Acclaimed Nashville musician makes local debut at SteamPlant
Nashville rock and roll blues artist Patrick Sweany recounts his musical past and present something like this: “Blues nerd rock dude gets in a van, plays shows. Rinse. Repeat.”
A Massilon, Ohio, native, Sweany attended college at Kent State University. His early musical memories involve listening to his dad play music at home and in a folk group at church. “He would jam with his buddy after rehearsal, and that just fascinated me.”
Eventually his father showed him a few chords, some fingerpicking and how to add voice over all of it. This early start, added to a handful of lessons in junior high and college, laid the groundwork for where Sweany is today.
A self described “musical omnivore,” Sweany explained, “I like Bobby Gentry and I like Slayer. I love me some banging hip hop, and I love me some Lightnin’ Hopkins. If it’s real, I can dig it. You can’t beat the Bobby Blue Band, but sometimes you need some brutal death metal blasting to clean the kitchen.”
Some listeners have dubbed Sweany’s music as raw, intense blues. He thinks blues is too “loaded” a term – in that it means different things to different people – and instead prefers not to overthink how people characterize his sound. “I just call it rock and roll. White dude in the modern world puts blues and soul influences together and writes ‘original’ music? That sounds like rock and roll to me.”
Sweany recently recorded his seventh album in Memphis at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Studio. (He’s still shopping for a label.) While he says his most recent album is always his favorite, he cataloged this latest recording as “by far the best record I’ve ever made.”
Sweany’s inspiration for songwriting typically coincides with deadlines – a trait shared by the muses of many an artist. “I usually just shut down my life about six weeks before the studio is booked and listen to all the little riffs and melodies I’ve hummed or played into my phone’s voice notes. I pick out the ones that seem like something worthwhile, and develop those into songs. Then, I write lyrics to it. I need a deadline to make it happen. I guess it’s probably not the best method, but it works for me.”
Music in general tends to get Sweany “pretty worked up all the time,” but when it comes to songs that never fail to move him emotionally, “Bobby Charles singing ‘In a Good Place Now’ might be the best love song ever written. Slays me.”
His favorite place in the whole world? “On a beach with my wife; or wherever. I love that woman.”
Learn more Sweany and his music, or listen online at PatrickSweany.com.