Patrick Sweany is a workingman’s musician. He’s the kind of guy that puts in the time to do the best job possible and you can always rely him to show up. Except he isn’t a working stiff. Patrick Sweany’s job is rocking and he happens to be damn good at it. Even though Sweany’s most recent album, Daytime Turned To Nightime, came out in 2015, he’s a road dog and has kept up a constant tour schedule. On September 30th Sweany made a long overdue stop in Portland, Oregon when he cruised through town for a show at Bunk Bar.
Local outfit The Resolectrics kicked things off in fine form, delivering a set of laid back country rock that felt like a nice way to ease into the evening. The group’s sound brought to mind the cosmic country grooves of Natural Child while being reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Band, especially considering their multi-talented singing drummer. The trio laid into Sixties-style psychedelic flourishes, rambling along and occasionally jamming out. They even invited a harmonica player up to join them for a few numbers, adding a proper touch of the blues to get the crowd ready for the night’s main attraction.
Sweany and his talented band of young guns wasted no time getting down to business, kicking things off with a swelling “Every Night Every Day” that found the rocker unleashing both a blistering blues solo and a piercing howl. The instrumental prowess would continue with a version of “Nothing Happened At All” that featured a forceful battle of slide guitar skills from Sweany and his axman. Fans were delighted to be treated to new material, which Sweany explained was recorded in Memphis. Indeed, the new song “Get Along” carried a distinctive Memphis soul sound with its heavy bass groove and Sweany’s smooth crooning. Another new one, “Time Ways”, was a gutbucket blues tune with swaggering slide guitar. One of the finest moments also happened to be one of the roughest, with Sweany interrupting the mournful tune “It’s a Long Way Down” to call out an obnoxious audience member (more on that later) only to jump right into a slide guitar-heavy take on “The Twist.” Speaking of covers, Sweany’s take on the Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting For My Man” was loping and greasy, done just right like a properly cooked chicken fried steak.
Throughout his set Sweany proved to be effortlessly cool, a tried and true blues rocker hellbent on getting the job done. Even when he ejected a rude asshole out of the show, Sweany never lost a beat and kept right on rocking. His set was both explosive and nuanced, mixing the right amount of bluesman bravado with a proper display of his skills as a songwriter. There is no denying that Patrick Sweany is a criminally underrated musician, but in Portland he reminded his fans why they should be grateful for his workingman’s approach to rock and roll.