There are few things more American than a cold beer, fireworks, and someone singing the blues. This year, Marietta Main Street pulled out all the stops for their 20th annual Red, White and Blues festival with a top-notch line-up, the Marietta Brewing Company on site, and gorgeous weather. (Ok, so maybe they can’t take credit for the weather — but they could not have asked for a better night.) The Lafayette lot filled up fast as folks settled in for a night of brews and blues, the sun slowly setting over the city. This year’s line up included Angela Perley and the Howlin’ Moons, the Noah Wotherspoon Band, and blues-rocker Patrick Sweany, with an intermission performance from The Burning Dawn.
Once the sun set and the smoke settled, Sweany took the stage with a boisterous “Happy Birthday, America!” Local die hards and newcomers alike flocked to the stage as the band broke into song. Singing along to every word, the audience happily kicked off their shoes and danced well into the night. Most of this crowd was quite familiar with Sweany and make a point to see him every time he stops by Marietta for a show. If you’ve never experienced him in action, you are missing out – Patrick and his band have been playing shows in Marietta since 2006, and are always fun to watch. This might have been a blues festival, but Sweany brought some good ol’ soul and rock n’ roll to the stage that night.
After the show, I stopped by to shake the hand of this legendary blues man and congratulate him on a successful night:
Patrick, it was such a pleasure to watch you perform! We are always thrilled when you visit us in Marietta. Did you enjoy the Red, White & Blues festival?
I had a great time. It was a fun show, and I saw a lot of old friends.
I know you recently returned from touring Europe, but this month your schedule included Marietta as well as your own hometown of Kent, Ohio. Are you happy to be back in the heart of it all?
Of course. Hometown shows are always the best.
When I spoke with you last summer, you had just released your latest album “Close to the Floor.” I have been listening ever since, and it seems like the rest of the country has been, too. Have you found this to be one of your best received records to date?
Well, the response has been good. “Every Hour” is still the best seller, but the newest stuff seems to really be resonating with the audience.
What does it feel like the first time you hear a new song of yours being played on a local radio station?
It’s a great feeling. I honestly don’t know how to describe it, but it’s nice. People you don’t know can hear you. It’s strange.
Have you found that your audiences have a favorite song to request from the new record?
Not particularly. Requests tend to be from the older material. I think that’s because people request the songs they listen to at home the most or heard initially when they made the decision to like it. The older albums have repetition on their side, I guess.
Will you be back in the studio anytime soon? Is there a new project in the works?
The winter is when albums happen generally. It’s hard to write on tour, and we’ve been pretty non-stop road-dawgs this year.
Will you stop back in Marietta the next time you are traveling through these parts? We would certainly love to have you!
Of course, and thank you!
Patrick’s video for “Every Night Every Day” was recently featured on Paste Magazine — Check it out!