S. Carey to play Schofield Auditorium on Midwest Tour

Musician begins European tour in late spring


LOCAL SOUNDS: S. Carey, above, said sometimes hometown shows bring more nerves because of the familiarity of the audience. Submitted

Story by Austin Mai, Staff Writer

This weekend, UW- Eau Claire alumnus Sean Carey will return to campus to perform before starting the bulk of his band’s tour.

Carey, who goes by the moniker S. Carey, started his tour in Michigan on Tuesday.

After making stops in Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis, the folk band will play at Schofield Auditorium Saturday night.

Carey said returning to Eau Claire will be refreshing for him and his band.

“Schofield is one of the bigger venues we are playing at this tour,” Carey said. “We play mostly smaller clubs, so this will be a nice change of pace to be in a seated theater-type room.”

Despite the change of venue, the change of audience is what could make performances like this one more difficult.

“Sometimes, it’s hardest to play in your hometown,” Carey said. “There are more nerves and pressure when I look out and recognize most of the audience … it’s a bit easier to loosen up in some far off place where you can just play the show.”

Carey said it will be a fun show and he’s looking forward to playing for college students that might not get to go to a lot of shows.

This concert will not be a solo event, as the band members including Zach Hanson on drums, Nick Ball on guitar and vibes, Jeremy Boettcher on bass, and Ben Lester playing percussion, pedal steel and keyboards will play as well.

Carey had major success when he joined local indie folk band Bon Iver, but found himself tinkering with his own recordings, which led him to start a solo act under S. Carey.

S. Carey released his debut album “All We Grow,” and soon after added contributors from the album as full-time band members.

“He incorporates some elements of classical music and minimalism into his folk music, there’s another level to it, it’s not just some guy with a guitar playing folk songs,” local musician and Eau Claire alumnus Davy Sumner said. “Sean and most of the members of his band studied classical music and played jazz music together.”

Sumner, known locally for his performance series The Arco Sessions, has had many experiences with Carey musically and personally.

Sumner said returning to Eau Claire before heading out of the country will be a good time  for the audience and the band itself.

“Four of the five band members are from Wisconsin, and three of the five are graduates of Eau Claire’s music program,” Sumner said. “It’ll be special to have them all back and having the show on campus should be a special performance.”

Carey said his time at Eau Claire prepared him to be a good musician.

“I acquired a lot of skills and confidence in my craft while at Eau Claire,” Carey said. “Also, I was exposed to a lot of cool music and composers that really shaped my writing style.”

The tour is scheduled to last until September, including minor breaks after this weekend’s performance and in mid-July.

S. Carey will be traveling to the United Kingdom to kick off the major haul of the tour in May and said long distance touring doesn’t really bother him.

Carey said the band will be playing a mix of new and old songs, including tracks from their new album “Range of Light.”

Massachusetts native Casey Dienel will be performing as White Hinterland and opening for the band this Saturday.

The event begins at 8 p.m., and admission at the door is $12.