Sean Kiely


While on vacation, near a beach in the mid-Atlantic couple of years back, I woke up in the middle of the night and went on a 3am wikipedia bender, eventually landing on the entry for the lost colony of Roanoke. In case you, like me, somehow missed this bit of US history growing up, the Roanoke Colony was the first go at colonizing North America by Europeans, and it did not go well. They had the misfortune of choosing an infertile island to settle, which also happened to be undergoing historic drought conditions. After that first winter, the hundred or so inhabitants sent their leader, John White, back to England to try and round up supplies and return with reinforcements. It took him a long while – three years – to pull off a return journey. When he got back, there was no trace of anyone, including his daughter and grand-daughter, Virginia Dare, the first European born on the North American continent.

This was the first I had heard of any of this story. The disappearance of 115 humans is of course interesting on its own, but I was so intrigued by the idea that, in a culture obsessed with success and the projection of success, the very first moment of our eventual appropriation of an entire continent was a spectacular failure. Maybe more intriguing, though, was the fantasy of the experience of that small group of people, who had followed an unqualified leader, working for an cavalier, profit-motivated noble, across an ocean, to a hostile place that in the end wound up swallowing them up without a trace.

This hit me at a time when my partner and I were in the middle of what turned out to be five years of health struggle, loss, surgery, battle with insurance companies, more surgery, more loss, and more profound loss experienced by our friends. We found ourselves on a kind of island, trying to work out what our life was, what success is, where we would go, quite unsure what it meant to "make it" and if we would.

The four songs that make up It Sure Was Good are an emotional reckoning. They pass through waves of ambivalence about our politics & culture –newly digital spaces where we where we broadcast mostly successes, and hide away failure & loss. Places where we engage in zero-sum winning & losing, liking & disliking relentlessly, unable to remember consciously having ever agreed to the terms of service.



GA Seated || Please note, there is a two drink minimum in the room.
Advance tickets are available online until 5:30PM, day of show. Any remaining tickets can be purchased at the door at showtime.

Upcoming Events
Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3