North Jersey Notes – Sean Tobin


  A singer-songwriter named Sean Tobin recently emailed me to let me know about the release of his debut CD, This Midnight on July 13. I was obviously interested in giving Sean a listen, so I logged onto Spotify to preview a song called “The Man from the North Country” and a song called “Winter (In an Ocean Town)”. Sean caught me on a good day when I was in the mood to listen to a man and his acoustic guitar. As I sat here listening to Sean’s voice, I really enjoyed it because it reminded me of Michael Stipe from R.E.M. singing with an acoustic guitar. This was some really good coffee house type of stuff.

  As a solo artist, Sean Tobin got his start playing cover songs in coffee shops, bars and basements around New Jersey. Sean’s influences ranged from the punk rock sounds of the Stone Pony, to the American rumble of a Chevrolet pickup and everything in-between. Sean grew up in Brielle, NJ, which is only 10 miles south of the Jersey music Mecca, Asbury Park. Obsessed with the rock ‘n’ roll scene of seaside bars and the innate rhythm of his home state, Sean wanted nothing more than to contribute a new sound to the symphony that is the Jersey Music Scene. He wanted to include his sound! As an Irish American kid growing up on the Jersey Shore, Sean was constantly surrounded by music. As a kid, he spent many Saturday afternoons cruising the streets of Monmouth County with his father, thumbing through his CD collection and choosing between the Wolfe Tones, Springsteen and Van Morrison. When he turned 20, Sean moved to Ireland for six months where he performed as a street musician on the streets of Galway. Two years later, Sean returned to Europe to walk El Camino de Santiago in Spain with nothing but his guitar and a backpack. He performed in every major city along the pilgrimage like Leon, Burgos, and Santiago de Compostela, and then continued his tour through Europe in Lisbon, Porto, Lagos, Madrid, Barcelona, Nice, and Rome. Three months later, he returned to his favorite streets in the city of Galway. Talk about being on your own world tour. Sean seems to have done it in a way that no other musician has.

  Back in February, Sean Tobin would release his first single, “Winter (In an Ocean Town),” which he wrote in deep connection to his youth in the small Jersey shore towns. Sean recently released a second single called “The Man from the North Country”. Both songs are feature on his debut CD, This Midnight. It looks like Sean will be performing quite a lot this summer to promote This Midnight, so keep an eye out for him. To learn more about Sean Tobin or to find out where he’s playing next, visit



  I recently learned that the band December Morning features band members that I’m very familiar with. The band features members formerly of the band, Venus Vegas, who my bass brother Raj Narayanan played for. December Morning made their live debut this past September but made their digital debut with a song called “The Rising” prior to their live debut in early 2017. A couple of weeks ago, December Morning hit the stage again for Ropetree’s CD release party at The Saint in Asbury Park, NJ. It’s time to check out December Morning if you haven’t yet! Visit

  Speaking of mornings, my old singer Ivo and his band Mercury Morning released their latest single “Deadly Ways” recently by way of YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes. Ivo always had a knack for writing some great hooks and “Deadly Ways” is no different. It’s great to see Ivo still at it. Give “Deadly Ways” a listen now on YouTube. For more on Mercury Morning, visit

  And finally, my brothers from Black Water Rising will be returning to Dingbatz in Clifton, NJ on August 24 for the first time in quite some time. I remember sharing the stage with Black Water Rising, as they opened for my old band Smoke Star, for their first show ever at Dingbatz. Look at them now! Black Water Rising continues to promote their latest CD, Electrified, and on August 24, they will have labelmates, Black Dawn opening for them. For more info on Black Water Rising, visit          

  That’s all for now! If your band is from North Jersey, and you want some exposure, send your press kits to Arts Weekly, c/o Tim Louie P.O. Box 1140, Little Falls, NJ  07424, or you can email me at, where you can also let me know where you’re performing next!


  Just remember…We’re all in the same boat, so every little bit of exposure counts!

  Tim Louie is the Author of S**t Happens.


NJN Concert Calendar:

7/11—The Zoo Peculiar/Subverse—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
7/11—Dead End/Soapbox Army/The Specs—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ
7/13—Lane Six Presents: Richie Ranno All Starz “Performing the music of Starz”—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ
7/13—Argyle Goolsby and the Roving Midnight/A Gathering of None/Darrow Chemical Company/The Cryptkeeper Five/Devil In The Belfry/Paul Mauled/Jess-O-Lantern—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
7/16—I Set My Friends On Fire/Annisokay/The Funeral Portrait/Your Persona/Alive In Fiction/Across The White Water Tower—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
7/19—Kore Rozzik/Otep—The Gramercy Theatre, NYC
7/20—Sponge/Johnny Zostant Music/Incognito Theory/Mikell’s Plot/The Jumping Juvies/Mike Daly and The Planets—The Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ
7/20—Kore Rozzik/Otep—Reverb, Reading, PA
7/20—Sean Tobin—The Saint, Asbury Park, NJ
7/21—Angel Vivaldi/Hyvmine/Divinix/Etherius/DJINN—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
7/22—Tantric/Corevalay/Armed for Flight/The Beautiful Distortion/PAULUS HooK—Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ
7/22—Cryptodira/Sawce/Deeply Woven/Gyre—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
7/25—Sean Tobin—Dublin Pub, Morristown, NJ
7/25—Royal Skull/Mule Kick Band—Arlene’s Grocery, NYC
7/27—The Dirty Stayouts—Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ
7/27—Halfway to Halloween Full Moon Party! – Fang Fang/The Walk Arounds/Canamara/Call of Sirens/Broken Angels—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
8/3—Ryder 2 Year Anniversary Show/Hyngd/Cold Blooded Capitol/Royal Revolution/Out Of Bounds/Makes My Blood Dance/Sleeping Village—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ
8/3—Jaded Past—Roxy and Dukes Roadhouse, Dunellen, NJ
8/17—Sean Tobin—The Stanhope House, Stanhope, NJ
8/18—Sean Tobin—Red Fox Beach Bar and Grill, Seaside Park, NJ
8/22—Sean Tobin—Dublin Pub, Morristown, NJ
8/24—Black Water Rising/Black Dawn—Dingbatz, Clifton, NJ