Sean Magwire
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Sean Magwire

Worcester, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Worcester, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Solo Folk Singer/Songwriter




"Worcester high school counselor a finalist in the John Lennon songwriting contest"

Sean Magwire is hoping second time’s a charm.

The school adjustment counselor at Worcester Technical High School, Oxford resident, and Beatles “nerd” is also a singer-songwriter who moonlights around Massachusetts, from area breweries to the Middle East in Cambridge.

For the second time in his life, Magwire, 37, has a winning folk song in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, and this time he’s hoping to go all the way.

His song “Erase this Day” just won the Session II Grand Prize for Folk in the 2022 John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

Session I winners were announced previously. The next step is online fan voting through April 30. The public can vote once per day to narrow the field of 24 grand prize winners — two per category — to 12 Lennon Award winners. Those 12 then go before a celebrity panel of judges — including Bob Weir, Jimmy Cliff, and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers — who help determine the 2022 Song of the Year. The winner scores $20,000 and equipment.

Magwire’s grand prize win in the folk category already earned him a “ridiculous” prize package (“They basically give you a recording-studio-worth of equipment and guitars”) from the international songwriting contest.

While he’s entered the contest a few times, he’s never gotten past this point. He also won a session grand prize in 2015 with his then-band, the Lulabelles, in Chicago.

An Indiana native who moved here seven years ago from Chicago, Magwire lives with his wife, Kristyn — a Holyoke native and orthoptist at Boston Children’s Hospital — and their two kids.

A self-taught guitarist, Magwire has been writing since around eighth grade.

“My dad’s a musician, he was in bands my whole life growing up. I was 13, 14, I started getting interested in guitar. My dad gave me a chord book and said, ‘You can learn how to play licks and flashy guitar stuff, but not a lot of people know how to write songs. So focus on writing your own stuff.’ ”

He did. “I have books of lyrics that are just cringe-worthy. When we went back to Indiana last year to visit, my mom broke out a couple from eighth grade. I was like ‘Oh my God, this is horrible.’ ”

But over time songwriting became “my therapy and my art,” he said.

Does the counselor encourage his students to play?

“Oh, heck yeah. I have a guitar in my office. I use that with students — a lot of them have never seen or picked up a guitar before. If kids need to decompress or let off steam, they know to come in and bang out a song on guitar.”

He also encourages songwriting: “There’s no wrong way to do it. You can express yourself so freely.”

To learn more about the contest and to vote, go to - The Boston Globe

"The Daily Krapht- Oh Belle"

Sean Magwire is no stranger to Wordkrapht. Back in 2013, Magwire’s music was featured four times with one of those times being included in our Hand-Kraphted sampler (yes we miss it too!)

2016 has brought a move to Boston and a permanent hiatus from his other project, The Lulabelles. Magwire decided to start work on his first solo album in a few years.

“Oh Belle” is the track Magwire shared with me and at first listen it’s quite different than what I was used to hearing. From the first licks and the hear the crooning ‘Oh Belle’ (Which is the name of his dog), we’re transported somewhere gritty and Magwire is commanding our attention. The track is feisty, playful and pure rock and roll. One listen may not be enough so don’t be afraid to

press repeat and play it again.

Those in the Boston area be sure to check out Sean at the Labor Day Weekend campfire festival. Event information can be found on Magwire’s facebook page, link at the bottom! - Wordkrapht

"15 Chicago Bands You Need To Listen To Now"

It's kind of rare to see a folk band come out of Chicago, and the trend of folk music hasn't quite reached Chicago yet, but The Lulabelles are already ahead of the game as one of the best live acoustic folk acts you're going to see. Featuring a powerful violinist and moving harmonies, you're guaranteed to get chills at least once every time you check them out. - Impulcity

"Artists You Should Know About"

... this amazing new band on the rise! - Music Inform

"The Lulabelles' "Stories""

The more I hear it, the more I love it. Multi-vocalist folk bands are my jam, and The Lulabelles do not fall short in that category. Before doing any research, I dove right into their latest release, Stories.

The first and title track, “Stories” jumps right into a chorus full of energy and shines with hope and happiness. The thing that drew me in immediately was the “fiddle cocoon” that subtly wraps around the song and helps the other elements grow as the track plays on. Sean Magwire, Mike and Jenni Weber lead the vocals in this five piece ensemble, and the way their voices melt together is what all artists in this genre dream of. The second track, “Be Still My Heart” is a great example of this. The song starts almost a capella, with the exception of a nice, crisp, simple yet powerful acoustic guitar for the foundation. Once the vocals start to hit the higher register, and really begins to tug at your emotions, a kick drum brings us into a climax of folk/pop bliss.

The five-track EP ends with a slower, more emotional track called “Between the Cracks.” A very mellow first few verses, add in a quiet mandolin and the vocals even sneak in a few quick falsettos, which were a nice surprise. Right when you sense a mild build up, Weber (Jenni) joins in on the second round of escalation until another powerful kick drum takes the song to another level, but not over the top. The perfect way to end a solid EP, that I thoroughly enjoyed listening to...and will definitely be listening to again.

-Spike Brendle - Hear & Now Media

"The Lulabelles"

We here at RSC were excited to get to work with The Lulabelles as part of our 2014 High Fidelity summer concert series with WBEZ. That night the Chicago Public Media’s Navy Pier terrace hosted Pat McKillan, The One Two Three, Communist Daughter, and this incredible band. - Rooftop Sessions Chicago

"Artist Spotlight"

Crafting catchy folk/pop melodies with heartfelt lyrics, Sean Magwire has forged a unique brand of songwriting. - PopVulture

"Sean Magwire Album Review"

Recording an album after only six months can be somewhat of a tumultuous experience. If not done correctly, the finished product can leave listeners feeling a little bit incomplete. Sean Magwire, fortunately has succeeded in the exact opposite. Among the Burning Stars was recorded in a six month time span, and throughout the transition and turmoil he faced, he has created a brilliant piece of work. Each song is an eye opener, inspiring and honest. This is not just another acoustic album that adds to the white noise of countless acoustic albums that seem to be forgotten due to the lack of originality. This is his story, his experiences, and we are glad he is sharing them with us.

If the album could be summed up in one word, that word would have to be “clarity.” Magwire seemed to achieve some throughout the recording (we hope) and while listening, you will get that sense of clarity; be it in your own life or you’re just feeling what Magwire is expressing. As you listen to these songs, and especially if you’re driving you will get chills down your spine, goose bumps on your arm, that warm fuzzy feeling in the pit of your stomach. You get the point. Beautiful piano playing along with acoustic guitar strumming a picking, cello and percussion seem to be such a wonderful backdrop for Magwire’s honest lyrics to take flight.

“Everybody loves a liar, tells you what you want to hear
whispers with a voice so sweetly in your ear.”
(Lyric taken from the song “Shoulders”)

Magwire sings of human emotions we all experience and somehow makes it magical. There’s a certain innocence and charm in his voice that is hard to resist. This album will tug at your heartstrings and stir up emotions even the most stoic person locked away. “To The Plains”, “Golden States & Restless Ways” and “Simple Love” are all highlights of the album, but it’s recommended to listen to the album all in one sitting many times.

Wordkrapht Rating: 5 Stars - WordKrapht


Sean Magwire: Songs for Wednesday- 2021

The Lulabelles: Stories EP- 2015

Sean Magwire: Among the Burning Stars- 2012

Sean Magwire: Rebel Days- 2010



A native of Angola, Indiana, Sean grew up listening to The Beatles on an old tape deck before learning guitar at age 14. Gypsy by nature, he spent his early 20s tumbling around the country, living and performing in multiple states before settling in Chicago. From 2012-2016, Sean was writing, recording, and performing with award-winning Chicago folk act, The Lulabelles. As a member of The Lulabelles, his song "Between the Cracks" won the 2015 John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize for Folk. As a solo artist, Sean’s song “Erase this Day” was awarded both the Grand Prize and Lennon Award (overall winner) for Folk in the 2022 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. In 2023, Sean was selected as a Finalist in the Troubadour Contest at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival (CO) and a Finalist in the Al Johnson Songwriter Contest at the Wildflower Arts & Music Festival (TX). Sean placed 3rd in the Rocky Mountain Songwriting Contest and performed at the 2022 Red Lodge Songwriting Festival in Red Lodge, Montana.

Sean’s songs have been featured in print, radio and television programs around the world, including WGBH’s All Things Considered, The Boston Globe, PBS, NPR, and ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

In 2023, Sean will be performing around the country at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival (CO), Whitefish Songwriting Festival (MT), Wildflower Music & Arts Fest (TX), Black Bear Americana Festival (CT) and Windsor Lake Summer Concert Series (MA).

He has lived in Massachusetts and performed throughout New England since 2016.

Band Members