I first had the chance to see Patrick Sweany live last fall in the Carolina’s and when I came back I wrote “ Patrick Sweany Saving Blues Rock ”. After a long music related vacation, Patrick stuck in my mind and I had to get down a few words about his original but yet so classic style of blues rock. This year I had a chance to catch Patrick and his band on home turf at the Iota in Arlington, VA and the 8x10 in Baltimore. It’s the start of Patrick’s most recent tour for the new album That Old Southern Drag and the first time he’s headlined both DC and Baltimore. Admittedly, the tri-state metro region can be a tough venue for blues rock and americana acts unless you’re a national name, but the Iota show on a Tuesday night of all nights started out with a hefty bang. Sweany has become some what of an internet/ satellite radio staple with his hits Them Shoes and After Awhile off the album Every Hour Is A Dollar Gone which was produced by Black Keys member Dan Auerbach, he even had an interview at Sirius XM before the Iota show which turned out to be well attended for an off weeknight show. The Iota set was lengthy and a charming mix of rock, acoustic, and Patrick’s personality. I could have sold tee-shirts like hotcakes that night that read “My friend got their socks rocked by Patrick Sweany on a Tuesday night and all I got was this stinkin tee-shirt”. I should also mention that this was the first time I had seen Sweany with his band. Definitely a bit of a different beast than seeing him solo, but none the less exciting and entertaining with the addition of a steady drum kit keeping time and a cool base line flowing in the background. Sweany mentioned something about being a hopeless romantic during some on stage banter and I got to thinking that’s exactly what sets him apart and also allows him to connect with audiences everywhere. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, but I think deep down we all want to believe and be hopeless romantics. Like a pied piper with a really bitchin cool guitar Patrick Sweany will show even the most wayward of emotionally cold soles the way back to love and things that make this world worth living in. The Baltimore show was more of the same great blues rock-ness, but a little more raucous and a little more impromptu. The 8x10 albeit small is a full featured venue with quality sound and lighting in the Federal Hill area of Baltimore. Sweany and the boys looked supernatural under those big lights and surrounded by the fog. They must have been feeling the spirit also and busted out some super duper covers of The Rolling Stones and Temptations. Your last chance to catch Sweany anywhere remotely local for a while will be the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, WV this weekend (7/30/11). So grab a loved one, pack you’re hiking bags and go get rocked.
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