Last night: Patrick Sweany | Rock Candy

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Last night: Patrick Sweany

Posted By on Wed, Feb 6, 2008 at 2:20 PM

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Patrick Sweany. Put the name to memory, and next time he comes through, dial up the TiVo, find a babysitter, cast aside prior commitments and go see him. The man puts on a damn fine show.

Contemporary blues is ruined every day by slick, overplaying jackasses. Just last weekend at Hendrix, the band backing James Blood Ulmer, a massively talented and legendary guitarist, could've just as easily been one of those chump bands on Beale Street that drive the foreign tourists crazy. "It was like they were getting paid by the note," a friend said. Drum stick tricks. Speed guitar licks. Too much showy shit. There's almost nothing more tedious.

By contrast, Sweany brought only a second guitarist and a drummer with a really stripped down kit. Their sound wasn't spare, but they knew when to sit back and get out the way, and the drummer kicked out a furious beat. Sweany was a whiz on guitar. He soloed quite a bit, but it never felt like wankery. Often the band would dip into long instrumental grooves that almost recalled Junior Kimbrough's hypnotism (or maybe the beer was clouding). And Sweany had a voice not often heard in White Water, and he wasn't scared to use it (or maybe that was the cocaine or pixie sticks or whatever stimulant rockers are up on these days).

I only caught his first, long set. My wife made me leave at 1:15 (probably for the best). Anyone stick around?

Sweany ain't like to reach White Stripes heights, but look out for him to become a formidable indie presence. Guess the Black Keys might be a good model.

Earlier on Sweany.

Also: I can't endorse enough this detox tea enough.

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