It was hardly a month ago when I was on this space talking up this brand new release by blues wunderkind Sean Costello called We Can Get Together. Costello really impressed me as the former guitar prodigy who was poised to take up a long-term residency at the top of the blues echelon and Together was a slam dunk to expand his fan base further. At the time I opined:
There have been a lot of newcomers to the blues scene over the last ten or fifteen years, but few have given more reason to be excited about the future of the blues than Sean Costello. He's a completely developed package revitalizing the genre using more than a dozen years of experience most blues players don't get in a lifetime. And he's not even thirty yet. If he is this good on We Can Get Together, it's scary to think how good he'll be by the time he finally hits that milestone birthday.
As it tragically turned out, Costello died early morning yesterday, one day short of his twenty-ninth birthday. As of this morning an immediate cause of death is not known. Besides his latest release, he left us with four other albums to remember him by, as well as his sizzling sideman work with such luminaries as Susan Tedeschi and Levon Helm. But as far as Costello had come in his short time on earth, one could sense he hadn't yet reached the ceiling of his abilities yet.
Regrettably, we'll never know for sure, now.
Sean's soulful throat, tasty guitar licks and quality songwriting with an unwavering reverence to his rootsy forebears was just the kind of talent that reinvigorates the blues and keeps it going for a new generation of listeners. Just as Sean Costello got excited about the blues from discovering Stevie Ray Vaughan — another huge talent who's life was cut short — perhaps someday a Costello record will inspire a kid or two to dedicate their lives toward keeping this grandest of music forms alive and dynamic.
May you rest in peace, Sean.