New Slang

202: Sean Devine

September 28, 2021 Season 6 Episode 202
202: Sean Devine
New Slang
More Info
New Slang
202: Sean Devine
Sep 28, 2021 Season 6 Episode 202

On Episode 202, I'm joined by Montana singer-songwriter Sean Devine. Devine released the excellent Here For It All in early September after recording the album with Josh Thompson and Cody Jinks's backing back down at Sonic Ranch. During this conversation, we talk about recording the album, exchanging Dropbox folders with Thompson, writing storytellers like "Clay Bluffs," coming down to Texas, his Montana home, and what continues to drive him to tell stories worth telling.

This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol, The Blue Light Live, and Charlie Stout Photography.

New Slang Patreon
New Slang Twitter
New Slang Instagram
New Slang Facebook
New Slang Merch Store
The Neon Eon Podcast
The Neon Eon Merch Store

*Pre-Order The Lubbock Way, the debut book by Thomas Mooney, here.

Support the Show.

New Slang +
Help us continue making great content for listeners everywhere.
Starting at $3/month
Show Notes Transcript

On Episode 202, I'm joined by Montana singer-songwriter Sean Devine. Devine released the excellent Here For It All in early September after recording the album with Josh Thompson and Cody Jinks's backing back down at Sonic Ranch. During this conversation, we talk about recording the album, exchanging Dropbox folders with Thompson, writing storytellers like "Clay Bluffs," coming down to Texas, his Montana home, and what continues to drive him to tell stories worth telling.

This episode's presenting partner is Desert Door Texas Sotol, The Blue Light Live, and Charlie Stout Photography.

New Slang Patreon
New Slang Twitter
New Slang Instagram
New Slang Facebook
New Slang Merch Store
The Neon Eon Podcast
The Neon Eon Merch Store

*Pre-Order The Lubbock Way, the debut book by Thomas Mooney, here.

Support the Show.

Thomas Mooney  0:01  
Hey y'all. Welcome back to new slang. I'm your host music journalist Thomas Mooney. And we're kicking off the last week of September, being joined by singer songwriter Sean Devine. I had a hell of a conversation with Sean a couple of weeks back about his latest record. Here for it all. He released the reflective storyteller record nearly a month ago. It was down in the Far West Texas deserts near El Paso that Shawn recorded here for it all. Way Out West at Sonic ranch with Josh Thompson producing and Cody Jenks is band serving as Shawn's backing band on the project. They naturally hit it out of the park giving country folk textures to Sean's Montana storytellers. This one was Shawn was awful fun. We spoke about recording down at Sonic ranch writing songs like the storyteller, Clay bluffs, spending time down in Texas, his home out in Montana, and what continues to drive him to find more stories worth telling. I think you'll enjoy it too. We'll get into it. But first, today's presenting partner is our pals over at Desert door Texas SOTL if you've been listening to new slang for really any amount of time, you'll know that desert door is one of my all time favorite premium, high quality spirits. If you haven't or aren't sure what exactly a Soto is. I'm going to let you in on a little secret that's going to up the game on your liquor cabinet. For starters, the best reference point that I can point you to is to think about a tequila or a Moscow. Do you feel that Western desert that Texas ruggedness? Okay, Soto is like that, but a little bit more refined, smooth and fragrant. It intrigues the palate and offers these hints of vanilla and citrus, there's an earthiness that often sends me right back to my Transpac is in Far West Texas roots. There's plenty to love about desert door. For me, it all starts right there. A close second is just how versatile desert door really is. You can go full highbrow and experiment with concocting a variety of cocktails that call for muddling fresh fruit sprigs of time sticks of cinnamon, it's perfect for that world. If you're a little bit more down home, if you've just rolled up the sleeves of your denim wrangler button up, it's perfect for that as well. If you're just designing something that's short and sweet, it hits the mark every time does adore is genuine and authentically West Texan. It's inherently West Texan. They harvest Soto plants out in the wild and are knowledgeable conservationists at heart. That's obviously something incredibly important to me. They shine a light on what makes West Texas special and unique and worth preserving and keeping it safe from exploitation. Right now, you can find desert door all over Texas, Colorado, Tennessee, and there's budding numbers in places like New Mexico, Arizona, California and Georgia. Best thing you can do is to check out desert to find where desert door is locally. Again, that's desert If this is your first time listening, be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. New slang is available just about everywhere. If you're listening on Apple podcasts though, leave one of those five star reviews. Go check out the merch store. There's plenty of cool new slang stuff shot glasses, coffee mugs, T shirts, stickers, what have you. That's also where you can preorder my debut book. It's called the Lubbock way. It's just me self publishing. So it's going to be in limited supply. As the title alludes. It's about a short period within the Lubbock music scene stories and thoughts about some of your favorite songwriters, all the links that I just mentioned, they will be in the show notes. Okay, let's get into it. Here is Shawn Devine. The natural spot to start on is that you just released the new record. And, you know, I guess from what I, from what I understand, you know, this, this record has been, you know, in the can if you will, for a minute now, and I guess original plans were, you know, to have this out last year, but with with the way that things were last year, you know, everything was just up in limbo and up in the air and no one really in the music business knew how to release a record or if you should release a record without touring and all that kind of stuff. But, you know, it's finally here for you. I'm assuming you know that that kind of, at least in a sense, feels like a not just accomplishment, but some sense of relief, like okay, it's finally out and, you know, here's the record, guys.

Sean Devine  4:42  
Yeah, well, you're, you're right on my considerations were as you described. There didn't seem to be any point in putting out a new album. If I couldn't go out and tour it because that's the principal way to monetize these things, you know, was to get people to come out to your shells. So I, when when we began to realize that the pandemic was gonna stretch on and on and on. Yeah, we had it mixed. And I just decided to just sit tight. And that sucked. But, you know, now I kind of, for instance, my buddy Ward Davis, who kind of got this whole ball rolling for me with Josh Thompson and tone deaf hippies in the first place, he went ahead and put out a new record mid pandemic. And, and that turned out to be excellent timing. on his part, that kind of the coast was clear. A lot of people in the industry were sitting on projects or didn't know whether they should put something out. And he kind of had an open lane. And, and his record did great. And maybe a lot of us, you know, who decided to wait and see. And just when we thought things were going to open back up, all of a sudden, there's this flood any records. So, for instance, I have a publicity team helping me out i you, you were in touch with Alice. And I guess that's how you and I got connected. And there's a radio guy, Joe swank is out there, pushing this thing out to two FM radio. And you know, they're coming back, Stan, you know, we're pushing every day, but God is just a big pile, and he releases out. Everybody put out there. Yeah, because pandemic was finally easing up, you know. And now we've got this big glut of records out there. And we're all excited about the possibilities and the pandemic comes roaring back. So it's anybody's guess, man, but what I really hope is that it manages to cut through and some people get to hear this thing, because I'm really proud of it. I'm really excited about it, getting to work with, with Josh Thompson and the tone deaf hippies at the Adobe room at Sonic ranch. I mean, that's the place where they've made some really cool records. You know, those Cody Jenks records were made, they're going back to the Adobe sessions. And, and those guys are really comfortable in that space. And they've been playing together for a long time. They're really great band. Josh just dropped my songs into that kind of, you know, chemistry and, and they came back with a record that hallelujah sounds like a Shawn Devine record, you know, it, they did it stepped out of there Cody Jinks mode, just enough to to create a new sound around my songs. I couldn't be more delighted with the whole thing. It's just, it's a wonderful project. And, and I yeah, I'm so here I am standing on the edge of another moment of decision, do I try to lay out a bunch of dates for this fall and see what starts getting canceled? Or do I just go back on the reins and hold up here and take another look at this? I don't even know anymore.

Thomas Mooney  7:58  
I know, that's how I kind of feel with with everything as well, it's, there's just so much up in the air that, I don't know. Um, last year, it felt like we were being strung out for four weeks at a time or something six weeks at a time, like, you know, mid summer should be lightened up late summer it should be like and then like, they just kept on pushing the deadline back. And then it felt like it opened up again. And we were it was a little bit of a freeing feeling, you know, spring of this last year or this year. And then all of a sudden, again, now it feels like it's a we're going back to that hearing for weeks. But it's the other way around. Like four weeks from now it's going to be worse, or like six weeks from now it's going to be worse. And again, you're just kind of up in this limbo, period, basically. And it's just such a weird thing. You mentioned Ward Ward was on last fall when he released his record. And yeah, that's kind of where everyone was zigging and he went ahead and zag back, you know, and done done well for him.

Sean Devine  9:07  
Sometimes cutting across the grain you know, it's it's a ballsy call to make and it really panned out for him. And I'm excited for him to man I think that's great. You know, I like black cats and crows. That's on my on my Apple Music. I listened to that driving down the road. Ward was at my house recently we had a really fun get together over here. He played in Livingston, my hometown, and put on a great show and then they had a day off from the road. And I invited him out a word in the band and we had a little party out here my place and mean I don't know how much I should really go we had a time and they got back on the road the next day in pretty good shape. I think

Thomas Mooney  9:56  
that's a you know, obviously up there in Montana. I wonder if that's the is that kind of the norm as far as like there being, you know, a couple more days off a couple more days, that you just kind of work in, when it when it comes to the tour schedule? And when when the bands come in outwest were they not just necessarily driving but, you know, just want to soak up some of that landscape and, you know, maybe, you know, guy like you, you're gonna be like, hey, I can show you the some spots for the day off. Is that, have you? Have you noticed that? Or is that kind of a, you know, not necessarily always the case?

Sean Devine  10:35  
Well, I don't know that word had a lot of say, and wherein were his days off on the road would occur, you know, that True Grit. His agent lays that out for him. And I think that probably what they're trying to accomplish is to keep everybody busy. And it's a long drive to the gigs in Montana. You know, it's speaking of zigging and zagging around the state so they had a lot of windshield time. And by the time they got to me, but but my place has been on the musician trail for a long time and, and I take great pleasure in and hosting bands on the road. People put me up when I'm on the road. You know, just I mean as simple as like having a quiet and safe place to park the van which I sleep in when I'm when I'm touring, is those are grand gestures. And if you wake up in the morning, somebody's got some good coffee on and they're making like, I don't know, biscuits and gravy or something. You know, those are those are sweet, sweet times. And I've got a little place out in the country. My neighbors are our old ranching families here in Yellowstone, the upper Yellowstone River Valley. So it's quiet, you know? And if you can kind of feel like you can stretch out a little bit. Yeah, to Clint park and I went down the river, I took him on a float. Got him a fishing license, and we didn't catch any fish. I don't know, the conversation got pretty good. And we did have a cooler full of beers on the boat. It seemed like after a point we kind of forgot about trying to catch. But it worked out, you know, had a great time. And yeah, I really enjoy that. I've, I have some old friends and I look forward to them come and camping out in the yard. And hanging out with me when I'm here and they're coming through. It's it's a pleasure.

Thomas Mooney  12:35  
Yeah, like, that's how I kind of figured it be because you mentioned those long drives. And of course, like, you know, someplace like Texas where I'm at, you know, you throw a rock and you're gonna hit a music venue. Out here. And so, you know, it's just one of those were you trying to get as many.

Sean Devine  12:52  
But was that? One of the things I love about Texas? Mm, yeah, you

Thomas Mooney  12:57  
can find music in you know, any night of the week kind of thing and what axis we're located. I'm up here in Lubbock.

Sean Devine  13:07  
Oh, yeah, the blue light.

Thomas Mooney  13:08  
Yeah, the the blue light. That's, uh, yeah, I've seen you up here. And it's a that's always like, kind of one of my favorite things is now I don't do it nearly as often just because, you know, you don't find getting out. I guess like the energy to go out on every Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday. Kind of thing but you know, those are like always my kind of my favorite days to go out because especially if you don't know who's playing or you've only seen the name on the marquee or whatever, and are on the website and you just go oh, well, let me go check that person out. And the discovery of music in that capacity is always the what I what I love

Sean Devine  13:51  
Yeah. And and, and what a fine place to. I mean, when I first got booked at the blue light live it was you know, it was actually part of this same Ward Davis Cody Jenks connection. I went to see them play in Billings, Montana and Cody had to support x it was it was culture wall and red Shane. And I had the you know, the All Access Pass and I was backstage trying to make a dent in that truckload and other lights that follows Cody or ever he go and just visiting. And yeah, Josh Thompson introduced me around to all those guys and it turned out that Parker Morrow is playing bass with red Shea Han, and a guy that goes by the moniker Paw Paw. And Parker's book in the blue light and paw paw, is, I guess one of the owners of Magnolia motor lounge. in Fort Worth, and the next time I went to Texas couple months later, I was playing at the blue light. And at Magnolia.

Thomas Mooney  15:08  
Yeah, absolutely. to great places and plenty of great people right there. Yeah.

Sean Devine  15:13  
I, I started to understand where I was a little bit, you know, I mean, I've known of Lubbock as being like buddy, Holly country, and Flatlanders country. You mentioned book hand, Butch Hancock, a little bit earlier. But man, they grow some songwriters in Lubbock, Texas that place has, well, I don't have to tell you that I think it was the second or third time I've been back to the blue light. I had the night off. I hit town on a Monday night. And I was booked to play on Tuesday night, because I'm a single. And that's, you know, that's when Parker will put like, solo acts up Tuesday, Wednesday. So I, I, I was there for songwriter night. And, and I signed up, you know, what up, and I just happen to be there on the same night that William Clark Greene was in the club and hanging out. And he had a bunch of friends. I don't even know who all I met a lot of people that night, and I heard great song after great song. And some of them were from the likes of William Clark green. And some of them are the likes of people who literally just got off their day job. And showed up at the blue light to have a couple beers and play their new song. And I just thought, Man, this is the place. You know, people do this all the time in this town. This is what they do for entertainment, they make art and they come out and sing songs for their friends. I mean, I was tempted to try to figure out a way to relocate me rigidly spend some more time. Yeah. And love it, man, I felt like I'd found a spiritual home out there.

Thomas Mooney  17:05  
Yeah, there is something very, very special about this place. And specifically like that culture that that blue light is kind of cultivating right there with the the songwriter, the the Monday night thing, because, you know, you mentioned like, you first off, you never know who's gonna pop in who's in town. And it may be like William Clark green, or it may be, you know, read or, you know, maybe no one shows up, right. But you're gonna hear a lot of people who are, you know, that mixture of like, the 18 year old kid, the 21 year old kid chasing the dream, thinking like, they can be the next, you know, quote, unquote, big thing from Lubbock, Texas. And then also the person who, as you mentioned, I just got off work. And I'm in it for the sake of the song and I play these songs for my friends. And, you know, it's that mixture that you got to have a little bit of both, I think, for boys like that. Yeah.

Sean Devine  18:08  
And yeah, it's what makes it a real, like grassroots. First of all, having a place like the blue light that has a cool stage, beautiful sound, by the way, and one of the greatest compliments that I have ever received, that I can recall was at the end of a show at the end of a set at the blue light when Casey Heckman was running down, and that guy's got yours a mile wide. You know, he just, he understands the detail and the acoustic guitar monitor sound was just glorious. I was just reveling in my career and myself so well. And after the show, Casey, and I think one of the bartenders and I were sitting up at the bar had an eye and he said, man, it's so great to have you come through and just be doing your own thing like you do. You know, like having your own sound, y'all. I know, I'm not showing up trying to trying to be Texas country, per se, I'm not trying to imitate or sing songs that I think that those people will like, because I'm in their town, I just bring my show, you know, I do my songs. And, and I really love it and I'm all in on that. And it felt really special for Casey to, to to hold that up. Particularly, you know, your respect, that was really just it confirmed for me that I was in the right place.

Thomas Mooney  19:44  
Yeah, no, it's it's one of those things where, you know, I think a lot of people can especially like, you know, obviously you're not like an 18 year old kid anymore, but, you know, the 18 year old kid can can think like, oh, I just needed to start doing the, you know, the copy trying to do the Texas country because that's what's, you know, selling out these big shows, but you know, when you get comfortable at finding what you want to sound like and what you what stories you're trying to tell, you know, I think a lot of people end up finding the you know, not just like people like Casey but just in general fandom fans you may not have like all the fans but you have you'll end up finding some like diehard fans of them understanding like, you know, this guy's about the songs and that's there's there's something very very special about when you get to that spot and you know give a little bit of the benefit of the doubt to it to an audience to understand that like you know, songs are important and not just you know, beer sell jingles or whatever the case you know. This episode of new slang is brought to you by the blue light live here in Lubbock, Texas. Blue light has long been the heart and soul of the Lubbock singer songwriter scene, and has been a home away from home for some a Texas Americana, country and Rock and roll's finest over the years. Talk with 99.9% of the songwriters who have come out of Lubbock in the Panhandle at large over the past 20 years. And they'll point to just how integral and necessary the blue light is, with live music and touring slowly but surely coming back spots like the blue light or getting back to their usual ways as well. That means music every night of the week. Do you want to see that schedule? Well, I've got a few options for you. One, go to their socials and give them a follow that is at blue light live on Twitter, at the blue light live on Instagram. And of course, by just searching the blue light live on Facebook, they're consistently posting that week's lineup of shows, as well as those heavy hitters that ought to be on your calendar that are coming up on the horizon. To check out blue light as well. There they have the full schedule, the coverage charges, time, any of those specials that may be happening while they're go check out their merch page. They have a wide range of hats, koozies, hoodies, sweaters, beanies, jackets, and so much more. You can of course get all of your merch needs. When you go see your favorite band, take the stage at blue light, just ask the bartender and they will get you all set. Speaking of which, that's another great way of seeing who's playing there. Just go to the blue light. It's at 1806 Buddy Holly Avenue here in Lubbock, Texas. And of course, again, that is blue light. I'll throw a link into the show notes to maybe I'll see you there. Okay, let's get back to the show.

Sean Devine  22:51  
Yeah, I guess if I'm interpreting what you're saying correctly, it's and, you know, I've been 18 years old for a long time. You rightly surmised, and and I suppose some part of me, you know, as a performer still is that, that kid who wants to please a crowd, you know, who wants to get the accolades and, and the affirmation that goes with that. I'm not immune to that, necessarily. But finally, what I what I had to give into, I guess, a long time ago, was that there's something that I do really naturally, you know, there's a there's a sound that I make. And there are songs that I've written because because those songs came to me, you know, they they picked me you might say and and that's where I tap into a feeling of a power source No. So that the music just comes flowing out and in you really effortless way. And I'm not thinking about what I'm doing anymore. And I'm not trying to do anything anymore. If I'm trying to do anything, it's just to stay out of the way you know and let the music that that apparently I'm here to offer just do its thing. And and so when I'm when I'm feeling good I know I'm getting it right. Like look at me Look at me, is the last thing on my mind. Not on my mind at all. What I'm into is that vibe get set up in the room that gradually everybody because everybody's certainly welcome the doors wide open and and people get drawn to that. And then we all share a feeling you know, we all have a shared experience. Yeah, and by the way, we've been someplace you know, We've heard, we've heard the Shawn Devine stories, you know, that maybe we never heard before we've been taken to a new place. And and I, I think that's what we're out there for. That's fine question.

Thomas Mooney  25:15  
No, I think you're right. You know, speaking of like, these special kind of places, you already mentioned Sonic Ranch, being a certain kind of, there's a certain field, there's an atmosphere out there, there's a mood that that people tap into. For those uninformed, you know, it's on the border of Texas and Mexico out by El Paso, and, you know, little torneo, Texas, and, you know, as I've talked with people who have gone out there to record, now, they always mentioned, how you, you kind of feel like you, you're, you're, you're there to do a task, because like, you're, you know, you're go out there for, you know, week or two, or whatever the case is, whatever your your budget is, and you're going to make a record, you're not going home after the day is finished, you're, you're out there and you're staying out there and you're recording and then getting up the next morning eating breakfast, and you're listening to mixes and what all that all the stuff that entails making a record. It's a destination place. Obviously, this record was was cut over there. Had you been out there before? And if not, like, what was the kind of like your first initial, you know, reaction to kind of soak in the place up?

Sean Devine  26:31  
I had not been out there before. So I was I was coming in with I guess, zero bias. You know, I didn't pick either expectation. I knew that, that that ban Cody and the tone deaf hippies had, had made a lot of records there at that point, and that that's this is a place where they like to work. So I was certainly enthused about, like, tapping into that, you know, whatever that special magic is that they had discovered there. And undoubtedly helped to cultivate there, that you know, that that was a bus that's still on. And I get to just step into that, that it felt like an enormous privilege. And still does. And I you know what? That said that maybe one of the first surprising things about arriving at Sonic Ranch is what a humble appearing place it is. Though, I mean, if you if you have some kind of grand notions about where cool records get made, and you've been to maybe some of the big shiny studios in Nashville or or Austin This is different than that, yeah, the Adobe room was an old machine shop, you know, I think it was a building that was for like repairing tractors, there's still a big steel I beam that runs the length of the ceiling that I think even still has the pulley wheel on it, you know, for a come along or something for like lifting an engine out of attractor, it's, they kept some of the the old functional features. And then did of course, everything they needed to do about creating really tight, clean acoustic environment in there and the old Neve console. You know, I I started making records on tape because that's what that's how you did it. You know, I'm actually a pre digital guy. And I feel really comfortable working with tape. In fact, Austin blues, we tracked at Cedar Creek in Austin on we tracked it all pretty much all live to two inch 24 students. And you know, I was thrilling. I love to work that way. We did here for it all on. On digital, I'm pretty sure it was a Pro Tools rig. I didn't even really peek under the hood there because I didn't need to. But when you're sitting at one of those old analog consoles, that old needs, there's a smell. There's a warm electrical smell that comes up from from equipment like that and from like tube limiting amplifiers, you know, or some kind of signal chain stuff that you might run a vocal or an acoustic guitar down on the way to the to the board and all that stuff. So the smell in the control room felt really familiar and really comfortable. To me. It made me feel like yeah, this is a good spot. cuz I can smell like tubes getting hot of that. And then there's just one other room in the Adobe room that the console the control room sits on. Essentially half of that building is control room and lounge. And the other is the main room where Josh had the whole band set up they had

the electric guitar and Chris clarities amplifier and Josh Thompson bass amp were in a separate building, although house adjacent to the Adobe room with cables just running out over the ground. So that's how he achieved the necessary isolation, you know, to do multitrack recording so that he could change stuff as he went. But really, it felt like, in a lot of ways, to me, it felt like an old school recording setup. And that if I close my eyes, it has no trouble imagining, you know, the big reel to reel, going round and round. While we were tracking the songs, it felt really righteous that way. And I really enjoyed that. Now, all that said, the main one of the main things I need to impart about Sonic Ranch is, as you pointed out, it's a destination. So everybody's kind of sequestered there. And you don't go out on the town drinking after a session and then come in hungover. And like you're staring at a chart and trying to figure out what you wrote yesterday. You know, everybody stays in a little bit more of a disciplined mode for focus mode, I think. But the overarching thing even beyond all the things I've already described is the hospitality. Know that rooms where you sleep out there are really nice and clean and the beds are comfortable. And the food the food might be reason enough just to go to Sonic Ranch, just to book a vacation. Just go study for a week or so. And an eating a nice, big dining room. And the old main house I think from it's a pecan farm, it's still a pecan farm. Right? It will main house there and they've got a kitchen staff that lays it out. Yeah, and so really parts about working there that I thought were were, you know, I might be like actually doing myself a little harm in terms of being able to maintain a strong focus on the material was that every time I sat down to eat, I couldn't stop. You know, and then it was like hours after that before I was even awake again. It was it was great. It was really, really downhome really very soulful place. And really a pleasure to work there.

Thomas Mooney  32:50  
Yeah, the I've heard stories about the the food just being kind of one of those hooks they get into you, you don't want to leave just because uh, because of that right there.

Sean Devine  33:02  
FCM. So I'm born and raised in Montana. And I guarantee if you come to visit me, and I take you out to something that we call Mexican food, you will probably you'll probably be not saying a lot of things that you're thinking. You know, like a really nice guy. And it's not that it's bad. It you know, but it's northern Mexican food. It's it's a, we've actually got a new place in Livingston that I think kind of is comparable. But I didn't know, I didn't know what what Mexican food or Tex Mex cuisine was until I toured around Texas even a few times, you know, where I finally got my act together so that I wasn't eating from, like, drive through windows out of the van just trying to get to the next, you know, I started to get a feel for the place and I knew where to go sit down and have a meal from time to time. And, and so I know kind of sewer of these things. But Sonic grants was really it was it was an eye opener. It was a soul opener, in many ways. That way. Yeah, yeah. I'd go back and do it all again.

Thomas Mooney  34:22  
Yeah. This episode is in part brought to you by Charlie stout photography. Charlie stout has long been a great buddy of mine. And for as long as I've known him, he's always had a good eye, a good eye for ideas for lines and a song. And notably, an eye for what makes a great photograph. Yes, we're gonna roll with that tried and true cliche about a great photographer, having a good eye. But it's cliche for a reason. More often than not means it's true. Right now, I want y'all to head on over to Charlie To get an idea of you What I'm talking about while you're at it, go give him a follow on Instagram and Twitter at Charlie stout. Right now he has about 50 photographs for sale on Charlie With a vast majority of those being landscapes and sky shots of West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona, the American Southwest, if you will, a lot of cacti and clouds, windmills and open roads, sunsets and Stardust, he captures a lot of what I love about West Texas, and these dry arid climates. That's mainly that vast emptiness that can really make you feel small, the depth and the way and the intensity, it's all in there. Right now he's doing a special on his prints. Each week, he releases a new photo. And for one week, only that photograph is at a special introductory rate, for just $25, you'll get an eight and a half by 11. That's just about half off the regular price. For 75, you can get a 13 by 19. And for 110, you can get a 17 by 22. After the week, they go back to regular prices, which are still an absolute steal, if you ask me. Also just a pro tip, keep an watchful eye out on his Twitter, he's consistently posting one offs, errors and randoms on there that are for sale that are in the flash sell variety. Again, that is at Charlie stout for Twitter and Instagram, head on over to Charlie, grab a signed print, buy a record, get yourself some major sounds and some nature shots. Alright, let's get back to the episode. What you know, you say you're not a connoisseur of all these things. But I tell you, the songwriters and bands, specifically bands who are still like in vans, that those are the people who have their ear to the ground when it comes to you know, cheap good food around the country. And like, where to where to stop in all these little towns because, you know, they obviously if you're in a van you can you can still pull up and eat there. And you know, you've been all over the place and you just kind of I feel like there's that's that's who you you know Loki ask his people in bands, where to eat. And then even though they're I'm going on the other the other side of things here with the long distance truck drivers, they they to know where a good spot is. So you can get them get a book going together right there. You match the states with every good place to eat

Sean Devine  37:41  
a highway culture. And yeah, I'm, I'm always grateful. For sure. When somebody says oh, you should check out you know, some little out of the way. Like in Austin, you you can step up to a taco wagon. You know, every other block all throughout South and East Austin for sure. Right? And you think you're into some stuff and then somebody taps you on the shoulder as I go if you had been to the one, you know, like, behind the white horse or there's like everybody's got their, their special taco wagons. And sure enough, you get around that like the other one. You're like, oh, this is better

Yeah, always, if you ever see me out there, by all means wise me up clue me in a show me where the very best of like street food or something that I can pick up and take with me because I probably have to keep moving.

Thomas Mooney  38:49  
No, absolutely. Yeah, the the other thing that I really love about what you've done with this record is kind of like those stories, or, I guess like the, the setup of the record as far as the, what I'd call, I guess, like the relationship between you and Josh, as far as picking the songs how, you know, you, you send them over, that, you know, Dropbox with, you know, 2530 songs, and then kind of that, that that working relationship of figuring out what this record is. I'm always fascinated with with how a record is done that way where, you know, I think a lot of people sometimes think that, oh, I wrote 10 songs. Here's the record. Here's the 10 song record. And this the first 10 I wrote, you know, most of the times it's not that it is dwindling down the songs and figuring out what works together. You know, can you talk a little bit about what that relationship was with Josh as far as like, you know, figuring out what the the right songs the right tunes were for this record.

Sean Devine  40:03  
Yeah, I mean, I can tell you what little I know about it. I think, you know, and this is me reflecting on it. Now, if you if you were asking me at that time what was going on, I might have been more inclined to offer some conjecture but but looking back on it, I see that, for instance, one of the reasons that it worked out for me to go and cut this record with those guys at Sonic Ranch was that they were already there. And they were still recording tracks that would become after the fire and the warranty. I didn't understand at the time, I don't even think they I don't know if Josh knew at the time that they were, he was going to put out all the songs. They were recording a lot of songs and, and they were back at Sonic ranch, and they were on a break from the road. Because those guys, you know, this was back in 2019, when they were still touring, full bore all the time. So I kind of began to understand that. I know that Josh listened to all the songs that I sent him in that Dropbox folder, because I asked him about some titles, here and there while we were discussing the record, and he, he hadn't really confirmed for me. Like I didn't see that the actual list of songs that he wanted to cut the final list until I got there. Out of the deal was I was ready to I was ready to give a solid performance of each and all of the songs that I'd sent to him, I'd been woodshed at home, going through all the material, I had some stuff I thought was particularly strong, and I was looking forward to cutting with those guys. Some of those songs ended up on Josh's list, some of them didn't. But by the time I got there, you know, I wasn't gonna like argue with him about No, I want to do this song and not that one, because I'd hired him to make the Sean Devine record that he wanted to hear. And I just wanted to support that finally. But I think that it was probably in some way. It feels to me like like this, it was this record kind of taking care of itself in some quasi mystical way, because he was busy. And he was probably running through those songs and making some pretty rapid judgments. I like that. I like that. And he made a list of that. And you know, Cody had flown out like the day before I flew in those guys were all still there set up in tracking mode. And then I show up and Josh is like, Okay, here's the list. Okay, let's and then we started, like the day that I flew in we I unpacked my stuff, and, and turned up the guitar and sat down behind the microphones right next to that Neve console staring through the window at the rest of the tone deaf hippies. And Josh is like, alright, this, we're gonna start with this song, no, count it up. And that's when I began to understand, you know, these are the songs.

And so I just follow Josh's lead on all that. And, and, you know, I wouldn't have sent him the songs if I didn't love him anyway, I was prepared to do all of them. But after we cut these songs, and and we were starting to work our way through the mix down process, which was later on that fall of 2019. Then I started to feel like a flow to the thing. So I actually laid out the sequence the way the nine songs, play on the album, you know, the order of the songs. I put that together for myself, so I could hear the thing as a whole. I could hear it in form and see what kind of story it tells, you know, the songs that Josh chose. And I showed that list to Josh, I said, Try it in this order, you know, see what you think and, and he did that and he sent me an email back soon. Yeah, that's I like your list. I think this is great. It's really hangs together. So so in some way without either of us necessarily intending to. We ended up with an album. That that works as an album you know, long form. It's not just a random collection of songs at all. Although it absolutely appeared to be all the way up until you know, it's the same as writing songs for me this is I can tinker around with verses and I've almost got a few lines scratched add on some papers or in the notepad on my phone, you know, there's always some stuff laying around. But then finally, when it's a song that's happening, and it picks up its own momentum, I follow it. Until I've got a finished song that feels like an external force is at work. And I think that's part of what's thrilling about it, that's part of what keeps me involved in it. You know, because if I really thought it was up to me, to to tinker around with, with words and rhymes, until I'd come up with something I thought was sufficiently clever, you know, that maybe somebody would go, jeez, that's neat. That's, I'm not in it for that at all. So that the idea that this whole album is infused with that same feeling of a thing that that kind of gathered up its own momentum and, and even seem to have pulled its own pieces into place so that it could happen in this way, is, in a way, it feels really just natural and normal. And in another way, just like every song that comes off like this, it has that same feeling of like, oh, shit, it happened again. Yeah, yeah, I got here for it again. And, and that's pretty much the bus that I live for. Thomas. That's, that's where I'm at.

Thomas Mooney  46:23  
No, I hear you. Yeah, the, it's always I guess, I've I've talked about this before on different episodes. So you know, there's probably listener fatigue to meet saying this, but I do really believe it. You know, I've been around some, some co writes when, when they've been taking place. And, you know, these artists, the songwriters, there's this, like, different place they go to, there's a different place that you kind of end up on when you're writing a song that, you know, you're, you're almost like in a fever, or in a fervor, you're, you can end up being like just so excited about the writing process. And it's almost like a manic state in some situations where, you know, these people like the songwriters, you kind of you can fall into writing a song. And obviously, that's the most important thing at the moment. And, you know, that's a, that's what's what's kind of amazing is like, I think, like, we all kind of can do that too. Not necessarily with not everyone's a songwriter, but whatever your thing is, when you get into the groove, you know, we've all seen, you know, the clips of Michael Jordan, scoring, you know, 60 points 63 points in a game and, you know, he's got that fire in his eyes. And there's a there's something to that as far as other songwriters or musicians or artists, or just whatever you do, you can get in that zone. And it's kind of it's kind of a magical thing to see.

Sean Devine  47:57  
Well, and so maybe you're maybe you're divulging here confessing Thomas that you're a fellow songwriter. No, but that's the bus, you know, that feeling like I think you can induce this to some extent, you know, you can start to play around with with an idea or some ideas until it feels like it, it gathers up some energy and it starts to lead you I have been probably more of the the wait until some you know, overpowering feelings strikes me I'm driving down the road and all of a sudden, there's some lyrics going through my mind and, and then I've got to goose bumps and good shit. And then I just need to figure out a way to get to a place where I can just stay with that. And, and that that again, is that's the buzz that I'm probably addicted to. At this point, really. But yeah, it feels a little out of body. You know, and I think you're right, I think probably any a creative person. And maybe this isn't even limited to creative people. Somebody told me once some definition of artists that is, is anything you do at the highest possible level. Right, that counts as art that's what I accept that definition. I don't think it's the only one but that there's there's something undeniably wonderful about orienting your mind and orienting yourself spiritually so that whatever you do, you know, if you're an electrician, and you stand back and look at the work and and you know, your your wiring is elegant. You know, your panel is beautiful. And, and you and you feel a transcendent feeling of satisfaction in what you've just done, then that's the feeling of making art. I think that's a valid example of that.

Thomas Mooney  50:10  
I want to break one more time to talk about our pals over at Desert door and offer up a quick Thomas Mooney, cocktail minute. As I've said, probably 100 times by now, by no means am I a seasoned mixologist or bartender, but these have been some of my desert door go twos. For starters, let's just go with the tried and true range water, pop the top off the topo, Chico, take a good swig. Now pour in some desert door and top it off by throwing in a few lime wedges never fails. This one. It's so simple, it probably doesn't even count. But again, pretty foolproof. Do the exact same thing. But get you a Mexican Coca Cola. I guess you can go with a regular one. But you're really cutting yourself short if you don't opt for the Mexican import variety. Alright, here's the change up you've been waiting for desert door sangria. This one is prime for when you have company coming over and you aren't wanting to just be over there making six different drinks at a time. What you'll need is some desert door. Obviously, a bottle of red wine, honey, boiling water, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, some cinnamon sticks, a couple of apples, and some thyme sprigs. I know that may sound intimidating, but trust me it's worth the prep. And honestly, it's pretty easy. For starters, get you a Punchbowl, add that honey, those cinnamon sticks and the boiling water together. Now you're going to want to stir that all up and let it cool down for about an hour. So remember, patience is a virtue. Once that's done, add some desert door and stir vigorously. Now add the wine, the cider and the vinegar. And continue stirring until it's equally mixed. Now slice those apples up and toss them in, put in those times sprigs as well. Now you can pour that over some ice and you have a mighty fine Sangria chef's kiss. Anyway, those have been some of my favorite go twos as of light. And remember, desert door is as versatile as vodka and more refined, smooth, complex and intriguing than tequila. It's rich and balanced. And whether you decide to keep it simple or want to experiment desert door is that perfect Texas spirit. There's plenty more recipes over at Desert as well check out the show notes for a link. All right, let's get back to the episode. Yeah, the dissatisfaction at the end of the workday in a lot of ways. The The other thing that you're you're kind of talking about that I'm fascinated with when it comes to the songwriting is, you know, sometimes we think of the songwriting as just when you pick up the pen and paper, and you pick up the guitar, and you're writing down lines. But, you know, there's, there's usually like a big time period before then before that even happens, where you're just kind of thinking about the song thinking about it. And you're, you know, you mentioned like, if you're driving down the road, and a line comes to you, you know, that that's also part of the songwriting process, as well. And, you know, just when you're thinking about that idea, and you're letting it kind of stew up, and you're, you know, you whatever, whatever task you're doing, if it's driving down the road, or just washing dishes, and you're thinking about this idea, how often does that happen for you? And do you feel do you? Or do you find that you're thinking about a song idea, a lot longer than maybe the actual writing down to the lyrics?

Sean Devine  53:51  
I think that you're onto something here, which, for me, the way that translates or maybe the my best description of is that it's there is a kind of discipline and this won't look like discipline probably to the outside observer. But there is a kind of discipline to keeping your mind oriented in in just such a way that you that you are an idea collector, you know that you it's a listening mind. It's an awareness, kind of sensibilities so that that like for instance, with clay bluffs, you know, when I was we were having the cheeseburger late in the evening, right before the giant closed and placing Casper and there and it was just my wife and I and this other young couple in the whole place in this kind of cold winter night and everybody's just kind of hustling through their food we need to get back in the van we're heading south and the wind's blowing the snow sideways across the interstate. We know it's gonna suck out there. But we're not going to spend the night in Casper we got ground to cover, you know, so same time this other this other this young couple who was in there because it was just the fort Well, there was five of us because they had a little baby in a car seat on the floor next to their table. And, and that maybe that was the thing that kind of piqued my awareness. But so I wasn't eavesdropping in any intentional way. But I I was absorbing both the vibe of this young couple and also some of the things they were talking about. And it was very, very moving for me. And then, I mean, we hadn't been back in the van probably 20 miles down the interstate. And I started typing the lyrics to the song clay busts into my, the notepad on my phone was the handiest thing, and it was dark, you know, so you can do that. And it I mean, that's pretty much the way the song lays on the record. You know, that was it was just so it just in daily life. Yeah. And it tends to be times when it's not really convenient at all, like you said in the shower, or washing dishes or, or like out here on my I like to refer to it as my tractor. Okay, I've got two acres of grass to keep mode here just so it doesn't go to weeds. You know, I'm no buddies version of the, of the Conde Nast gardener, but I spent a fair amount of time in the summer riding around on my, on my lawn tractor protection on because I I'm trying to preserve that. And, and yeah, out there all sweaty with a bunch of like, grass seed and Duff stuck all over me. And then of course, then I'll start feeling something, I'll start hearing some words in my head. It's a big commitment, sometimes, you know, to just be the guy who's like, this is important, this is what I'm supposed to be here for, I've got to shut down this tractor and leave the grass tall. So I can go someplace where with a pen and some paper and, and, and address this, you know that. And admittedly, I a lot of the time I don't, you know, I just go ahead and stay in the shower, and finish washing my hair. The time I get out my wife or my kids or somebody's talking to me, or the phone rang or some shit, and then, you know, whatever, that magical moment that that goosebumps idea that I was having, that it may be gone forever. And, and that's part of it too. But just, you know, knowing it isn't going to be the last time. And knowing that it's really my job is if I if this can be properly described as a job is to stay open, and maintain a listening kind of consciousness so that I can hear and heal the things going on around me that that becomes songs, you know, it almost feels as if there's if the world needs music, the world needs these things. We humans, we need this stuff. And, and it comes through us. But it's a foment of energies that's going on around us all the time. And that and the thing that trick is it's a trick is to just be in a state of mind so that you can hear it.

Thomas Mooney  58:43  
Yeah, you have to be you know, I guess I'm gonna butcher the quote, but it's like the, the ray Wylie Hubbard thing of like, Don't question inspiration, you know? But, you know, also it's okay to go back and edit, you know, or whatever the case is. Because you I guess like, sometimes you have you have to, you know, it's it's a process of figuring out what that point is of knowing when a song is a song and then when, you know, something's just, uh, you know, you're just doing it for the process of, you know, being an academic, I guess, in a sense, right of of just doing something in a way and maybe just thinking about something and then letting it go. And, you know, as you mentioned, you know, it's also your, you're married, all that kind of stuff. You have to find that balance of, of knowing when to take those moments of like, okay, I have to stop mowing the grass. I have to, you know, everyone, don't bother me for a minute. I got to go do this. And then also, you know when to let those things go because it can be impractical in both ways. If you go too far in one direction or the other.

Sean Devine  1:00:00  
Yeah, and if you're, you know, my again, I've been at it for a long time. And if you're, if if the way that your way of being is causing a lot of friction in your relationships, then eventually that's going to break down, you know, and it doesn't, that turns out to be not conducive to. I've certainly written a lot of songs after I had wrecked some relationships. You know, that that's a really powerful time to, to express some powerful emotions, but, but I can't, I can't endorse that, as you find me now. Having written, I don't even know how many songs I've forgotten, I'm sure, way more songs at this point than I still remember that I have written. And I'm sure that they're not all great songs. You know, really, um, I hope that I have written at this point, maybe a dozen songs, that would really matter. Like, if I died tomorrow, and somebody dug up my, my box set material, they would find maybe a dozen or 15 songs in there that that really have the timelessness you know, that would really matter. Over the long term, I hope I really that, that seems to me to be a pretty realistic kind of ratio. Right? A few 100, maybe get it doesn't,

Thomas Mooney  1:01:30  
let's that's that is the, it's like playing baseball, right of the, you know, if you're, if you bat, you know, 300, you just hit the ball three out of 10 times, you know, you're considered great. And then if you do it just slightly, a little bit more, you're considered like an all timer, you know, it there very much is that thing where, you know, you're not going to get it right the first time. And there's, there's plenty of times that you don't get it right between some of those great moments. And, you know, as you mentioned, or as we kind of talked about, for the even this record, you know, that you had 25 Plus songs, and I'm sure there's probably more that didn't even make the drop box. So you have plenty of material that that was gonna be here, but sometimes you just have to finish a song just because it may get it gets you on to the next one, or whatever the case. So that's just part of it. I think.

Sean Devine  1:02:28  
Maybe also, like, you know, especially when I was younger, in my, my 20s. And any probably through my 30s I felt like if if, if I was going to issue a song into the world, you know, that it had to be some exceptional thing. It had to be a landmark piece of art. I've had myself all the myself growing up in Montana. So it's not like, I've had even a vibrant community like they're in Lubbock, you know, where I would have friends come over and listen to my new song. Dude, it's okay. Though, I felt like you know, it was up to me to be making these decisions, and I was gonna hold myself to the highest possible standard. And there's a lot of validity. to that. I think we have to be our own worst critic. Maybe too. Although there are plenty of harsh critics out there to help with that as you go along, always, but I feel like maybe somewhere in my 40s I started to grant myself permission to just enjoy a song or something moved me enough to ride it. And I went ahead i Crazy to from from the new record is one of these that I just kind of dashed off in a mood. I didn't go back through it. Like for instance, I wouldn't normally run down with down like I did in that first verse, you know, I took a second look at that before we actually cut it. And I was like, well, I could rephrase this, I guess. But is it really gonna matter? You know, long term, what this song is for and the feeling that it's here to impart. I think we can run pedal down with slow and down this time. And we'll just go with it. Because you know, shit. It's a fun, it gives you a fun feeling. You know, this song is just there. It's almost like I feel like more for a visceral feeling. Then then to have the didactic kind of lyric credibility that I normally insist on.

Thomas Mooney  1:04:38  
Yeah, no, absolutely. There's sometimes I think we take all this too serious. And sure, like we need like great art and art in general. You want people to take it serious, but like it's, it's also at the same time we're not, you know, breaking down the atom. And you know, not every song has to be waiting around to die or You know, Dublin City blues or Dublin blues or you know what I mean? Like not everything has to be the, you know, not everything has to be at that, you know, that level that 1% Or whatever the thing is, but, you know, it's, it's all about that balance, you know,

Sean Devine  1:05:20  
like, and I grew up with, you know a word like word Davis called me the Bob Dylan in Montana was seemed like an off the cuff remark when he said that, and that's the way he introduced me to Cody Jenks and Josh Thompson, by the way it was and I was instantly flattered and little shell shocked. About your beats out and shake Cody Jenks hand and he's just heard that on the Bob Dylan of Montana. Are you sure war? That's really okay. Okay. But no, as a songwriter, I'm just gonna go ahead and admit that I've spent a lot of time stuck in my head. You know, being deeply immersed in, in the work of Bob Dylan. And so, if you're not now we have this seeming impossible standard, right? If we're going to hold ourselves to the standard of, of making a landmark piece of art, and especially something that is, is lyrically literate enough that it might earn us a Pulitzer Prize or a Nobel Prize. Bob has won both of those. I mean, seriously. So if you haven't written your, your 12 Minute valid like visions of Johanna or Desolation Row, then no, I guess it's all still out there in front of you. But. And that's, and that's great. That's aspirational stuff. And just when you thought that Bob had done that, and was done with it, then this new album comes out. Have you heard this stuff?

Thomas Mooney  1:06:55  
Yeah, the that's what I was. You're, you're, you're talking about the the 12 minute song there. What's the new one about the but JFK being like, that I feel is even longer. I can't even remember what it is how long it is.

Sean Devine  1:07:10  
I think it's actually 17 minutes. Yeah,

Thomas Mooney  1:07:12  
I thought it was something like that. And it's like, you know, there it's it's real moving. You know what I mean? It's like, that's a you still are going man. He's something years old. And he's still saying something profound.

Sean Devine  1:07:29  
Yeah, but it's called a murder most foul by I just want to make sure that we title the song we're talking about. And, and then there's another cut on that record to that. Yeah. So here's a guy who, you know, for sure. has already said it. All right, by now going on 70 studio albums, I think is his career at this point. And yet he's still sufficiently moved to write and to cut a song like a murder most foul in which evidently he has not said at all yet. Yeah, because here's some more stuff Bob would like to say. And it's and it's very salient and and deep and ponderous, lyrical poetry so I still feel like a babe in the woods in some ways and that's real you know, to feel like even after I've been messing around with this for as long as I have that there's still a wide open horizon out there have ways to explore doing this thing that are still feel certainly brand new to me, you know? Yeah. I'm gonna go out there and find stuff.

Thomas Mooney  1:08:55  
Ya know, I think so too. It's it's in a way it's comforting and reassuring when someone like Dylan or hell like you know, Larry McMurtry, the the the novelist or like Cormac McCarthy, these guys are all we're working in their old age, you know what I mean? Like the, the and they're finding new stories to tell and of course, like the I'm a big core Cormac McCarthy fan and his his next book is supposed has been supposed to be coming out like the last five years, but we're still waiting for it. But it's, it's, uh, yeah, it's, there's something reassuring about like, you know, they're still being stuffed to define to discover, even when you feel or you know, when you're, when you're 20 When you're 30. You kind of almost feel like that's theirs. What are you doing at 70 work if you've told all the stories, and you know, these these are accomplished people, and yeah, first just even someone like me, maybe there's gonna still be stuff to do at a At that age, you know,

Sean Devine  1:10:03  
undoubtedly, yeah, if you, if you maintain a sincere curiosity, you know, a listening mind, I believe that you'll find that the material is, is going to be there, you know, virtually endless. And, and then the way that you interpret it know, after you've witnessed the material, and the way that you interpret it is going to change and evolves, as you do, you know, as you age and become, in some ways more cynical, you know, you have more active filter for stuff. And then in other ways, you're also a little more devil may care, because, you know, in some ways, what the hell, this is just another song and I'm gonna keep making them anyway. So you've got a little license, you know, you don't have to bear down on everything you do. Like it's the last Damn, like, it's your legacy moment. It's a, it's wonderful, there's a, there's an increasing feeling of freedom about it that I'm finding anyway, I'm only 52 As of this summer, but I've been writing songs since I was a child and, and it's starting to feel like a kind of a long time that I've been doing this this relationship that I've had with, with the Muse with the music. And, and I don't feel like it's a winning thing at all. Yeah, this isn't something that's subsiding for me in any sense. It's, it's, it's a big, big thing out there.

Thomas Mooney  1:11:36  
Yeah, no, absolutely. That's the how was it? I guess been? You know, not necessarily like, we need to start talking about the next record or anything like that. But how is this past year been? You know, where? I guess not technically 2021. But I mean, more the 2020. Year as far as when, you know, you're off the road, everyone's kind of in isolation in these quarantines. Did you find that? How did you I guess, find that when it when it came to, you know, doing art and writing songs, was it? Were you able to find the space in the places to go to? Or did you find it a little bit more difficult to, to figure out and navigate?

Sean Devine  1:12:18  
Man? It's an interesting question. It's a really good question. Actually, Thomas this, I feel like I stepped through a pretty obvious sequence of steps, you know, looking back on it now, the first step was oh, so I'm just gonna stay home for a while. No, there doesn't appear to be anything else I can do. Obviously, I'll be, I'll be writing and playing my guitar and, and just laying low for a while, you know, I started to look forward to that a little bit. Let's do that. And then as I started, going through the process of going through the blank books, where I write stuff down, or the sheaf of papers that I always seem to have laying around my desk or something, I'm seeing things and nothing's really turning me on, you know. And so I began to think, well, that's because this is a moment, you know, we're in one of those moments. It's 100 year pandemic, be alive during one of those times. So then I started to feel like, well, I need to address that, you know, as a writer, I should have something to say about that. And, and it rapidly turned into a very, very violent political environment. You know, I mean, the social media stuff was getting really, really wild and reckless and angry. And then I wanted to speak to that I started to write some things like, well, here's what I have to say about that. And then I realized, well, okay, I'm probably not ready to make some career defining statements, you know, that boil down to contests of opinion with people on Facebook. So I kind of set that aside and think, Okay, well, I just need to cool off. I, you know, I'm not in a bad way here. I live in a, in a rural state, outside of town. You know, I don't have to avoid people on the regular, I can stay home, this is gonna be okay. And I and so I gradually started to open back up into just the wider world of like, how I write songs, what do I write about, you know, that the experience of viewing the world through through my eyeballs, and how I process things and how I feel and, and letting that kind of percolate you know, and, and, and digest and move around. And then I started to write some things that, you know, were just Sean Devine songs. Finally, they weren't about a global pandemic, and they weren't about like, hateful rhetoric on social media and they didn't have to be. You know, I didn't I relieve myself of a feeling like that. I'm supposed to respond to all this, you know, because the world needs to hear my opinion as a songwriter. And so in the end, by the time I was back to work on this record and focused on, on getting a project out in the world and, and telling the story about it, and I was thrilled about all that I hadn't actually written very much. But I only come up with a couple of three new songs. And a bunch of new starts, you know, and ideas that I've got laying around right now that I feel really, really excited about. That I, it took me all that time in a way to kind of process the process of getting back to just being the guy that I have always been. And I reckon that I'm really supposed to be. And in some ways, I feel like I was I was temporarily kind of led astray by the idea that, you know, a global pandemic, was supposed to call on something for me to do something else.

Thomas Mooney  1:16:04  
Right? Well, that's, you know, that's kind of, you know, in its own way reassuring, right there is that, you know, you ended up sometimes you have to go in these, you have to, I guess be indulged in these hypothetical ideas of what I'm going to write about, just to get back to that point where you're like, Okay, well, those, you've exhausted those ideas, and let's get back to the, the thing that I do best, and maybe that's right there at the very beginning again, but, you know, now, you know, you don't necessarily have to write the, you know, the three minute song about Twitter and Facebook.

Sean Devine  1:16:45  
But I don't have to do that, ah, no, if you, if you hear Shawn Devine song coming up in the future, that appears to reference some feeling about having lived through the 100 year pandemic or something, I hope, and I feel like I can say, with, with some confidence that you're going to hear a reference to that, that, that calls back to a higher mind, a higher consciousness, you know, a way that, that it comes back down to, really some basic fundamentals about what it is to be human and to be vulnerable. You know, and, and the idea that it suddenly feels like your culture around you, is in flames in some way. Because everybody's freaked out, and they don't know how to cope, well, that still draws back to some really essential parts of our nature, you know, as human beings. And, you know, hopefully we have, we all get to live through that. Now, obviously, a lot of people did not get to live through all that, you know, so their stories is done now. But for those of us who do actually get to live through it, hopefully, we get to a point where we can consider all this again, in light of the really basic essential stuff, of you know, compassion and empathy. And understanding that if, if somebody feels a need to write some long, hateful post on Facebook, about their politics, or, or something that, you know, obviously, that's a person who is in a deep and desperate struggle inside of themselves. And they could probably use a sweet song. That just makes them feel like if they can just find a little space around themselves and take a deep breath, that this can actually be okay. No, maybe, yeah,

Thomas Mooney  1:18:44  
I'm right there with you on all that. That's absolutely. Sometimes, like, you know, you think like, how did this person get to this spot, and, you know, obviously, a lot of times it's just the the frustration and the the pressure that maybe you don't even necessarily know about. Now, granted, like, there's probably plenty of other stuff that's going on as well, you can say about them being selfish or or whatever the case, but a lot of times it's just the pressure of life that they've not been able to figure out the way to cope. And, you know, sometimes the, the escapism of a song, or a TV show or a book or just a five minute walk around the block does the wonders

Sean Devine  1:19:29  
it does for me. You know, I mean when I'm feeling stressed out about some things and I, I do believe it or not, man, I get stressed out about something. And, and I'm drawn back to a song you know, I mean, if, if you can, if you can sit and listen to Guy Clark's my favorite picture of you all the way through and you started out in some kind of amped up and anxious disposition. If you come out the other end of that feeling the same way You probably need up the meds or something. You know, I mean that music is there to help fix your world into into a more timeless place, you know, into a, into a space that appreciates both the immediate, you know, the seeming mundane. And at the same time, using those same those archetypal images as a way to transcend the whole experience. And so that you can say alone, you know, maybe just a little bit of elevation there, just get above it all. And music is can do that. And I think it's for that, frankly, you know, that's, I turned to it when I need it. And it's always been there for me.

Thomas Mooney  1:20:48  
Yeah, absolutely. I 100% agree with all that. You know, so, yeah, I'm always so horrible at ending these but, man, it's been such a great pleasure talking this afternoon about this record in about songs and, you know, about what a real time this has been this past couple of years, but I think we're gonna be okay. I don't know, I'm taking the optimist route and thinking we're gonna end up being okay after, after, if we just kind of handled things right properly, take a little bit of time, get those, listen to more songs.

Sean Devine  1:21:25  
My commitment is that I'm going to do everything that I can do about just staying true to myself. And I'm gonna keep making art that that lifts me up, you know, that makes me feel good or better. And for as long as I can for as long as I live, whether that's a week or another 40 years i My intention is to just keep putting the proverbial foot in front of the of the other. And until I get there.

Thomas Mooney  1:21:59  
Yeah, absolutely, man. Yeah. It's, uh, yeah, next time you're coming through love it, you know, don't have a beer or something. Anyway, I would be delighted to do that. And again before too, you know, I've been in touch with Alright, that is it. For this one. Be sure to check out here for it all by Sean Devine. Go stop on over and visit our presenting partners over at Desert door. The blue light live and trolley stop photography. Go pre ordered the Lubbock way by me, Thomas Mooney. And yeah, I'll see y'all later this week for another episode.

Transcribed by