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Worcester’s Sean Fullerton Combines Classic Rock and Acoustic Blues

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Photo: Nikilette Walker Photography

Worcester's Sean Fullerton is a self-described "weekend warrior," and for 17 years now he has been a staple on the Central Mass music scene.

Whether he plays as part of a duo as he often does with his brother Adam or twice a month with Tom Gilmartin at Guiseppe's Grill in Northborough, or as a solo act, as he so often does on the weekends at various other bars, clubs and restaurants throughout the area, Fullerton always brings angelic notes that seamlessly emanate from his finger-style guitar.

He loves to play classic rock and acoustic blues and cites influences such as Bob Seger, John Fogerty, and old Delta Blues singers. Though perhaps the most important steps in his young development as a musician came thanks to his exposure to the sweeping combination of Beethoven, Saturday Night Fever and The Beatles, as he explains.

"I grew up with my mom playing piano everyday, which lead to Beethoven's 'Moonlight Sonata' becoming my favorite song. When I was 6, my mom gave me a cassette copy of the 'Saturday Night Fever' soundtrack.  I immediately gravitated towards the drums.  At the age of 7, I discovered The Beatles and wanted to play the guitar.   I've been hooked ever since."

Fullerton still has a deep and abiding love for The Beatles in particular. Before embarking on a predominantly solo career in 2008, he was a member of Worcester's very own tribute to The Beatles, Yellow Submarine. In fact, he plans to perform with yet another Beatles acoustic tribute band called Beatle Wood with fellow musicians Tom Gilmartin and Dan Kirouac.

"More on that later," he says with a smile.

His love for music goes far beyond The Beatles, though. That is clear.

"It's just a beautiful way to communicate. So many ways to communicate. It could be a great rock 'n' roll guitar riff, an instrumental acoustic guitar song, five-part harmony, an old scratchy recording of the blues, or an African acapella group.  If it raises the hair on my arms, it's got me."

He hopes his audience feels the same.

"I hope my originals are good enough to reach them, and I hope I do the covers justice."

Fullerton makes clear that he has had to put a lot of work into building his music career from the ground up. A man less passionate about the art may have given up once he realized he wasn't a natural at singing.

"I'm one of those singers that has really had to work hard to get to where I am.   I'm jealous of those that just have that natural ability to sing.  So I know how I feel when listening to a song I like, and I do my best to emulate that feeling when performing it.   There have been some pleasant surprises where I doubted my ability to sing a part in a song, and then I totally nail it!" he says.

Performing gives him a "rush" and perhaps greater satisfaction than a prodigy would get from playing and singing the same song.

Fullerton has humble expectations for his future and a humble outlook on his past. He claims the biggest thing that's ever happened in his career was having the honor for opening for Colin Hay of Men at Work at the Lucky Dog Music Hall in 2004. Since then he has become a member of organizations such as Down Home Blues and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He was voted "Best Solo Act" at the Worcester Music Awards in 2010. He has released his own CDs and contributed on a number of others.

His plan for the future is simple: Just keep performing.

"I'm just breaking out of a long period of writer's block.   I have a lot of musical ideas, but have to catch up on lyrics.   I'm doing that right now.  I'm hoping to have something out by Summer/Fall," he says.

Look for him at a venue near you. 

For more information on Sean Fullerton or to hear some of his music, visit his website or find him on Facebook or Reverbnation.

For more of Nikilette Walker's photography, visit her website.


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