Southgate House Revival, 111 E 6th St, Newport, KY
7pm show, Buy Tickets
Nashville’s powerhouse vocalist/guitarist Patrick Sweany doesn’t hold back for a split-second on his latest studio album, Ancient Noise, recorded with all-star GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Matt Ross-Spang. Subsequent to producing Margo Price’s Midwest Farmer’s Daughter and engineering Jason Isbell’s Something More Than Free, Matt Ross-Spang pairs Al Green’s longtime keyboard player Charles Hodges with Sweany’s all-out groove machines of songs and dreamy balladry on Ancient Noise. Nine Mile Records releases Ancient Noise on Friday, May 11, 2018.
To say the walls of Sam Phillips Recording still sing, well Sweany certainly didn’t waste a moment’s time throwing down sweat and tears in the historic recording studio. Ancient Noise immerses Sweany’s gripping narratives in a brilliant bed of guitar work embellished by Hodges’ inimitable organ and piano playing, all backed by the tight rhythm section of drummer Ken Coomer and bassist Ted Pecchio. Traversing in new sonic directions from Sweany’s previous albums with producer Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) and Joe V. McMahan, Ross-Spang captures the soul of a man not afraid to wear life’s pains and pleasures on his sleeve. Ancient Noise reflects hard-learned life lessons and how they encourage better livin’ in the present day.
“Sam Phillips Recording is the best place on earth to record a rock ‘n’ roll album,” says Patrick Sweany. “I live for going into the sessions with no pre-production rehearsals with the band, we just cut the album on the floor. When we met on the first day of recording, Charles Hodges led us through a prayer before we had even played a single note together. I’m not particularly religious, but I have to say that was quite the experience and really set the tone of the album. The music is refined, emotional, and I was taken out of my comfort zone many times, which can only result in the magic you’re looking for when the tape is rolling.”
Ancient Noise’s collection of 11 new original Sweany compositions kicks off with the explosive “Old Time Ways,” a song about adapting to the times. “Old Time Ways” sets the pace of Ancient Noise with Sweany’s rough-hewn vocals and slide guitar taking center stage with no apologies. The unhinged nature of Howlin’ Wolf informs the vocal delivery on “Up And Down,” an ode to the road as a touring artist. Sweany’s greatest heroes traveled playing music until they died, and “Up And Down” captures he is of the same ilk carrying that spirit.
Legendary keyboardist Charles Hodges beautifully enters Ancient Noise on the duet ballad, “Country Loving.” Featuring Hodges on grand piano, Sweany croons a love letter to his wife while delving deep into a by-gone era when loving relationships were cherished and not taken for granted. Now settled into an East Nashville home they can call their own, Sweany reminisces on what it takes to share a real life with your partner filled with admiration, compassion, and unbound love. Similarly, the connection one can have with vintage music moving you beyond words, Sweany calls out on “Country Loving,” the “songs of your dad’s and mom’s… if it’s got that feel, of a love that’s real. They used to call it country lovin’.”
During the writing stages of “No Way No How,” Sweany began to witness a serious lack of accountability taking shape in the pre-election American political climate. On social media, a difference of opinion can quickly turn to distasteful personal attacks with no immediate consequences since its easy to hide behind the velvet cloud of the internet and not face people in person. Sweany saw such interactions on his social feed and “No Way No How” pushes back against this trend.
Centered on overcoming obstacles, “Outcast Blues” reveals even if it’s challenging to do right by people you’ve wronged, it doesn’t make it any less worthwhile to try to correct the situation. On “Steady,” the tables are turned with Sweany off the road and home for Ancient Noise pre-production writing sessions while his wife departs for 2 months of work travel. Matt Ross-Spang produces an anthemic ballad flooded with raw narration of how genuine trust keeps intimacy alive.
Channeling heroes Dr. John and Allen Toussaint, “Get Along” and “Cry of Amédé” exude a relaxed, funky rhythmic feel. On “Get Along,” the groove crescendos into Sweany blasting with everything he’s got at the outro. Verses of gusto juxtaposed with laid back choruses, “Cry of Amédé” is an homage to Louisiana creole musician Amédé Ardoin and the passing down of songs over generations that teach you all you need to know to carry on the tradition.
“Baby Every Night” is the first song recorded in the studio session at Sam Phillips Recording. Its simplistic arrangement with a determined sentiment of a musician on tour living out his dream resolves with the fact you can’t always see your loved ones all the time. “Play Around” effortlessly swings like a Sam Cooke classic with Sweany laying down that it’s alright to be transparent and sensitive while not letting your pride get in the way of true love. “Victory Lap” is taking pleasure in small successes and enjoying the life you have. True to form in an all-out Bob Seeger rock ballad, Sweany closes Ancient Noise in the only way he knows how on “Victory Lap,” on a high note.
Ancient Noise embodies the passage of time and churning out soulful renditions of lessons learned while honoring what the future holds. Happiness is hard earned and Patrick Sweany is a fighter for love and truth.
For detailed information regarding Patrick Sweany’s forthcoming tour dates, please visit patricksweany.com