On a given night (or on a given album) heâll swing through blues, folk, soul, bluegrass, maybe some classic 50s rock, or a punk speedball. Heâs a musical omnivore, devouring every popular music sound of the last 70 years, and mixing âem all together seamlessly into his own stew. Yet, the one thing that most people notice about Patrick isnât his ability to copy â itâs his authenticity. Like his heroes, folks like Bobby âBlueâ Bland, Eddie Hinton, Doug Sahm, Joe Tex, Patrick somehow manages to blend all of these influences into something all his own.
Itâs no wonder that as a kid he immersed himself in his dadâs extensive record collection: 60s folk, vintage country, soul, and, of course, blues. Patrick spent hours teaching himself to fingerpick along to Leadbelly, Lightninâ Hopkins, and other folk-blues giants.
In his late teens, Patrick began playing the clubs and coffeehouses around Kent, OH. He quickly gained a reputation for the intricate country blues style he was developing: part Piedmont picking, part Delta slide â with an equally impressive deep, smooth vocal style.
Now, twenty years, six critically acclaimed records and one massively viral song (âThem Shoesâ) later, Patrick Sweany has expanded his touring radius to 49 states, Canada, and Europe, both headlining and supporting acts such as The Black Keys, Tedeschi Trucks, The Wood Brothers, Hot Tuna, and others on tour.
Latest record, Ancient Noise (a title lifted from fellow NE Ohio musicians Devo), was recorded to tape at legendary Phillips Recording in Memphis with GRAMMY-winning producer/engineer Matt Ross-Spang at the helm. It features the incredible backing talents of Ken Coomer on drums (ex-WILCO), Ted Pecchio on bass (Susan Tedeschi, Col. Bruce Hampton), and Charles Hodges from Al Greenâs Hi Rhythm Section on keyboards.
An Evening with The Afghan Whigs - Presented by Opus One & 91.3 WYEP
Tiny Dinosaur makes fantasy folk music. Their songs tell stories of witches, love lost and found, and the butter goblin that rearranges your record collection and lives in your fridge. The band loves vocal harmonies, telling stories, and making music for people (and dogs.)
In February of 2020, the band began recording their debut album "Songs for the Mass Extinction Event." Now, they continue to play around New Orleans as they prepare to release and tour their new album in 2022.
The Commonheart with Special Guests Jack Swing and Limousine Beach - Presented by Opus One & PromoWest North Shore
âThis band is therapy for me to bring myself back to being a better person, and I hope people come along with me,â says powerhouse singer Clinton Clegg of The Commonheart. The testimonial begins on August 16th when the 9-piece band issues its most potent and purposeful dose of grittily redemptive rock nâ soul, its sophomore album, Pressure (Jullian Records).
Clinton didnât grow up in a Baptist church, and his soul machine of a band isnât pushing religion. Live and in the studio, the Pittsburgh-based collective is offering feel-good positivity, Golden Rule messaging, and sweat-soaked performances that nimbly ease through blues, vintage soul, and rock.
The nonet is bonded by familial-like ties and a desire to foster spiritual uplift. Among its ranks are female backup singers, drums, bass, guitar, a horn section, and keyboards. Out front is Clinton, a lightning bolt charismatic front man with dynamically expressive pipes that effortlessly traverse bluesy pleading, and honeyed balladeering.
The Commonheartâs latest album, Pressure, is both rugged and refined. The 10-song album showcases raw-nerve soul musicianship pristinely recorded. It's an album by a band on a mission. âWe are willing to take risks and to go at any lengths for this band,â Clinton says affirmatively. âWe are ready to spread positivity and make a stretch of this thing.â
Pittsburgh's Very Own FT. Caleb Kopta, Dopamine, Sinia, and Kenny Potter - Presented by Opus One Productions
âFew groups have come as far in such a short period of time as The Steel Wheelsâ¦â â NPRâs Mountain Stage
Virginia-based acoustic roots music collective The Steel Wheels have announced the July 12th release of their 7th full-length album, Over The Trees. Recorded in Maine with producer Sam Kassirer, Over The Trees draws attention to the impeccable harmonies of the four original members: Trent Wagler (guitar/banjo), Eric Brubaker (fiddle), Brian Dickel (bass), and Jay Lapp (guitars/mandolin). Kevin Garcia, who plays multiple percussion instruments, keyboard, and mallet-based instruments, formally joined the band after the 2017 release of Wild as We Came Here, which Kassirer also produced. In addition to familiar-to-fans harmonies, The Steel Wheels ventured a little farther out of their known comfort zone for Over The Trees. âThis is a bit of an experimental record at times, with new sounds and influences,â Wagler says. âWe know where we come from. We are a string band from Virginia, but we are evolving with this album, and we are embracing the future.â
Over The Trees opens with the percussion-heavy groove of âRains Come,â a rehashing of the classic tale of Noah and his ark in relation to todayâs contingency of climate change deniers. âIf there are real dangers ahead in our planetâs hope for survival, why isnât it all any of us are talking about?â asks Wagler, the songâs primary writer. âItâs overwhelming, thatâs why. I donât like admitting that I get stuck right there, but this song offers some of those questions.â A little deeper into the record, the swampy chant of âSomething Newâ ushers in a recurring theme on Over The Trees; mantra and meditation. âGet To Workâ is another tune that falls under the theme. Wagler muses, âI know that âGet To Workâ is self-talk for when Iâm feeling down, when Iâm feeling overwhelmed, or when Iâm feeling like, âUgh, what do we do this for?ââ Certainly though, not all the songs on Over The Trees fall so neatly under that umbrella. âTime To Rest,â co-written by Wagler and southern songstress Sarah Siskind, reflects on the weight of letting down friends or loved ones in a lilting feel that Wagler calls âan implied Levon Helm swing.â The album closes with âThis Year,â a wistful a cappella ode to keeping an optimistic spirit, even down to showing gratitude for the cat who is waiting for you when you finally get home.
On the whole, Over The Trees is a collection of songs about surviving tragedy. âAt times our human response is muted and resigned, at other times triumphant and steadfast,â notes The Steel Wheelsâ fiddle master Eric Brubaker, whoâs outlook on the album changed significantly when he lost his 10 year old daughter to a sudden illness earlier this year. "Over the Trees is an ode to the community that rises up to support those in need, and is dedicated to the memory of Norah Brubaker."
The release of Over The Trees coincides with the bandâs Red Wing Roots Music Festival, which they have hosted and curated for seven years. âLucky number seven, can you believe it?â said Wagler. âThe changes of seasons in Virginia are always something to behold. The colors of fall, the cool, quiet, darkness of winter, and the new growth of spring bringing us to our full bloom in the heat of summer. Summertime brings vacation for many, perhaps a slower pace, but in our modern age, it also comes with so many great choices for recreation and fun. We are charmed and delighted that somewhere along the way, among all the different choices, so many of you have joined our Red Wing family.â The community of Red Wing and the greater community of Steel Wheels fans have been the driving factor of what sets the band apart from their contemporaries and peers in a densely populated digital age. The love and kindness that breathes life into The Steel Wheelsâ music flows freely from the stage, into the audience, and is taken from there into the world as a medicine; a much-needed pick-me-up for todayâs trying times.
(Rescheduled from Feb 15, 2022) - SUSTO Presented by 91.3FM WYEP with Special Guest Johnny Delaware
Mess Esque is the musical vision of Dirty Three guitarist Mick Turner & Mckisko composer Helen Franzmann. Since forming via a lockdown-confined correspondence in 2020, they have recorded & released two records: Dream #12 (Bedroom Suck) & Mess Esque (Drag City/ Milk!).
Together they create a curious synthesis of dream pop, psych soul & ethereal indie rock. Effortlessly balancing bold emotional immediacy with a quietly assured sense of composure, Mess Esque draw the listener into their compelling world of sideways shadows & nocturnal projections. Franzmann's dream diary reflections & cyclical refrains echo Turner's tapestry of guitar, organs, flutes & scattered percussion. Melodies arch upwards dramatically before dissolving into diaphanous substratums of whispers & sighs. Songs unfold in their own time, drifting outwards before circling back to find themselves where they left off, each time the same but somehow different.
Their self titled album âMess Esque â on Drag City Records has been described as
A DREAMY VISCERAL MASTERPIECE
Mess Esque' the album is an ethereal, gentle delight: yearning brittle and delicate vocals that glide over subtle but barely restrained instrumentation that adds a gold filigree to a barbed wire brush. It has the raw and visceral edge of Velvet Underground mixed with a dream pop blur. What a magical collaboration. (Backstreet Mafia)
The Mixus Brothers - 'Ride the Dark Trail' Album Release Show with Special Guests Dead End Streets and Elkhound