Unique American celebration

Nashville singer-songwriter Patrick Sweany
Nashville singer-songwriter Patrick Sweany

PATRICK Sweany likes to keep his audience on its toes.

The artist from Nashville can play anything from swinging boogie woogie to slow-paced blues.

“I have a short attention span,” explains Sweany. “So I try to encompass a lot of different sounds in my shows.”

This diverse approach to the construction of his set lists is inspired by James Brown’s Live at the Apollo album.

“He financed the recording of that album with his own money and it’s a spectacular album – he’s doing all the frenetic dancy stuff and then he’ll tone it right down to a whisper and the audience listens the whole time.

“He knew how to vary dynamics and during his shows there was no room for walking out of the room.”

Sweany uses this approach in his shows. But while varied, there is a continuous thread that runs through his material: America.

“The music I play does reference American music, there’s a directness to it, which is a very American thing. It’s like ‘I’m doing this and this is what I am’ – we are a young country and this attitude is part of it.

“I do see myself as a sort of ambassador of American music.”

He does make his own mark as well however, he points out. “My music celebrates American music but it has my own unique spin on it – music shouldn’t just be a museum piece.”

Patrick Sweany plays at the Greystones on Sunday.