Patrick Sweany

Patrick Sweany

Country Fried Rock featured Patrick Sweany a couple of albums ago, and the East Nashville-based blues rocker has just gotten better over time. Here’s a quick update from Sweany and another fun new video from him.

Patrick Sweany

1. When I first saw you play live at The Basement during Americana Fest a few years ago, your stage presence and songs blew me away. I think we had a zillion retweets that night! What’s been happening with your touring since we last talked — a couple of albums ago?

Well, a lot of things. It seems as though most of the momentum we have been experiencing has been readily apparent in the last 12 months. Doing some opening slots in the US for Tedeschi Trucks Band (nicest people in the biz, everyone in that band is a cool human being) and a lot of the attention that my song “Them Shoes” has received via Internet radio has exposed a larger amount of people who are now interested in seeing us live. It’s nice to see an audience excited to see the show, rather than us having to win them over from zero. Which means we have to be better when we come around. I’ve added a member to the band, Zach Setchfield, on guitar to play the new material and it really augments the live show. Having a really consistent touring line up in Dillon Napier on drums and Jason Harris on bass. Really driven, focused musicians and really cool guys, so the van hang has been great too. Most recently we just completed four weeks overseas and a bunch of dates in the mid south and mid west, prior to the European dates.

2. I didn’t realize how funny you are, too, until I saw the “Working For You” video. How did that idea roll around with your latest album?

I’ve always adhered to the David Lee Roth school of musical cinema. The album is pretty heavy, subject matter wise, and trying to do something dark for my first video seemed a bit much. I’ve always admired funny people. The original idea was to be an Al Bundy-esque shoe salesman and showcase some awkward and ridiculous social interactions, but we lost the location I had in mind. Door to door vacuum cleaner salesman seemed to have a suitable amount of interaction to carry the desired amount of random social awkwardness. While talking to my neighbor and fellow East Nashville BB Gun Club ( #ENBBGC ) co-founder Terry Rickards, he hipped me to his experiences as a Kirby salesman. That was definitely some food for thought. We worked with Dave Shamban, Marty Linville and Craig Hill, whose work on The Altered Statesman’s “Bait” I really admired. I couldn’t be more pleased how it turned out.

3. Where are you headed on tour? Any new places or venues? Old favorites? Anybody coming along or are you joining up with anyone else (openers, etc.)?

The current run is full of both new territory and some familiar stomping grounds, and nearly all of it headlining dates, and all of it the first time with the new band . The Canadian dates, including Montreal Jazz Fest are a big jump for us, playing NYC is always a thrill as well. Really great audiences for us there.

We also hit the old stomping grounds in Ohio for several dates across the state, which is always awesome. Just really amazing to play to hometown crowd when you’ve been away, that’s always the best.

Check out another fun video here.

Buy Patrick Sweany’s music here on iTunes and here on Amazon mp3 and physical music..

Featured Archive: #1213 Patrick Sweany

AmericanaFest always amazes me: such an incredible collection of roots music showcases, where it is impossible to catch every “must see” show. I quickly discovered in 2010 that I have two favorite venues, The Station Inn and The Basement, and when debating which performances to catch, I stay put in one of those locations. This completely unscientific method is how I caught Patrick Sweany‘s showcase at Americana 2011. I did not think I could make it to another venue and back to catch a show during his same time slot, so, even though Sweany was not on my obsessively plotted “grid” or even on my radar musically, I stuck around and was blown away. For me, that experience is what makes this particular music festival stellar; I always find my new favorite band by happenstance.

Patrick Sweany grew up near Akron, Ohio, and spent nearly a decade playing regular local gigs there and in his first foray to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, with a jaunt as opening act and van driver on another band’s national tour. Sweany’s immersion in deep blues began very early, though, with jugband music and Piedmont blues bonding him with his father. His dad gave him his first guitar, taught him some chords, and took him to a nearby high school auditorium to hear bluegrass, as well as to the Kent (Ohio) Folk Festival, where Sweany ultimately attended college on the six-year plan. Patrick moved to Nashville relatively late, in his view, saying, “Everyone came here ten years before I did.” With roots ranging from blues to bluegrass, Sweany’s music manages to maintain an earthy, melodic blues tone, but where he really shines is in live performance.

Patrick Sweany’s live show makes his music. Combining the showmanship of James Brown (without the dance moves) with a Springsteen-like rock intensity, Patrick Sweany’s charisma engaged the too-cool Nashville fans who refuse to even bob their heads. He nailed it. While I really enjoy his last record, That Old Southern Drag, to truly capture how incredible he is, you must experience him performing for a crowd. From the interplay with the audience and his band, to the passion with which he shares his songs, Patrick Sweany is one of those guys you must see live. In the words of former band mate, Dan Auerbach, and even earlier by the blogger for Now This Sound Is Brave, “I can’t figure out why this guy isn’t world famous.”

www.PatrickSweany.com

There are extensive outtakes from this interview posted on SoundCloud.
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Songs in Episode #1213 include:

  • “Them Shoes” from Patrick Sweany’s Dan Auerbach-produced album, Every Hour Is A Dollar Gone
  • “Sleeping Bag” and “Oh! Temptation” from Sweany’s recent release, That Old Southern Drag (produced by Scott McEwan and Joe McMahon)
  • “Keep a Knockin'” Buddy Holly’s Crickets
  • “I’m Done” Jimbo Mathus
  • “The Finer Things” Derek Hoke
  • “Gloryland” Kevin Gordon
  • One from Episode 1214, Angela Easterling “Happy Song” from Beguiler

Patrick Sweany “Working For You”

Our alum, Patrick Sweany, is one of my most favorite musicians on the planet. I love his records and his shows are even better. Check out his latest video which debuted on Esquire magazine today!

Buy Patrick Sweany’s music here.
or Patrick Sweany on iTunes.

Download his podcast here.

Toy Soldiers #1330

Toy Soldiers hail from Philadelphia.  I first ran across a live series on YouTube that featured them.  From its origins as a side band, light-hearted project, to becoming much more serious and expanding to a dozen players, and then all falling apart on their first long tour — leading to songwriter Ron Gallo returning home as a solo act — Toy Soldiers have evolved and devolved, to completely reinvent themselves and release their first “real” record.  The Maybe Boys, produced by Bill Moriarty, has been under wraps for over a year, so audiences who have caught their vibrant live show will be familiar with the songs, but if you have not had the chance to catch a Toy Soldiers’ show, they have captured their energy and essence in this album.  Get ready to dance and enjoy this radio show!

Liner Notes

  • Toy Soldiers here on Amazon or on iTunes.   The Maybe Boys releases this week, but their past work is fairly varied, as well. Catch their Converse Rubber Tracks EP and more.
  • Patrick Sweany’s new album Close to the Floor and other albums are here on Amazon or HERE on iTunes. Check out our conversation with Patrick Sweany from early 2012 HERE.  This radio show was in our listeners’ top picks of 2012!  If you get a chance to see Sweany live, get there early.  He’s fabulous.
  • Perkasie, originally a buddy band to the earlier version of Toy Soldiers, and later many of their members joined forces with Toy Soldiers. Buy their music here on Amazon or HERE on iTunes
  • Kid Carsons’ music is unavailable on Amazon, but you can get it here on iTunes.  The album cover for The Maybe Boys was photographed on their front porch!
  • Joe Fletcher (and The Wrong Reasons) music is here on Amazon or HERE on iTunes.  Fletcher has a new solo album, too.
  • Dr. Dog here on Amazon or HERE on iTunes — they have a brand new album coming in October 2013 called B Room (but I’ve seen it posted as “BRoom” online, as well).

Podcast

Patrick Sweany

Check out this brand new track from our alum, Patrick Sweany!

Hear our radio show HERE or download the podcast HERE.

Buy Patrick Sweany’s music HERE on Amazon or HERE on iTunes.

Country Fried Rock Best of 2012

Click to page 3 to listen to the Best of 2012.

Click the titles to purchase on iTunes.  Click the album covers to purchase on Amazon.

25 The Shovel vs. The Howling Bones – Lincoln Durham

Lincoln Durham started playing violin at age 4 via the Suzuki Method of instruction. By 8, he was hiding on stage facing the wall playing fiddle with the Osceola Opry–a loose association of players who met monthly in an old wooden schoolhouse to cover Hank Williams and Bill Monroe songs for the gathered farmers and country folk. Durham picked up the guitar in his early 20′s, which captivated his interest more than the fiddle ever had. Wandering through a period of singer-songwriter expression, Lincoln still felt pulled by something different in music, but had not been able to define it for himself, let alone have it clearly expressed in music. CONTINUE

24 Michelle Malone: Day 2

This album is currently only available directly from Michelle Malone HERE.
Michelle Malone was part of the Atlanta music scene that evolved from the Indigo Girls’ success, enjoying national attention for the music of Shawn Mullins, Tinsley Ellis, and Drivin N Cryin, with her band at the time, Drag the River. The confluence of blues-tinged Southern music at the time made for an exciting music scene, that was later replaced by the still-dominant hiphop scene. Atlanta is a weird place filled with temporary residents who are not from the area, but it is also a collection of neighborhoods with their own identities and people who are part of the arts culture and give different places their distinct vibes. It is from the latter community that Michelle Malone emerges, not as an ingenue, but as the definition of the Atlanta rock sound–Southern, blues-touched, guitar-driven, but still about the song. CONTINUE

23 Sweat Like the Old Days – Holy Ghost Tent Revival

Holy Ghost Tent Revival took their lowest point in the last five years and used it as a reason to find a new sound and revive their music. It’s not any easier to pigeonhole their work than it was before the departure of their bass player and harmony vocalist, but their music is definitely easier to dance to now than it was before. Despite having almost nothing in common with bluegrass music, they are often lumped in there with old time bands–great for a festival lineup, but inaccurate in categorization. Think of the Avett Brothers with a horn section, and you are much closer to the sound of Holy Ghost Tent Revival. CONTINUE

22 Two Step Silhouette – The Corduroy Road

The Corduroy Road‘s fans sounded alarm bells when the band left their life on the road for a long hiatus, but after nearly an eight-month break, the core of the band emerged with some new players in the lineup, refreshed and ready for the next phase of the band. The Corduroy Road musically balances between Americana and bluegrass in the dance-able area we refer to as “upbeat string band.” Their songs make you move, and you might even miss the weight of some of their lyrics, such as a hunter stumbling upon a meth lab in the woods where the meth-farmer and sheriff are in cahoots. Southern Gothic lyrics to outsiders, perhaps, but just another day in the country to some of us enmeshed in baffling small-town alliances. CONTINUE

21 Death of a Decade – Ha Ha Tonka

Ha Ha Tonka records flow thematically, bound together by a premise or idea, but not so tightly as to be concept albums. Initially, the themes were obvious, like Buckle in the Bible Belt, moving towards historical, as evidenced in the album artwork for Novel Songs of the Nouveau South, but for their recent record, Death of a Decade, the idea that emerged from which these songs began surprised me: Michael Jackson’s death. As Brett Anderson explains, every decade their seems to be some iconic political or entertainment figure who passes away, somehow creating endpoints for their times by their death. Jackson was a controversial figure in life, but even his greatest detractors accede that he was one of the greatest entertainers of our era. With Michael Jackson’s passing, it was the death of a decade. CONTINUE

20 Come Home to Me – The Famous

The Famous bring together a punk influence with traditional country, yielding music that seems to emerge only from California. I always imagine skateboarders who listen to country, not for the irony, but for the cool-factor. In the case of The Famous, though, their music is as much a product of the craft brewing scene as anything else. From brew pubs to brew fests–even a song in homage to their favorite beer–The Famous have found a well-heeled, selective audience for their music in the greater San Francisco Bay region. CONTINUE

19 Waiting All Night – Derek Hoke

Derek Hoke left rock and roll in the dust years ago, finding a new sound, which he dubbed “Quietbilly,” a gentle, sweet rockabilly, now twinged with some Southern blues. His previous album, Goodbye Rock and Roll, clearly cemented Hoke’s distinguishable sound, but his recent release, Waiting All Night, explores a wider variety of rhythm, while still being a Derek Hoke record. Producer and childhood friend, Dexter Green (of Sea Lab Sound), partnered with Hoke on the project, taking their time to call upon friends to play on songs between their own touring schedules. The list of guests reads like a Who’s Who of East Nashville and legendary sidemen, and reflects on Derek’s ability to make his peers feel at ease. CONTINUE

18 Bird In The Tangle – Brett Detar

When Brett Detar ended his band, The Juliana Theory, he was not sure he would ever play music again. Seeking a change, he became the customer service department and chief stain remover for his wife’s vintage clothing shop. Detar fully escaped music, trying to evade his self-doubt about his ability to write songs or be an artist at all. During these years, every scrap of paper of a lyric or theme crammed into a box, waiting for Detar to make them into music. CONTINUE

17 Slowburner – The District Attorneys

The District Attorneys live across north Georgia, ranging from Atlanta to Athens, managing to bridge the musical divide of these very different cities–one that is much wider than the lanes of I-85.  With two homemade EP’s (which you can download for free from the band) and their first full-length record on This Is American Music, The District Attorneys have already refined their sound, bringing bare bones indie-pop together with twangy Georgia roots, as if they are the new representatives of Southern jangle pop.  Slowburner solidly places this band in with the list of best debut albums in roots music this year.  (So, I am biased. I love this record.) CONTINUE

16 Gloryland – Kevin Gordon

Kevin Gordon’s album, Gloryland, explores the blues side of roots music, with lyrics that would make the Drive-By Truckers jealous.  Gordon grew up in Monroe, Louisiana, and although he has been away for decades, the reality of life there and the people he knew bring grit to rural life without glorification.  Glorylandis not about redemption or salvation, and definitely not about glossing over the seamy and sadistic side of life in the deep South. CONTINUE

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Patrick Sweany Solo 6.8.12 St. Louis, MO

Raw fan video from a solo show in St. Louis, MO, USA 6.8.12