Patrick Sweany
Photo by Michael Weintrob

Video Premiere: Bluesman Patrick Sweany Shows the 'Up and Down' of Touring

Being a rock star sounds awesome. Life on the open road, playing music all day, partying at night, no rules, and — most importantly — no routine. hear bluesman Patrick Sweany tell it, that's not exactly true. His new video "Up and Down" explores the drudgery of the road.

Sweany knows what he's talking about. His new album, Ancient Noise (which came out in May), is his eighth album. A frequent collaborator with fellow blues guitar player Dan Auerbach, this time around Sweany got to work with some of his heroes. The album was produced by Matt Ross-Spang, who produced Margo Price's Midwest Farmer's Daughter and engineered Jason Isbell's Something More Than Free. Ross-Spang enlisted Al Green's keyboard player Charles Hodges and the magic of Memphis's Sam Phillips Recording. Indeed, Ross-Spang is on a roll.

In "Up and Down," we see Sweany prepping for a show. Sometimes he's doodling on his guitar, others he's winding cables for his impressive pedal-board, but he's also folding t-shirts and packing vinyl with a frustration that implies he's completely over this. As the video unfurls, we realize that these shots are out of sequence, suggesting the seemingly endless and cyclical nature of a traveling musician's life. In the song, Sweany channels his hero Howlin' Wolf, who played music until he died. It's clear Sweany plans to follow in his heroes' footsteps.

"One way or another," Sweany writes, "everything I've ever had came from climbing up on the bandstand and giving it everything I've got. After doing this for a long time, I feel I can actually do things on that bandstand now that I've been trying to do my whole life. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have written 'Up and Down.' My voice and point of view had to toughen up a good bit. The song's narrative is really like when a couple renews their vows. They've seen some years, maybe some hard times, or maybe a lot of both, but they let the world know: 'The fire is still burning and it's hotter than it ever was before. We are together forever, whatever it takes.' To me, music is the same, we are in this together, music and I, making it happen. No matter what."

Ancient Noise Track Listing

1. "Old Time Ways"
2. "Up And Down"
3. "Country Loving"
4. "No Way No How"
5. "Outcast Blues"
6. "Steady"
7. "Get Along"
8. "Baby Every Night"
9. "Play Around"
10. "Cry Of Amédé"
11. "Victory Lap"

Patrick Sweany Tour Dates

Sept 6 - Ophelia's, Denver, CO
Sept 7 - Magic Rat, Fort Collins, CO
Sept 8 - Garage On Beck, Salt Lake City, UT
Sept 11 - Filling Station, Bozeman, MT
Sept 13 - Tractor Tavern, Seattle, WA
Sept 14 - Mississippi Studios, Portland, OR
Sept 15 - Volcanic Theatre Pub, Bend, OR
Sept 16 - Hi Fi Music Hall, Eugene, OR
Sept 19 - Brick + Mortar Music Hall, San Francisco, CA
Sept 20 - Redwood Cafe, Cotati, CA
Sept 21 - Bootleg Theater, Los Angeles, CA
Sept 22 - The Merrow, San Diego, CA
Sept 23 - Rhythm Room, Phoenix, AZ
Oct 12 - Ambrose West, Asheville, NC
Oct 13 - Walhalla Civic Auditorium, Walhalla, SC
Oct 14 - New Brookland Tavern, Columbia, SC
Oct 16 - Hill Country Live, Washington, DC 
Oct 18 - The Soundry, Columbia, MD
Oct 19 - Hill Country Live, New York, NY 
Oct 20 - Ortlieb's, Philadelphia, PA
Nov 2 - Neighborhood Theatre, Charlotte, NC
Nov 3 - Smith's Olde Bar, Atlanta, GA
Nov 4 - Gasa Gasa, New Orleans, LA

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