Bits: Patrick Sweany, Infantree, Shivering Timbers, Bill Withers, Empires

  • Patrick Sweany was featured on Cleveland public radio program Around Noon this past Thursday. A lovely interview with a couple of wonderful live songs. Listen here.
  • Infantree will be re-releasing their album Would Work in a re-mastered version at the end of April.
  • Akron’s Shivering Timbers are venturing out beyond Ohio and will be playing Nashville, Tennessee – February 25 at the Basement and February 27 at the 5 Spot. Their album, We All Started in the Same Place, is now available on iTunes.
  • Still Bill, a documentary about the amazing Bill Withers is now airing on Showtime.

And, from Jennifer:

  • Empires, scrappy little band of my heart, has a shot at being the first unsigned band to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. They are from Chicago, and when I last discussed them on NTSIB , I described them as a “punch drunk love affair” and that description is still true. Their sound is big and raw and sexy and, basically, rock and roll at its finest.

    Please, NTSIBbers, go and vote for them here at Rolling Stone, and then … Continue reading

Craig Wedren: Are We

Craig Wedren has long been a favorite of mine, both solo and in his game-changer band Shudder to Think, for always pushing his songwriting in new directions, and now he’s taking the same adventurous spirit into video. Wedren will be releasing a new album that will also have a companion interactive film, both titled Wand, in May. You can check out the 360-degree interactive video for the first single, “Are We”, at the link below.

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Rainy Day Saints/Frosting/The Godfathers at the Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH, 2.13.11

Rainy Day Saints

When I had previously seen Rainy Day Saints, their sound mix was muddy, making it difficult to gauge anything but a beat. Sad to say, this night was more of the same. Even sitting at the bar situated at the back of the Grog Shop, the sound seemed to be mixed for some point 20 feet behind the back wall. They might be a great band, but if they don’t gauge their sound mix down a little, it’s going to be hard to tell.


“This song’s on capo 1, everybody.”

Chicago band Frosting have a full complement of women and bald dudes and a good sense of humor. The group, led by a singer/guitarist who is not bald or a woman but does sort of look like a mashup of Doug Fieger and Mark Arm, powered through an upbeat set of guitar pop. A post-song comment from the singer gives a good idea of … Continue reading

Benjamin Riley Band/Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine/Patrick Sweany at Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO, 2.10.11

To continue Patrick Sweany Month here at NTSIB, we are pleased to have a guest review of Patrick’s recent CD release show in St. Louis by our friend Nate Burrell, along with some wonderful photos by Nate and another talented photographer, Kate McDaniel.

On a cold and icy Thursday evening in south city St. Louis, music fans braved the elements to go out and see an absolutely stellar 3-band bill at Off Broadway – our city’s premier music venue. With the stage lights beaming down, headliner, Nashville-based rhythm and soul rock-n-roller, Patrick Sweany grabbed his pale green guitar, stepped to the mic and shouted out “All right, St. Louis, how ya doin’?” and immediately started into a hot set that melted the stage and unthawed the ears of anyone unfamiliar with his signature sound. Backed by an extremely tight bassist and a drummer with metronome like precision, Sweany burned through a few numbers from early in his catalogue before unleashing live versions of tracks from his recently released 5th album That Old Southern Drag. Showcasing his commanding guitar work and his beautifully raspy, soul-filled voice, Patrick stomped, shredded, and howled out tune after tune for 75+ minutes, leaving the crowd … Continue reading

Patrick Sweany: Coming Soon, Baby, to Your City

It’s Patrick Sweany month here at NTSIB (check out the interview we did with Patrick if you missed it). Patrick kicks off a series of CD release shows for his latest, That Old Southern Drag, starting tonight in St. Louis at Off Broadway (check his website for more dates – more dates coming). To see why you should not miss the opportunity to see Patrick live if he’s coming to your town, check out the videos below.

Here’s Patrick playing the hell out of “Hotel Women” – and blessing a sneezer in the audience without missing a beat – from his album Every Hour is a Dollar Gone at Merlefest 2009.

Watch this video on YouTube

From the same album, “After Awhile”, filmed at the Old Rock House in St. Louis in December, 2010.

Watch this video on YouTube

And for the players, here’s a video of Patrick leading a workshop at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp, teaching Papa Charlie Jackson’s “Shake That Thing”.


Patrick Sweany Official Website

Patrick Sweany @ Bandcamp

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Grandfather: Down to the Dirt This Time

The line of separation between “That sounds interesting” and “I must listen to that again RIGHT NOW” can be a wide one. But after my first listen through Grandfather’s debut album Why I’d Try, that line was so thin it was practically invisible. I found myself hitting the “play” button again before my brain had even had the chance to fully grasp the music, to file it under a tidy banner, as brains are wont to do. The heavy, compelling rhythms, guitar that sounds a range from attack-dog machine-gun barking to high jangly space ambience and almost delicate melodies bore quickly and directly into some sub stratum in my brain, making my understanding of the music a bottom-up process instead of the usual top-down (“We’re a [genre] band”, “RIYL: [other bands that may or may not sound like this band]”) method. It was not unlike my initial experience with a band that went on to become one of my favorites: Shudder to Think, with their changed-the-game-for-me album Pony Express Record (a band Grandfather has been compared to based on their favoring of off-kilter time signatures and … Continue reading

Over the Rhine: We Try to be Tender with All of Our Might

A confession: this is the first time I’ve really listened to new Over the Rhine material in over a decade. When I first heard OtR, they were a four-piece (with Ric Hordinski on guitar and Brian Kelley on drums), Linford Detweiler had long hair, Karin Berquist was shy and Karin and Linford were not yet married. My ex and I were going to a show to see the Choir, and as we stood in line outside the club before doors opened, we fell into conversation with others in line that went something like:

Us: Who are Over the Rhine?
Several other people in line: Who are the Choir?

And by the end of the show, I was also asking “Who are the Choir?” having fallen in love with the charming four-piece from Cincinnati who opened for the Choir. Over the next few years, OtR’s music became integral to my marriage as we travelled to several shows, adopted “Paul and Virginia” as one of “our songs” and became friendly enough with Karin and Linford that, … Continue reading

Rock ‘n’ Roll Photog: Video Grab Bag

This week, Jennifer shares some music she’s excited about right now, along with visual accompaniment.

Watch this video on YouTube

Here (In Your Arms), Hellogoodby, from evilp8intpro922

Hellogoodbye put out their first record, Zombies! Aliens! Vampires! Dinosaurs! in 2006; I stumbled over it in 2008 and promptly bought it because of the seriously irresistible title. The track in the video above is one of my favorites, and indicative of their then sweet synth-poppy sound. After some wrangling with their now ex-label, they have put out a new record, entitled Would It Kill You? (less synth-y, but still poppy; also still delicious) and are hitting the road with, among other people, Gold Motel. That link back there leads to a free-for-Tweet-or-Facebook-Like tour sampler, which I highlight and heartily encourage you to check out because it includes a Gold Motel cover of Here (In Your Arms) which I cannot stop listening to, and much more besides.

Watch this video on YouTube

The Black Apples – Where the Wild Things Go (Live at The Echo, Los Angeles, 2010-11-08) by … Continue reading

Bits: Juniper Tar, Mike Watt, Sebadoh, Fugazi, The Black Keys, Sonic Youth, Jon Walker, Michael Runion

  • The good guys in Juniper Tar will be taking part in the Pablove Benefit Concert at Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this Saturday, January 29, 2011. The show, “a special evening to improve the lives of children with cancer”, kicks off at 5:30 PM and also includes Cory Chisel, Fitz & the Tantrums, an acoustic set from Brian Aubert and Nikki Monninger of Silversun Pickups and more.
  • Stereogum has a free download of “Arrow-Pierced-Egg-Man” from Mike Watt’s latest, an opera called Hyphenated-Man.
  • Sebadoh’s Bakesale is being reissued with bonus material on April 4, 2011. In support of this, Sebadoh will be touring the United States beginning in February (including a stop at the Grog Shop in Cleveland on April 2 – coincidentally, just days after J Mascis brings his acoustic tour through the Grog ).
  • The Fugazi documentary Instrument will be screening at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, on February 27, 2011. Director Jem Cohen and members of Fugazi will be on hand for the screening.
  • If you missed it, the Austin City Limits Sonic Youth/Black Keys split episode can now be viewed … Continue reading

Deep Blues Festival Returns! To Cleveland!

From Deep Blues Festival organizer Chris Johnson:

“You heard the rumors and the rumors are true! After a one year hiatus, Deep Blues Festival rides again. This time around, Deep Blues Festival is a totally artist driven one day event in Cleveland, Ohio at the infamous Beachland Ballroom on July 16 2011!

So what is Deep Blues Festival? It is the biggest outsider blues festival in the country. If you like your blues music to involve creativity, originality and proof that this is still an immensely vibrant musical form…then this is the festival for you.

Sat July 16 2011 5pm-1:30am
15711 Waterloo Road – Cleveland, OH
12 BANDS – $20.00!!”

Past Deep Blues Festival performers have included straight-up blues artists like T-Model Ford and CeDell Davis on through to blues-influenced acts like Scott H. Biram, Patrick Sweany, Black Diamond Heavies, Radio Moscow and Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, to name just a few. So, you’d be well-advised to block out your calendar for this one and keep your eye on the Deep Blues Festival Facebook page.

Check out T-Model Ford laying it down at the 2009 festival.

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