Features
Reviews
Must Hear Music
Reviews Archives
Archives
Bargain Basement
Downloads
Music DVD
Upstart
Pipsqueaks
 
 
 
Features
Reviews
Archives
Send Us Mail
Contact Us
 
 

Patrick Sweany
That Old Southern Drag
Nine Mile Records
www.patricksweany.com


Patrick Sweany is one tough mofo. His latest record, That Old Southern Drag, is a hard-nosed and robust paean to Ray Charles, Lightnin' Hopkins, and Eddie Hinton. That type of company is as brazen as it comes. And much like his blues heroes, Sweany's swagger on this album adds up to a gritty and unheralded wrecking-ball.

Minted with a modern patina, the record is also a fitting cellmate to the blues and soul revival of The Black Keys. That would make sense, after all; given that Dan Auerbach is a longtime collaborator/producer of Sweany's. Although Auerbach lets loose the production reins this go-round, the groovy deluge remains. The opening track, "Sleeping Bag", is a furious launching-pad for the album. Carried by driving guitars, lush vocals, and a torrid delivery, the song is a strident teaser for the rest of the album. But each track holds its own with perfect resilience. "Corner Closer" ups the ante, "Oh! Temptation" and "Same Thing" follow any great 12-bar blues song formula, and "Rising Tide" bleeds like an open wound. But the middle of the album is the real solstice. "Leave Ohio" and "Heavy Problems" (the standout tracks) are at once vulnerable, while at the same time full of funny candor and desolation. Tucked in between, "The Edges" is draped in the foggy ripple of the saxophone - which gives the album a timely, swinging vigor. Credence Clearwater Revival used this same wily playbook as a paragon for success - and it seems to have worked out well for them.

Sweany's virtuosity throughout is also a blessed thing. Without it, much of the album would be a dwarfed in a deep Blues free-for-all. But thanks to his willingness to change speeds and hit the gas when momentum is waning, Sweany's gifted adoration for straightforward Rock-&-Roll never cheapens. Even on "More And More", where the tempo and theme get mawkish, it's hard to argue with the intrinsic mania in Sweany's deep wail.

Overall, Southern Drag is a high-octane nugget. It's all the things that an acute listener wants in a memorable album - strong hooks, slight sophistication, and mad skills. It also leaves the listener itching for another potent fix. After all these years of working the scene, maybe it's time for Sweany to garner the mainstream success that narrowly eluded so many of his idols. But then again, maybe playing the underdog isn't such a bad thing - especially when it births a beast this hellishly good.

-K.K. Coe

Check out more reviews

Talk Back
e-mail the chief

Like this article?
e-mail it to a friend!

 


Mike Doughty



none now
-------


South By Southwest 2014
David DeVoe

South By Southwest 2013
David DeVoe

Red Hook Music Festival
George Dow

SXSW 2012
David DeVoe

Our Favorite Records 2011
Hybrid Staff

AWOLNation
Rachel Fredrickson

Kanrocksas
Rachel Fredrickson

Warped Tour 2011
Rachel Fredrickson

Eddie Spaghetti
Melissa Skrbic-Huss

Murder By Death
Mike DeLeo


Mike Doughty
Boulder, CO

Epilogues
Denver, CO

Imagine Dragons
Denver, CO

Sebadoh
Cambridge, MA

Young Magic
Denver, CO

Warped Tour 2012
Denver, CO

Thrice
Denver, CO

Mike Doughty
Denver, CO

MuteMath
Kansas City, MO

Other Lives
Lawrence, KS

Los Campesinos
Boston, MA

The Civil Wars
Lawrence, KS

Ha Ha Tonka
Lawrence, KS

Thrice
Lawrence, KS


 
hybridmagazine.com is updated daily except when it isn't.
New film reviews are posted every week like faulty clockwork.
Wanna write for hybrid? Send us an e-mail.
© 1996-2009 [noun] digital media. All rights reserved worldwide. All content on hybridmagazine.com and levelheadedmusic.com is the intellectual property of Hybrid Magazine and its respective creators. No part of hybridmagazine.com or levelheadedmusic.com may be reproduced in any format without expressed written permission. For complete masthead and physical mailing address, Click Here.