Workman Song has all of the hallmarks of the well-kept secret, it’s just that the secret has been getting out. At the center of this peculiar labor of love is prodigious singer-songwriter Sean McMahon, his soul-stirring voice and his storytelling: a dialogue with friends, lovers, and God which forms a prolific body of work spanning the intimately folksy to the epically psychedelic, drawing together the threads of Bowie, Bruce, Buckley, Dylan, and the Dead.
Following in the footsteps of Jesus-loving preacher-singers Johnny Cash, Al Green, and even Prince, McMahon founded the project in Brooklyn in 2013 to be the vehicle for his wily vision for the Work of God. Named in homage to Dorothy Day’s anarchist Catholic Worker collective, Workman Song immerses into an earnest, sonically kaleidoscopic world of creative sub-plots, recurring characters, and special guests. McMahon embodies the plaintive troubadour, soul laid bare; Ruben Smiley, the glam rock neo-con; Ion Zelig, the avant-electro-pop Biblical archaeologist; or he is one of the Brothers McMahon, the classic live lineup which prominently features his brother — and Justin Vernon-approved organist — Griffin McMahon and an infinite setlist that shamelessly drops hits by The Smiths, Aerosmith, and Fleetwood Mac.
As a performer, McMahon, that rare combination of vocal powerhouse and guitar hero, is a powerful and unpredictable chameleon: a “half-ghost” with a “wraithlike presence,” (The Jalapeno) a “shaman-esque leading man” with “casual…neo-psychedelic hippy swagger,” (Baeblemusic) and even “that classic glam rock sex driven Robert Plant like force…with the voice of an angel and a screaming fisher cat combined.” (The Buzz 413)
Like Beck, McMahon is a free-wheeling genre-bender whose output is so prolific it’s hard to keep up with. If the story seems convoluted, it is, and will continue to be. Such is Workman Song.
McMahon, as Workman Song, has released 1 full-length album, 5 EP’s, 1 full-length mixtape, and has several singles on power rotation on Northeast radio. He is the host of The Workman Song Show, a Gospel-themed music & talk radio show and podcast, where he regularly debuts brand new original material. Recent festival appearances include Green River Festival, The Wild Honey Pie’s Welcome Campers, and The Outlaw Roadshow. He has shared bills with Big Thief, Margaret Glaspy, The Ghost Of A Saber Tooth Tiger, and even Carly Simon (“once, at a fundraiser — unexpectedly.”)
“What McMahon has developed is a sound that transcends anything currently in the New York music scene.” – The Deli Magazine
“…equal parts Rodriguez (Searching For Sugarman), Bruce, and the Dead…what Dylan would have sounded like on about six tabs of acid…I had a blast with GOASTT, but the real surprise of the evening was the opener, Workman Song…the most fun I had last year at shows for openers I’d never heard of before the evening began…if you want to have Workman Song’s live show blow your mind…I can personally guarantee they’ll get the job done.” – Baeblemusic on 2015 Brooklyn Bowl show with Sean Lennon’s GOASTT
“Workman Song is an unrelenting local force…Quite frankly, he doesn’t really give a shit, and I say that in the best way possible. McMahon doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about him.” — Baeblemusic
“Songs that gush with a level of honesty that few of us are bold enough to share with anyone, let alone the entirety of the internet.” – expants
“I hope that people can feel comfortable replacing their idea of an elder sitting by the fireside with that of one Workman Song – McMahon has proven that he is not only capable of telling better stories than your grandaddy, but also capable of telling them with musical accompaniment.” No Smoking Media
“Workman Song is a gritty, freewheeling folk project that whittles and leans its way into your heart by way of earnest, amber-toned songs exploring the edges of faith … Workman Song is some sort of cult, possibly involving ice cream, just waiting to happen. We’re among the first converts, but we’re sure soon you’ll be joining us.” — The Wild Honey Pie
“Workman Song is the cooler version of Alex Ebert from Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Workman Song establish a cool, distant electric sound—one that leaves you wondering if you’re tapping your foot to the folk-beat or the hypnotizing echo of Sean McMahon’s voice… Vocally, McMahon mesmerizes.” – Slug Magazine
“Somewhere in between experimental composer and folkie singer/songwriter is Workman Song’s Sean McMahon. Perhaps it’s best to just call him a storyteller, and a daring one at that. Weaving together hugely encompassing themes with personal experience, McMahon creates an atmosphere that you can’t help but connect with and a narrative that expands past the boundaries of most man-bunned acoustic acts.” – Sound Of Boston
ON THE ROAD
BOOKING, PRESS, & GENERAL INQUIRIES
Sean McMahon offers group workshops and private lessons in guitar, voice, songwriting, composition & arrangement, as well as mentoring for creatives. A graduate of New England Conservatory of Music, he has been teaching and mentoring musicians and artists of all ages for more than a decade.
His private teaching studio is on Martha's Vineyard, MA, from which he also gives distance lessons over the internet. Contact for rates and scheduling.