Led by singer-songwriter Sean Smith, a Newport R.I. native who moved to NYC in the mid-eighties, Pawnshop stumbled onto the music scene in late 1994 with a two-song single Trip/Stumblin Fool, an edgy, slightly melancholy mix of acoustic guitars, soaring vocals and melodic song-writing released on a green vinyl 45.
Recorded at Fort Apache Studios in Boston and produced by Chris Seefried, both tracks received some minor college radio play. After a year or more of gigs @ clubs and coffee houses throughout nyc’s east village and beyond, Sean flew to L.A. to record three songs with Seefried’s band Joe 90 to be included on a compilation released by NY indie rock label Home Office Records. With an ever-evolving line-up, more shows followed, leading to the Home Office release of Three Brass Balls in early 98.Three Brass Balls, a 12 song CD produced by Newport R.I. native Steve Fontaine, had a much fuller, more polished sound than before, with added instrumentation (lap steel, toy piano, mandolin,cello) sprinkled throughout.
Starting with a sold out record release party at NYC’s Luna Lounge. Sean brought a new and improved line-up to match the CD, playing shows throughout the tristate area as well as New England, with live radio appearances in NY, NJ, and PA along with a live solo acoustic appearance in LA. A generous amount of support from college radio, Napster, and even ESPN2 helped push the band along its merry way. Forward to Summer 2003…. after parting ways with Home Office, Pawnshop is back with a new release Summerhead, a six song gem that mixes raw guitars and lush vocal harmonies in with the usual acoustic driven melodic fray. Produced by Mark Neglia , the songs have a more immediate, almost live feel thanks to long time drummer Matt MacGillivray and bassist Joel Griffin who helped shape the feel of these songs over the last couple of years. Reloaded, refueled, ready to rock-Pawnshop is back!