. It usually comes to me when I’m driving down the street. I call my machine at home and sing the idea into my machine and then I go from there. I grab my guitar and I start to sing and play with words and chords: they sort of go together for me. After I get the basic idea, I sit and hash out the words.

G-Man: Do you give any thought to the mystical nature of music touching people’s heart, mind and soul? Does that change for you when you’re writing as opposed to when you’re performing the songs?

Sean Wiggins: Certain tunes of mine are very close to my heart and soul, and I think when I’m writing them I hope to touch other people with the words and to write them in a way that could be accepted by many as opposed to just venting my own situation. So, I try to make it open to interpretation by the listener. When I perform, it is very personal and I hope the fact that it is so close to me will let people get close to the song for themselves — if that makes any sense at all.

G-Man: Absolutely. Growing up, what were you: nerd, class president, bad kid, dreamer, loner, or…?

Sean Wiggins: I was all of the above. What does that say about me?! Student body president and loner, locked myself in with a piano for hours a day and I didn’t even really know how to play.

G-Man: When did it click with you and you just knew it was music that would be your life?

Sean Wiggins: I always sang. . . used to sing my tent-mates to sleep at night at camp. I would sing entire musicals for them. But seriously, I joined my high school jazz combo at about 15 years old and I started to perform professionally at 16 and was writing and singing my own tunes by the time I was 17. I was ready to run away from school and try to make it on my own in New York when I was about 16. Luckily my parents stepped in and got me to focus thru high school. I have been nuts ever since!

G-Man: Why “Lone Goat”? Or, I guess I should say, “lOne gOat” as it’s spelled on the CD?

Sean Wiggins: Paul Houston, my right hand man and guitar player, travel a great deal together doing shows all over California and the U.S. We bonded with a lOne gOat on our way up the 101 and that’s all she wrote. There was something in that lone goat that spoke to us (laughs).

G-Man: Okay, we’ll live with that. Can you talk a bit about how you view the business side of the music business? Like it/hate it, why are contracts so long, etc.

Sean Wiggins: Well, I wish I had more business, but I have piles of contracts. Unfortunately in this day and age, watch your back and cover your ass. I think you have to play by the rules of today’s world and a handshake does not do it anymore.

G-Man: Talk about CD distribution: how are you marketing and moving your product? Any merch going on?

Sean Wiggins: I sell through my Web site (www.seanwiggins.com), Amazon and CDbaby. But I would say most of my CD and T-shirt sales come through live shows.

G-Man: How many gigs are you guys going to play this year?

Sean Wiggins: Probably 150-200.

G-Man: Are you doing the booking?

Sean Wiggins: Yep!!! It’s all me!

G-Man: In your sound, I hear alternative mixed with country and a sprinkling of troubadour folk-rock. Kind of like Bonnie Raitt singing with Beck’s band doing Woody Guthrie if Woody Guthrie just finished reading ee cummings.

Sean Wiggins: Wow, can I use that quote? The best one I have heard EVER! Seriously!!! That is me!

G-Man: Fine with me. I like it when I hear what an artist hears in their music. You guys have a great sound. Who are the players?

Sean Wiggins: The amazing Paul Houston on electric, slide and acoustic guitars. Robert Dill on drums and Todd Connelly on bass. I had two other bass players on the album, Sylvia Owens and Jim Patterson. I just love all of the players. We don’t even rehearse: it is magical! It’s like they read my mind and Paul leads the way in hooking it all together with the perfect guitar lines! I warble and play acoustic.

-Scott G, The G-Man

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OC Metro

Sean Wiggins - Everyday Life: 4/5 Stars

Los Angeles-based Sean Wiggins has been playing the local circuit for a while, earning numerous awards as a singer-songwriter, including first place in the Billboard Songwriting Contest. Although she's released several discs as a soloist, Everyday Life is her first release professionally produced with a full band. Featuring Paul Houston on electric and slide, Sylvia Owens on bass, Robert Dill on drums and percussion, the new CD is a slick, cohesive collection of songs. Sean did all the songwriting, sings all vocals, and plays acoustic guitar and harmonica. My favorite track, "Business As Usual," is a foot-stomping, beer-drinking, hand-clapping hit with a great story with some sweet revenge at the end. Although there's too much reverb on the vocals for my taste, Sean is clearly a talented songstress, crooning a bit like KD Lange on songs like "Lazy Susan." Although Sean's music has been described as alternative folk rock with a blues edge, there's definitely a country girl lingering in this blue-eyed, blue-jeaned city girl, and fans of Shelby Lynne and Terri Clark will love Sean's style.

-Jennifer Corday

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Sean Wiggins, The Band - Everyday Life

I’ve known Wiggins for a few years now, mostly as a solo artist. Well, the times have changed with this release. Wiggins has joined forces with a band and released Everyday Life. Mixing some old tunes with the new, Wiggins breaks out the fun and hits her stride with the band, adding a country flavor to many of her songs. Her songwriting and vocals are as strong as ever and her demeanor is more laid back and relaxed proving once again the incredible power of playing with other musicians. This is another strong release for Wiggins. Keep smilin’ girl, you’ve hit another home run.

-D.E. Keith

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Music Morsels

Sean Wiggins - Next Time Around

If Melissa Etheridge went a bit more country and a bit more bluesy she may sound like L.A.'s Sean Wiggins. Country and blues are just two of the elements weaved into this debut, that also has elements of folk and rock. Snappy songs like "All These Years" and "My Best Friend" are nicely augmented with acoustic guitar and harmonica. Sean interjects ballads with incredible passion, particularly on "No Difference." Great lyrics are another plus on this well crafted effort.

-Mark E Waterbury

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Boston Girl Guide Review

Sean Wiggins poignantly strips down to the bare necessities on her latest release I Gotta Be Me. This recording has an extra special feel- like a field trip of genuineness inside the heart & mind of this clever artist. Laced with a few tales of inspiration, Sean & her songs become more likable with every listen. You won’t make it halfway through the CD without being struck with the warm feeling you know this chick through & through. Just when you’ve tagged her a country/blues singer with a sense of humor, she catches you off guard with a touching masterpiece like “Remembering Spring.” Her striking voice is just as at home on a silly country ditty as it is on a beautiful piano backed ballad. Yeah, that’s her on the piano… she’s all that & a six stringer, too. Heartfelt songwriting and down to earth lyrics make for yet another impressive record from Sean Wiggins.

-TC Krentz

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Sean Wiggins - I Gotta Be Me

Style: Bluesy Folk/Rock

Quote: "That sweet, tough, bluesy voice contains such richness, depth, and subtle nuances that change with each breath."

Right away, I liked the structure of the CD. These songs are recorded in a studio, but Wiggins adds live interludes here and there, telling stories from the stage, sharing that warm and self-depreciating humor that often drives her songwriting. It’s a studio album with the flow of a live house concert.

I’ve reviewed Wiggins before, and each time I think she can’t pull any more surprises on me, she proves me wrong. I’ve never heard her sound this good. That sweet, tough, bluesy voice contains such richness, depth, and subtle nuances that change with each breath. On the opening track, “L.A. Blues,” she even throws in a bit of soprano scatting.

The harmonica also packs more energy then on Wiggins’ previous CDs. Linda Moss provides such wailing, racing, scorching sounds, I can’t imagine when she takes a breath. There don’t seem to be any pauses. If this were video, I think I’d see her eventually turn purple from hyperventilation and pitch face-forward into the monitor.

Part of Wiggins’ appeal as a songwriter is her perpetual openness to inspiration. She’s never in “off” mode. One of my favorite audience moments is when she explains the story behind “Grandpa.” She was driving to a gig and saw an elderly gentleman stylin’ in a pink El Dorado. From that glimpse of quirkiness, she spun a folk tale of wild imagination, humor, and admiration for a colorful character who isn’t ready to go out yet but knows he’ll go out with a bang.

Every song has a vibe that seduces. The bold flirtation of “You on My Mind.” The vulnerable, gospel blues of “Anyway It Happens,” a broken heart of a song. She can change the surroundings from a smoky blues bar to a lonely stretch of highway from one song to the next.

No one can sing or tell a story like Wiggins, so it’s a little startling to hear her say that being herself is something she had to come to grips with. The title track addresses that struggle:
I wanted to be Celine Dion
But I just didn’t have the chops.
Wanted to be like Janis
But I couldn’t handle the drugs....
Not going to college may not have panned out
To those on the outside looking in,
I might be heading for the loony bin,
But I am happy walking that line...

Judging from the audience reaction between tracks, listeners are just fine with the playful, funny, sexy, spunk-fueled songwriter with the voice on loan from a mischievous angel. As one of those listeners, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

-Jennifer Layton

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Sean Wiggins - Everyday Life

Sean Wiggins is an award winning singer, songwriter and guitarist. Sean's music has been featured in a number of compilation CD's in addition to her own albums. Wiggins is a soulful soloist who has been compared to Melissa Etheridge. Sean's vocals can be tough but her tone is much sweeter. She is a spirited singer who has full control of her wide vocal range. Sean pens insightful songs and stories about life setting them to instrumentation that ranges from alternative country to rock to the blues. Everyday Life is well produced and Sean's guest musicians are first rate. The CD opens with a reflective song layered with expressive instrumentation. From there the music moves through a variety of styles and moods from up-tempo country flavored tunes with silky slides to songs that feature the blues and smoky vocals. Rock riffs give some of Sean's songs more edge and she sings those compositions with grit. Sean Wiggins is a multi-talented musician and her latest release is delightful and diverse!
• Recommended Tracks: (1,3,7)

-Laura Turner Lynch

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Windy City Times

Acoustic blues singer/songwriter Sean Wiggins has released her third album, I Gotta Be Me (Wigmeister Music). A well-traveled live performer, Wiggins includes live song intros to "L.A. Blues," the title track, "Grandpa," the humorous, yet traumatic, ìmusic business is rewarding live monologue "The St. Louis Story," and the expressions of gratitude in "Thanks." Favorite tracks of mine include the lovely "Remember Spring" and the piano-driven "Anyway It Happens." (View article at Windy City Times)

-Gregg Shapiro

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Boston Girl Guide

Sean Wiggin's creativity has a sassy streak that will bring a smile to your face. All the songs on this CD are catchy enough to be considered pop, but can be authenticated as bluesy or funky because of the awesome talent of all the players.

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Baltimore Press

Sean Wiggins's r&b-flavored blues, underscored by Linda Moss's heartfelt harmonica, was as reminiscent of Dusty Springfield as it was of Bonnie Raitt. I snatched up a couple of CDs and begged for an interview. "I've been playing in rock bands since I was 17," Wiggins told me. "I was in Doctahri, in Vynil, in a southern rock band called Restless Society. I also sing in cover bands, covering everything from Janis Joplin to Patsy Cline to Aretha Franklin."

Wiggins has two solo efforts out: 1000 Steps, with its stripped-down arrangements reminiscent of her live sets, and 2001's Next Time Around, with its fuller, more produced sound. Next Time Around is a catalogue of love's phases: regret for the past, longing for something new, hesitating on the brink, leaping headlong. Wiggins wrings every drop of emotion from the lyrics; she is by turns tearful, wistful, hopeful, yearning, like some 60s pop diva: Dusty, say, or Janis, or Patsy, or Aretha. Everything her voice expresses live is blown up on the new CD, bigger than life and twice as engaging.

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Sean Wiggins - Next Time Around

Apparently someone got a bit experimental in the chem lab and mixed the DNA of Janis Joplin and Melissa Etheridge.

-Jennifer Layton

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Sean Wiggins - Next Time Around

Genre: Acoustic

Wiggins offers up a delicious collection of beautiful and bittersweet songs on "Next Time Around." Inspired by past relationships, Wiggin's delivers her poetic message of life, love and heartbreak in her lovely soulful vocal style complimented by her incredible guitar playing.

Adding to the rich tapestry of musical color on "Next Time Around" includes the rich bluesy harp playing of Linda Moss, as well as a host of other fine musicians who contributed their finest moments to this effort. They hit a soulful jazzy groove on the title track and leave their musical mark throughout this ten-song collection.

Wiggins, as well as Moss remain rarefied musical leaders among today's indie artists. They perform songs that touch your heart while musically satisfying your ears. The combined talent of these two ladies will remind the listener of Wrigley's Doublemint promise - "Double your pleasure, Double your fun." They remain a great musical combination to behold both live and on CD.

Fortunately, west-coast residents can gain full appreciation of these ladies in concert on a regular basis while the rest of America will have to settle for buying the CD. But keep your eyes peeled - these ladies are on the move and coming your way in the months to come.

-Deborah Keith

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Sean Wiggins - Early Musical Treat at Claremont Pride Event

Wiggins has a free wheeling style and delivery that encompasses many musical genres including folk, rock and blues.

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Interview With Sean Wiggins

Southern California's Sean Wiggins' "1000 Steps" serves up a mean blend of folk, blues, and rock. The opener, "That's a Fact", finds Sean's clear, soulful voice depicting life's struggles with a comedic stance. The tune "Lizard Man" is a stabbing tale of the music industry dudes of Sean's past. Perhaps the most accessible piece on "1000 Steps" is a ditty with a tasty bongo pattern, called "VW Hatchback", which tells of leaving the stressful city life behind. Featured throughout the CD are the smokin' harmonica phrases of Sean's partner in crime, Linda Moss. Keep an eye out for Sean Wiggins...she's bound to go a lot further than that green VW will take her!

FMs, Victoria Liotta, caught up with Sean for some additional info:

[FM] At what age did you begin playing music, and what inspired you to start?

[SEAN] I have always been singing - from the shower to grade school plays. Tee hee. But I really started playing professionally in my high school jazz combo at 16. I sang stuff like Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald.

[FM] You have worked with some noteworthy musicians and producers. Can you tell us about one of your more memorable experiences?

[SEAN] Some people may not know Genya Ravan, but she has been a force in the music industry in NYC for years. She toured with all kinds of people and was one of the women who were at the forefront of rock'n'roll. I have known her for many years and she got me to listen to many great female singers/musicians and inspired me to pursue my musical career. Getting to work with her finally, after many years, was rewarding. The experience of recording with her in NYC was the highlight of my career. We walked out of the building one day and ran into Richie Havens. Genya knew him, and had worked on some gigs with him, so they caught up for a minute and I felt like I was touching a very cool piece in history.

[FM] Any plans of playing outside California this year?

[SEAN] Yes, indeed again. I have shows in Chicago, Houston, and NYC. In August I am playing a big show in Chicago called "Market Days". In June, in Chicago, I will be opening hopefully for Jill Sobule and Michelle Malone.

[FM] What are some of your favorite albums?

[SEAN] Bonnie Raitt,"Sweet Forgiveness", The Story,"Grace and Gravity", Indigo Girls, "Nomads, Saints, Indians" (or whatever order you think it is-tee hee), and Aretha Franklin,"Sparkle".

[FM] What advice can you give on recording and marketing your own CD?

[SEAN] I would say to all - make sure you master your stuff before you replicate. Top notch mastering can make your material sound like it deserves to be played right next to the big dogs! Marketing??? I am a big fan of the Internet, and then I believe we have to get out and play live. So come on out and let me know that you are there!

-Victoria Liotta

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Three Wishes Records

"VW Hatchback" has such a great feel, best described as a marriage of 70’s soul and progressive folk. I couldn’t sit still through this one and you won’t either.

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Music Connection

Sean Wiggins at The Gig, Hollywood

The Players: Sean Wiggins, vo- cals, guitar; Linda Moss, harmonica.

Material: Sean Wiggins opens with a song dedicated to "all the assholes I've worked with in this industry..." called "Mr. Lizard Man." This candor set the tone for her set which is part Sara McLachlan, part Rickie Lee Jones, and a whole lot of Michelle Shocked. Wiggins is a superior songwriter who incorporates blues, jazz and folk in a seamless manner, giving her material a thoughtful, pretty and extremely introspective slant. She does have a tendency, however, to try to cover too many styles, which prevents her from having a signature sound. Nevertheless, each of her songs are so strong, it would be hard to decide which direction she should go.

Musicianship: Wiggins has a cool style of singing that dances between folk and jazz in a unique way. She begins with what seems to be typical folk-rock vocals, but then will scat notes into the melody, jumping scales and playing with your expectations. Wiggins' partner, Linda Moss, is probably one of the most engaging harp players you'll ever see as she plays her instrument with a smooth jazz-like eloquence that doesn't come out from a harmonica. Together these two have fashioned a sound that is never predictable or boring.

Performance: Wiggins endeared herself to a crowd that was present to see another act by telling cute little jokes, such as, "we're gonna try a heavy metal song now in the key of R7." Indeed, Wiggins was so much at one with the audience that only her guitar cable kept her from sitting in their midst while she played.

Summary: Sean Wiggins could easily be misidentified as a simple singer/songwriter, but what she does is so much more. She actually takes you into her world and makes you feel right at home. In tact, by mid set she had the room rooting for her even though most had no idea who she was. All she needs at this point is to focus her vision a bit more and she will be an act to contend with.

-Bernard Baur

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Say What???

Los Angeles singer/songwriter Sean Wiggins comes clean with an amazing 5-song, self-titled independent release. You may hear her and think rock, then listen again and think folk, and at other times you may listen to her and hear Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Etta James in the body of a small-framed girl. Her magical vocal arrangements are what make her so unique. With such amazing songs as the opening to her disc, "Into the Blue," she is at the forefront of the ambient alternative, folk-rock genre. Then comes the rhythm section in the song "VW Hatchback," in which she flexes her R&B-influenced vocals. Her flaring vocals can make Alanis Morisette's screeches sound like peeps. One other song that moved me was "More"; this track seemed to touch me on a more personal note. Listen to the lyrics and you will see what I am talking about. Catch her performance on the 29th of February at The Baked Potato in Hollywood.

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Sean Wiggins - 1000 Steps

There's one word that best describes my feelings for Sean Wiggins... TALENTED! She combines her extraordinary vocal talents along with a punchy acoustic guitar sound to give us her new CD, 1000 Steps. The first track called "That's A Fact," is quite amusing. Her strongest song is "VW Hatchback." My favorite line from that track is "...A superstar, saw you down at the 99 cent store..." One thing you'll notice throughout this CD is that Sean pours out her heart and soul. You hear it in her voice. Linda Moss rounds out the CD with her riveting harmonica. I will tell you this, Sean Wiggins is someone to watch out for. I highly recommend this CD. If anything, check out the cute CD cover!

Hit Picks: "VW Hatchback" and "That's A Fact"

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Sean Wiggins - EP

Sean Wiggins has been referred to as the "...attention-grabbing, blue-eyed soul diva..." by BAM Magazine. This is without a doubt, the truth! Her 5 track self-title CD is most definitely attention-grabbing. Her voice is intoxicating, mesmerizing, absolutely wonderful and full of energy. The tunes on this CD are excellent. They make for good groovin' music. "VW Hatchback" is hands down the best track on the CD. I find myself singing along to the very catchy chorus! Also well liked is "Lazy Susan," a darker, more lyrically intense song.

Sean Wiggins is a singer/songwriter on her way up. And I mean up to the top. Check her out!

Hit Picks: "VW Hatchback" and "Lazy Susan"

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Girls With Guitars

by Linda Camplese

“Girls with Guitars” was the first performance at the newly-formed ECHO Artspace in Grover Beach (disclaimer: I am the Creative Director of the space and the Coordinator of this show). ECHO is a private, 1,400 square foot, black-walled warehouse with carpet, chairs, stage, dressing area and some sound and lighting equipment. It is a hybrid artist’s cooperative and donation-based rental space for art, theatre and musical events and comfortably seats about 100 people, maybe a few more. Currently, groups working in theatre, aerial dance, fire-spinning and music use the space on a regular basis.

Like any new space, especially one that is operating on an untried model, there are some quirks that can be worked out and some that can’t. The main idea is to provide a space for different kinds of artists and performers to share and coordinate its use collaboratively. But, that is a double-edged-sword in that it means certain things have to be set up and broken down in between to make room for other groups that need the space in the interim. For example, for a band to use the space at the same time as an acting troupe, the band may have to break down all their equipment each week to make room on the stage for the actors on their given night.
The space is also a little hard to find and although it is located in a cool industrial area, it’s hard to see the entrance at the back of a big driveway, tucked in a corner. There is a small sign on the bright purple door, but other than that, it is very discreet, so it could certainly use some decent signage or a banner on the fence indicating the event. In addition, on event night, it happened to be cold and rainy. The interior was warm near the stage where the hot lights were, but fairly cold at the rear near the bay door. The artists were a little blinded by the theatre lights onstage, and it was difficult to see the audience you were trying to connect with from the stage, so clearly there are changes needed there (although the stage and performer both looked good from the audiences perspective). A high-end sound system was brought in for the show and it sounded great, but onsite sound is something that is needed and will hopefully improve over time as groups identify their needs and things get donated.

To me, these seem like small sacrifices for the availability of what is essentially a cool, cheap space with the ambience of a club or small theatre rather than a café or restaurant where the purpose is to sell food or wine and the musician or artist is peripheral. ECHO is a venue clearly focused on the work, that is, the artist on stage (or hanging from the ceiling, depending on the show). “Girls with Guitars” was particularly intimate exactly for the reason that the music itself was central to the gathering. There was a familiar and refreshing sense of humor in the banter between the artists and audience perhaps because something about the place felt comfortable enough for guests to call out requests and make comments right from their seats. The artists were present in the theatre during the show and during breaks, so they got to really mingle with the guests (with potluck plates of excellent food donated by guests and some local companies). And, like every event at ECHO Artspace, there was a target charity, this time PY-Radical Roots Rescue.

The first musician onstage was Sean Wiggins from Los Angeles. Sean is a seasoned performer and it showed. She has strong acoustic guitar and songwriting skills and a great voice. Her music is upbeat and dancy in an empowering, southern-rock style with plenty of humor. This is not political rock, but she takes on solid characters and clearly has fun with them. Her accompanist, Paul Houston on electric guitar also rocked the house and his tasty solos were well-received.

Next up was Oxnard’s Rachel Sedacca who played at the Live Oak Festival last summer. Her set was a quieter, sit-down affair. Rachel has a rich voice but her guitar sound fell a bit short of her vocals. She chose a set of original songs as well as a cover of The Grateful Dead’s Franklin’s Tower, ending with an audience sing-along of “You are my Sunshine.” I suspect her music and her overall hippy vibe (which I very much liked, including the big red bus she parked outside named “Patience”) probably translate better at an outdoor venue like Live Oak (rather than the clubby atmosphere of ECHO) where the audience can freely sway to such folksy tunes, and her guitar sound would be somewhat less important.

Last up, the Central Coast’s own Jill Knight. I first saw Jill back in ’94 when she opened for the late, great Michael Hedges in Ventura. Anyone who has ever seen Michael Hedges live may agree that his musicianship was so staggering to witness that it is unlikely any opening act was remembered even 60 seconds after he walked onstage. But I remembered Jill. And I’ve seen her perform around town since then. I’ve seen her in professional venues like the Clark Center as well as outside in the blistering sun for a quick set at Pride. Seeing her always leaves me asking the same question…why the hell is this woman’s music not all over the radio? I suppose the answer is that Jill is not just another whiny songwriter strumming major chords while her voice is pumped through eight hundred effects. She is a consummate musician using her guitar, vocal range and original poetry to evoke deep feelings of joy, loss, inspiration and remembrance. Her writing is genuine poetry even if it wasn’t set to music, but her amazing voice carries it further. And, like Bonnie Raitt or Sheryl Crow, it’s just damn fun watching her have at it with her instrument. Perhaps the best thing about Jill’s music is that we on the Central Coast have so much access to it, at least for now. As long as I can coordinate shows at ECHO, I’m going to be begging Jill to come out and play, because at any moment, she could have a conflicting gig at the Grammys!

It is my hope that “Girls with Guitars” is the first in a series. There are some local boys that I’d like to get up on our stage as well, like Damon Castillo, but “Boys with Guitars” seems like…well, a stupid name for a show. ECHO is far from a perfect space, but, even so, a bunch of people headed out on a cold, rainy night and had three strong women with their guitars all to themselves instead of choosing to go to yet another run-of-the-mill Halloween party. I think ECHO has already provided something unique in the neighborhood, and that’s worth supporting. Many, many thanks to everyone who did.

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