Sean Patrick McGraw, a Dunkirk native country rocker, has met many of his career goals.
He has garnered respect nationally as a touring musician, written songs for popular artists and has even had a few of his own songs reach the charts.
His next goal - get a song to enter the top 20. And thanks to Montgomery Gentry, he is closer to seeing that dream become reality.
Sean Patrick McGraw is pictured performing during a recent tour.
Photos courtesy of seanpatrickmcgraw.com
Montgomery Gentry's new single "So Called Life" is getting quite a bit of attention from fans of country music. The song, now at number 28 on MusicRow's Country Breakout chart and number 46 on Billboard's Country Music chart, is a cut of "My So Called Life" originally written by McGraw.
McGraw's "My So Called Life," from 2011's My So Called Life album, a song that has received much praise from both fans and critics alike, is now a Montgomery Gentry single from their new album Rebels on the Run.
McGraw was happy to see it recorded by the duo, as it was one of his well-received songs from live performances.
"I play the song at live shows and it always gets a good response from the crowd," said McGraw. "I've closed many shows with it as well."
With Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry's "So Called Life" doing quite well on the charts, the song is doing good things for both McGraw and MG.
"They are a perfect fit for my style," said McGraw. "Their version of the song gives it a different feel that still does it justice."
The video for Montgomery Gentry's "So Called Life" premiered recently on SpikeTV's show "Impact Wrestling."
"It ("So Called Life") needs a video and it was a good place to premiere it," said McGraw.
"So Called Life" isn't the only successful song cut originally written by McGraw. Darryl Worley's "Honky Tonk Life" and Aaron Pritchett's "Hell Bent for Buffalo" are others that he penned.
But, other artists aren't the only ones benefiting from McGraw's song writing abilities. His single "Fiona" from 2008's Songs from Saturday Night was the winner of the Great American Song Contest, MountainStages NewSong Fest, Independent Music Awards "Best Country Song 2006" and No. 4 on the U.K.'s Hotdisc Independent chart. And, a song he co-wrote with David Kroll called "Dollar Ain't Worth a Dime" from 2008's Long Way From Slowin' Down appeared on CMT's regular rotation and received praise from MusicRow's critic Robert K. Oermann.
McGraw's work has even made it on to television. Both "Anyone But Me" and "Drink with Hank" appeared on HBO's "True Blood" series. "My So Called Life" was also licensed by ESPN for NASCAR coverage.
McGraw's current single, "Git Yer Cowboy On" has been on the MusicRow Country Breakout chart at No. 68 for the last six weeks.
"I'm waiting to see if I can get a song on the top 20," said McGraw.
Not a single, but worthy of mention, "What I'd Do" debuted on MusicRow's Country Breakout at No. 79 and then rose to No. 43 over the course of 18 weeks.
If past laurels could be any indication of what the future holds for McGraw, his wish of having a song in the top 20 might just come true. And, it may even be one of the 10 new songs he has recorded for his next album. But, McGraw is unsure when the album will be released. So, in the meantime the only place that fans can catch the new tunes is by stopping by a local venue for a live performance.
Fortunately, there are plenty of opportunities to catch McGraw in the coming months. The must-attend show of the summer is McGraw's performance at America's Grape Country Wine Festival in August. In addition to McGraw's performance, the festival will also feature The Guess Who as headliner. He also has performances scheduled at The Gin Mill in Ellicottville on Friday, the Lakeview Hotel in Mayville on July 15, the Floating Stage in Bemus Point on August 30 and Merritt Estate in Forestville on Sept. 8.
McGraw is now a Nashville recording artist, but his family and band still reside in Chautauqua County. His band consists of Keith Kasperek, vocals and guitar, Randy Hofgren, bass, James Isula, drums and Shaker Macquarrie, lead guitar. Having his band reside in Chautauqua County has given McGraw the opportunity to spend much time playing for his fans back home.
"I love playing for my fans in Western New York," said McGraw. "I'm very thankful for having such a good following back home."