March 30, 2014 by Jay Minkin
Born in Massillon, Ohio where every newborn boy has a football with the high school colors placed in their bassinet, Patrick Sweany was instead drawn to an electric guitar and rock and roll. He went to Kent State University and played clubs; continuing to live in the area until leaving for Nashville in 2009. Like many others, there was only so much you could do singing the Rust Belt blues around Cleveland, Akron, Canton, and Youngstown. Nashville was calling and folks like David & Jessica Lea Mayfield, Dan Auerbach & Patrick Carney, Anne E DeChant, Jason White, Kate Tucker, and Tim Easton are just a few of the folks that were influenced musically from living in this part of the country before leaving for Music City. With his logo including the shape of the Buckeye state, Sweany continues to wear his Ohio pride on his sleeve and is one of our “favorite sons” traveling around the world as a professional musician, singer, and songwriter. Sweany went to the well as a young man getting a lesson in the blues from the fabled Robert Lockwood Jr. who was living in Cleveland. He became a student of the finger-style guitar players like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Mississippi John Hurt. Thankfully, his Father’s folk record collection included some Lp’s from blues masters Lightnin’ Hopkins and Lead Belly which became his first exposure to the genre. By eighteen, he was playing paid gigs and held a residency performing weekly at a college bar for over ten years with his own rock and roll band that was greatly influenced by the blues. But the move to Nashville helped Sweany refine his craft and take it to the next level. Not just tweaking his live performance, but with making the recording process more of an art form. Although his music has added a dash of soul and R&B, he still considers rock and roll to be the heart of it all.
Sweany has eight releases to his credit, but his professional career made strides in 2006 when not only did he get signed by Nine Mile Records, but his friend and former band mate Auerbach produced the first two releases for the label titled C’mon C’mere and Every Hour Is A Dollar Gone. His latest release Close To The Floor came out last July and continues to garner praises from critics, fans, and fellow musicians. Produced by Joe McMahan, the ten tracks were recorded to 2” tape at Wow and Flutter Studios in Nashville. Some excellent session players were brought in to assist including Jon Radford on drums, Ron Eoff on bass and Ryan Norris on keyboards. The record is composed of songs from a dark period in Sweany’s life when two close family members passed away suddenly and tragically along with someone whose life grinds through being constantly on the road. “Working For You” is a great hand clapping, drum thumping kick-off track about being on a shitty tour while the catchy “Bus Station” is a movie moment of focusing on the people outside the terminal as you drive by. That early sixty’s soul flows from song “Just One Night” along with ballads like “Slippin’” and the Dan Penn influenced “The Island”.
So before Patrick Sweany checks his passport at the gate traveling from Mid-April until Memorial Day through Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and The Netherlands, he’ll be getting a nice sendoff with shows in Pittsburgh, Columbus, and Akron. Give a listen, sample his album tracks and look for his tour to make its way to your town after his European trek at patricksweany.com. Patrick Sweany will be performing at Musica’ located in downtown Akron on Friday, April 11th.