Patrick Sweany with Buffalo Killers and Relaxer at Akron’s Musica 12/13/14

PS8On Saturday I settled down on a town known for its mostly retired tire industry to catch Patrick Sweany play his band’s last show of the year near his hometown of Massillon, in what proved to be one of the most raucous rock shows of 2014. Rock show being blanket words for the varied styles of American music that Patrick heaves out of his amps, like colors of paint for his musical palette as he likes to say.
Sweany’s an old school entertainer who’s learned how to command attention from the notorious college crowds during his residency at the nearby Zephyr Pub in Kent, Ohio. He’s studied guitar techniques of America’s legendary bluesmen from watching those Alan Lomax VHS tapes, and still he has a voice that feels right at home with rootsy-folk songs thanks to bluegrass upbringings and god-given pipes. He appreciates a good swing beat too, something that separates him from his modern backbeat blues brethren.Together these things make up the arsenal of colors that engage a crowd in more ways than any other performer I’ve seen in recent years. At one moment during “Working For You,” the band had to pause ’til the crowd simmered down their thunderous applause and hollering as they were approaching the volume of the club’s PA. Patrick mouthed the words “Best Set Ever” to guitarist Zach Setchfield.Sweany brought with him a stack of newly pressed issues of his first release, Henryfordbedroomand his band of Nashville’s finest backed old fan-faves like “Frannie’s Blues” for Patrick’s original audience of rowdy rust-belters.

Buffalo Killers were supporting. These bearded Ohioan bad asses harmonize drawly vox and guitar with their catchy stoner-rock. Albums like Ohio Grass and Let It Ride have become local gold around the Akron and Cincinnati areas. Hope to see these guys set a date for St. Louis SOON.

Akron locals Relaxer were also supporting, and anything but relaxed. The band features members that performed in bands like Drummer and White Pines. Jamie Stillman is one of the sickest live guitarists on the planet.

Patrick Sweany is currently writing material for a new album and planning tour dates for 2015. An interview with Patrick’ll be up later this month next year.

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