Close To The Floor

Patrick Sweany

Nine Mile Records, 2013

http://www.patricksweany.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 09/27/2013

Ohio blues-rock musician Patrick Sweany knows a thing or two about being near the floor. Having been playing and touring for well over 10 years now, the singer-songwriter has resided just below the radar for that entire time, playing his guitar focused Americana, Southern rock, and soulful blues while sleeping on floors all over the country. Undaunted by the lack of mainstream attention, Sweany has forged on while his peers become household names, and here he parlays the recent tragedy in his family life into a rugged yet delicate mix of blue collar feeling rock that touches on the many different sides of rock 'n' roll. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Sweany's voice is instantly contagious, his smoky pipes sounding sage like and full of eloquent wordplay. Even when he's softly singing, like on the restrained "Deep Water," it's always inviting. Other songs, like "The Island," show a tremendous amount of emotion, with Sweany sounding incredibly sincere. His vocal highlight is the rustic and melodic "Bus Station" where he shifts from a smooth delivery into an almost John Fogarty-like howl from a Motown angle.

What is most of note on this disc, though, is the extremely proficient guitar playing. He walks along several genres with the greatest of ease, from the opening gritty blues-rock "Working For You" to the twang on "Terrible Years" to the more forceful "Every Gun." "Just One Night" is the most upbeat it gets, a perfect country rock tune that sounds Southern influenced with plenty of Nashville spirit.

There's an authenticity in Sweany's music that is often absent in his peers’. His stories are nothing short of real life, finding him softly mulling over memories, some often painful, but also with a sense of optimism buried within.  Sweany has stories to tell and thankfully he's chosen music as his vehicle to bring these stories to life. You don't need to necessarily be a blues fan to appreciate Close To The Floor. Connoisseurs of indie rock, roots rock, or even classic rock will find much to love here.

Rating: B+

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© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Nine Mile Records, and is used for informational purposes only.