Sean Tobin
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Sean Tobin

Asbury Park, New Jersey, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2016

Asbury Park, New Jersey, United States
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Folk Rock




"EP REVIEW: SEAN TOBIN AND THE BOARDWALK FIRE- ‘St. Patrick’s Day Forever’ (2021)"

Released at the end of February, 2021 the EP features two originals and two covers and kicks off with the title track, a fast paced Irish trad influenced Celtic-Punk song about the lockdown and it’s first anniversary in New Jersey. It was after all the cancellations of St. Patrick’s Day events around the world that set the scene for what was going to follow. Lively, upbeat and catchy as hell Sean Tobin tells a great story with a brilliant accompanying video too!

The EP’s other original song is titled ‘Ode to Anna Liffey’s’ a bittersweet love song to the now closed Irish bar Anna Liffey’s in New Haven, Connecticut. As with all of Sean’s songs and in common with Irish music in general the songs tell intricate stories and at over six minutes the song gives him plenty of scope in telling his story of days spent propping up the bar there. A swirling gentle song with Sean’s strong voice backed by accordion and percussion that soon enough gets faster and faster with Sean’s guitar and Sean-David’s fiddle smoking! A real Irish tinged bluegrass/country floor filler that ends on a sad note (especially for us Irish!) with the last chorus going out to all the bars that are forced to close but “go down swinging”.

Ending with two covers, the first ‘Dirty Old Town’ has seen it’s fair share of Celtic-Punk records but here Sean strays from the well trodden Pogues/ Dubliners versions and keeps it upbeat and catchy even, in fact the perfect speed to be belting it out at the top of your lungs in the pub or Celtic Park or just your living room. The EP ends with the traditional Scottish ballad ‘The Parting Glass’ and Sean keeps it simple with just his voice and acoustic guitar. Two popular covers with new life breathed into them. Obviously a difficult thing to achieve with such popular songs. The record was recorded, mixed and mastered by David Patiño at Tannery Studios and, as with everything here, is absolutely perfect. Sean has severl live streams planned over March but you can still catch his most recent stream from Watermark in Asbury Park, NJ on February 20th to celebrate the EP’s release via Sean’s Facebook page. A fantastic start to the Celtic month of March and can only say we glad he went to Spain!! - London Celtic Punks


In anticipation of New Jersey’s one-year lockdown anniversary, Sean Tobin plans to release an Irish-influenced EP entitled St. Patrick’s Day Forever. The EP, which is set to be released on February 19, 2021, is a follow up to his sophomore album, East Coast Artifacts, which was released just four months prior.

Once building on the momentum of his performance at Frank Turner’s Lost Evenings III in 2019, Tobin’s career came to a screeching halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, he and his backing band, the Boardwalk Fire, have been hard at work in the studio.

St. Patrick’s Day Forever features four tracks recorded at drummer David Patiño’s Tannery Studios in Stanhope, NJ. The EP includes covers of “Dirty Old Town” and “The Parting Glass,” as well as two new songs, “Ode to Anna Liffey’s” and “St. Patrick’s Day Forever.” A music video for the title track will be released alongside the EP.

“This EP was a long time coming, but it wasn’t until lockdown that I wrote the title track. In a dark way, quarantine brought the whole thing together,” said Tobin.

Although Sean Tobin and the Boardwalk Fire are known for rock, folk, and alt-country releases, St. Patrick’s Day Forever pays homage to Tobin’s Celtic heritage, Irish-American upbringing, and his time spent as a Galway busker. Made up of Tobin, drummer David Patiño, bassist Jack Breslin, fiddler/violinist Sean-David Cunningham, and Jake Garbe on accordion/lead strings, the band is an up-and-coming force to be reckoned with.

“We’ve all played together as duos or trios in the past, but St. Patrick’s Day Forever really fortified us as a band,” said Tobin. “I just wish we could play live. That’s what we’re best at.”

Although in-person performances by Sean Tobin and the Boardwalk Fire have been put on hold, the band will be performing a live stream concert from Watermark in Asbury Park, NJ on February 20th to celebrate the EP’s release. Courtesy of Asbury Sunset Presents, the show will take place overlooking the Asbury Park Boardwalk via Tobin’s Facebook page.

Self-taught and trained by the New Jersey bar scene, Tobin owes much of his high-energy performances to his time spent busking on the streets of Galway, Ireland. He has opened for acts such as Frank Turner and Rhett Miller, and has been actively building a global following over the last decade. In the world of independent music, many can write and many can perform, but only a few can do both. Sean Tobin and the Boardwalk Fire stand at the head of those few. - Rock N' Load

"Discovery: Sean Tobin"

Sean Tobin is an American folk-punk musician and songwriter, with St. Patrick’s Day being his latest song to be released.

By Jane Howkins

As you may have guessed by the name of the song, St. Patrick’s Day is an Irish themed folk-punk song, featuring both modern and traditional folk sounds, and an abrasive, fast rhythm. Lyrically, the song is about the coronavorus pandemic and the anticipation of the one year anniversary of the lockdown in New Jersey, something that many people across the globe can probably identify with. The track is catchy, yet also manages to retain a punk sound, and we loved the traditional folk instrumentation used on the song – check out Sean Tobin’s latest below and see what you think! - York Calling

"Sean Tobin “St. Patrick’s Day Forever”"

If you’re looking for a new jam for the 17th of March check out “St. Patrick’s Day Forever”. Sean Tobin brings an organic and punk influenced classic northeastern rock. This belongs in a playlist with Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly and other rocking Irish acts. I can’t wait to be drinking some Guinness back in bars again and this song makes me hopeful that it won’t be too much longer. - Hot Lunch Music

"SEAN TOBIN – St. Patrick’s Day Forever"

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, New Jersey’s raucous troubadour, Sean Tobin, gives us the gift of a new EP. And true to the form of Irish music, the songs tell stories. The title track is a lively tune that references the increase in drinking that accompanied the COVID lockdown over the past year. It builds up to a frenzy, and exclaims, “Frankly I don’t blame you if you if it’s what we gotta do / To keep people from dying then I’ll stay home for you / I just miss my friends and the bars!” The next bit gets all sad and sentimental, with “It’s comin’ up on summer and I’m still drinkin’ stout / I would be switching to Corona but I don’t think that’s allowed.” I LOLed. “Ode to Anna Liffey’s” is a sweet farewell to New Haven, Connecticut’s now shuttered Irish bar, Anna Liffey’s. It’s starts as a ballad that tells the tale of Tobin’s relationship with the institution, starting with how he first wandered into the place with friends and found they had “three types of beer, blond, black or red,” and how these friends drank all day at the place and tried to slip out without paying. “But Liam, the barman, he caught us alright / He made us pay up then banned us for life.” The song then becomes a buoyant dance number and recounts how the friends returned two years later, assuming their sentence was done, and how Liam remembered them, but they all became fast friends. Acoustic guitar and fiddle cavort together, as percussion and bass propel the song along. The song returns to ballad form as Tobin sings how he was in New Jersey when he heard the news that Anna Liffey’s was closing, and how all the memories made there were covered up by the new owners. He sings about how “Me and the crew we went up that September / To check it all out and maybe remember / How whiskey tastes when you have nothing to lose / No weight on your shoulders and nothing to prove.” The song ends with a big rendition of the chorus that goes out to all the bars that are forced to close and “go down swinging.” There is a pair of covers on the EP, too. “Dirty Old Town,” written by Ewan MacColl in 1949, covered by many, and popularized by The Pogues. Tobin’s rendition opens with harmonica, similar to the recording by the Pogues. But unlike most versions, which are slower and wistful, Tobin’s is bright and up-tempo, with mandolin and concertina in the arrangement. The other cover is a traditional Scottish parting song, “The Parting Glass.” Before the poet Robert Burns wrote “Auld Lang Syne,” it was the most popular parting song in Scotland. The title refers to the “stirrup cup” that a host would offer a departing guest as he mounted upon his horse, to fortify him for his journey home. The Clancey Brothers and Tommy Makem reintroduced the song to the public in the mid 20th century, and Tobin’s interpretation is suitably somber, with acoustic guitar accompanying his singing, a violin and bowed bass joining in on the second verse. The violin soars during the instrumental bridge, the acoustic guitar providing a martial rhythm. It’s breathtaking. Bleedin’ massive. - Jersey Beat

"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 - The Aquarian


Before I listened to Sean Tobin’s latest release Winter (In an Ocean Town) I was under the firm impression that Glen Hansard was the best contemporary folk artist on the planet. My opinion was quickly changed after soaking up Tobin’s Americana Punk Folk sound. The limited amount of chord progressions didn’t hold Sean Tobin back from creating one of the most progressively pensive tracks I’ve ever heard. Tobin’s naturally organic voice has a way of drawing you into the melancholy which he projects through the microphone before uplifting you with the ethereal harmonies created by one man and his guitar.

Perhaps it’s the fact that I’ve experienced life in an ocean town why the track hit me like an absolute brick, but I’m sure the effect will be universal as fans drink in Sean’s empyreal sound which he perfected from travelling Europe and discovering his ancestral roots through music in Ireland.

Sean Tobin’s 2018 single Winter (In an Ocean Town) is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast - A&R Factory

"Trusting the Process with Sean Tobin"

Kenny Bieber, Host

Sean Tobin, Guest

Opening music by The Flukes - Asbury Park Vibes


St. Patrick's Day Forever - 2021

The Tannery Sessions - 2020

East Coast Artifacts - 2020

Dreams & Black Caffeine EP - 2019

This Midnight LP - 2018



Born and raised on the New Jersey shore, Sean Tobin was influenced by folk-song troubadours and high-energy rockers alike. Self-taught and trained by the New Jersey bar scene, Tobin owes much of his high-energy performances to his time spent busking on the streets of Galway, Ireland throughout 2015 and 2017.
 In 2017, Tobin graduated college with a degree in writing. Having expected to become a novelist, his business as a musician began to overshadow his prose. 

Uncertain of his future, Tobin walked El Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trail through Spain, with his guitar tied to his pack. Upon the trail's completion, the future became obvious.
 Sean returned to New Jersey in the fall of 2017 where he worked a 9-5 job to fund his music. He released his first album, This Midnight, in 2018. The next year he played Frank Turner's Lost Evenings III in Boston, MA. 

Later in 2019, Sean released Dreams & Black Caffeine, a four-song EP recorded with his band, The Boardwalk Fire. The group played several shows promoting the EP and planned a tour for 2020, but were forced to cancel due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Instead, Sean and the guys got to work on new music from remote locations. 

Sean's 2020 LP, East Coast Artifacts, is a compilation of quarantine singles, Dreams & Black Caffeine, and three other tracks. A reflection of life on the shore and dreams of going beyond, ECA is the quintessential work of an independent folk rocker. 

Band Members