Teen blues phenom Sean Costello was born and raised in Atlanta, receiving his first guitar for his ninth birthday.
A primarily self-taught player, he initially gravitated toward hard rock but soon discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan, moving on from there to Howlin' Wolf; under the wing of local bluesman Felix Reyes, a 14-year-old Costello won the Beale Street Blues Society's talent award in 1994. Another contestant was Susan Tedeschi, and soon Costello began touring as her lead guitarist and stayed with her band for a couple years. He also provided guitar on Tedeschi's 1998 album, Just Won't Burn. Soon after leaving Tedeschi's band, Costello assembled backing outfit the Jivebombers -- bassist Carl Shankle, keyboardist and harpist Paul Linden, and drummer Terrence Prather -- and issued his debut album, Call the Cops, in 1996. After touring extensively and revamping his band by replacing Shankle with Melvin Zachary on bass and adding keyboardist Matt Wauchope, Costello released Cuttin' In in early 2000. The album was a success in the blues community, gaining him a W.C. Handy Award nomination for Best New Artist Debut. In 2001 Costello released his third album, Moanin' for Molasses, and further cemented his reputation as one of the best young blues guitarists on the scene. The self-titled Sean Costello was released on Artemis Records in 2004. Unfortunately, Artemis folded a few months later and the album -- intended as Costello's breakthrough -- never received the publicity it deserved. It would be four years before Costello would release another album with 2008's We Can Get Together. Sadly, on April 15, 2008, just two months after the release of that album and a day before his 29th birthday, Costello was found dead in a local Atlanta hotel room. A subsequent toxicology report found the cause of death to be a mixture of drugs including heroin. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi