Séan McCann celebrates long-distance love connections with his rollicking single and video 10,000 Miles Away — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The second single from the Newfoundland troubadour’s isolation-inspired folk opus Shantyman, the jubilantly energetic 10,000 Miles Away — which features contributions from Hawksley Workman, Gordie (Big Sugar) Johnson and J.P. Cormier — could be the happiest song ever written and recorded about romantic separation. But beneath the shanty’s fun and frolic lies a timeless message of dedication and determination. “This song may be set back in the age of sail and silent movies”, says McCann, “but its romantic tale of love conquering isolation strongly resonates with everyone living through these pandemic days.”
Speaking of sailing, McCann gives a proud nod to the maritime tradition by featuring archival footage of the world famous, 100-year-old Nova Scotian racing schooner Bluenose in the video for 10,000 Miles Away. “I wanted to remind Canadians what it felt like to win again, and the mighty Bluenose is one of the biggest winners in our country’s history.” When she wasn’t fishing for cod on the treacherous Grand Banks off Newfoundland, the Bluenose, under captain Angus Walters, was busy dominating international sailing races in the 1920s and ’30s, eventually earning her spot on the Canadian dime. For McCann, this iconic Canadian ship and its achievements are symbolic of our own strength and resilience. “It’s a joyful reminder of how strong we really are in the face of adversity and a celebration of how far we have all come.”
McCann has certainly come a long way as a musician, songwriter, entertainer, husband and father over the years as well. He’s perhaps best known as a founding member of world-renowned and beloved folk rock band Great Big Sea — a group he co-founded and performed with until his exit in 2013. Along with his auspicious tenure with Great Big Sea, McCann has released five successful solo albums that tackle cultural moments from coast to coast, including 206’s infamous Fort McMurray wildfires, for which he penned a single in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross. McCann also organized a songwriters benefit in 2017 in support of veterans suffering with PTSD and addiction, enlisting the help of Joel Plaskett, Sarah Harmer and Jeremy Fisher. McCann’s good deeds earned him the Order of Canada in 2020.
Coming to terms with his past — including a battle with alcohol addiction — and owning his truth has been paramount to who he’s become as a husband, a father, a musician, and a human. Armed with the strength and support of his wife Andrea Aragon, McCann released his first book One Good Reason in 2020. Now that Canadian stages are open again, McCann and Aragon have been on the road, with appearances in Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton and Strathmere, Ont., with more to come. Those in-person opportunities to connect and share some harmony, health and joy reinforce his belief that music and community are key to helping us all get through the pandemic. “We may not be completely out of the woods yet, but it’s beginning to feel like we have finally turned the tide and that victory is getting closer now,” he says.