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Sean Kagalis

Connect: Live at Eddie's Attic

Rate Records

Florida-bred folk singer Sean Kagalis has been writing songs for the greater part of his life. Though he has a whole slew of self-released live demos and home recordings in his catalog, Connect is his most accomplished release to date, and we'll call it his debut.

The live disc, recorded at Eddie's Attic in Kagalis's hometown of Atlanta, GA, contains eighteen tracks pulled from the artist's vast catalog of music. Some songs date back ten years ("Barefoot," "...and I failed social studies that year."), while others have never been previously put to disc ("connect," "the falling song"). What stands out on these, and every other song offered up, is the naked sense of autobiography in the lyrics combined with a sense of silver-lining optimism. Whether he's singing about growing up next to the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, surviving Hurricane Katrina, or getting beat up as a kid for not having a dad, there's always a sense of hope behind even the most heartbreaking words.

Like a male Ani Difranco, Sean Kagalis strips himself bare for the sake of the song.

Why go "live" for his Rate Records debut? "Live is good in that you capture that loop of energy that runs through the audience and the performer... just recently I've found the studio allows one to explore the smallest details of a song and create something quite different from what happens in a live setting. I enjoy both -- but so far I think my listeners prefer the live recordings," Kagalis tells me.

For the first time, Kagalis and his guitar are joined by multi-instrumentalist Brennan Bray, who plays the electric cello on most of this album.

Connect: Live at Eddie's Attic can be purchased at CDBaby.

Sean Kagalis: www.myspace.com/seankagalis