Sean Costello (#305)

Blues phenom Sean Costello demonstrates his prowess as singer, musician, and bandleader.

If there’s one phrase that accurately identifies blues musician Sean Costello, it’s “total package.” He has evolved from young blues prodigy to smooth singer, innovative songwriter, remarkable bandleader, and choice guitarist—talents he brings to the Jubilee stage in a performance taped when he had reached the ripe old age of 22.

Born in 1979, Costello began playing guitar around age 9, when his family moved to Atlanta from Philadelphia. Although he imitated the rock sounds of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, it was a Howlin’ Wolf album picked up from a bargain bin that changed his life, he says. By age 16, Sean had recorded his first album. Soon he was touring as lead guitarist to fellow blues musician and Grammy nominee Susan Tedeschi, garnering attention and praise wherever he went. This concert, from the 2001 W.C. Handy Blues Festival in Henderson, KY, draws from his first three albums: Call the Cops, Cuttin’ In, and Moanin’ for Molasses.

Costello’s musical prowess as a performer and powerful work ethic as a bandleader also have not gone unappreciated by the reigning kings of blues. When not touring, Sean has found himself sitting in with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Bo Diddley, and other larger-than-life musicians.