Kent musician to give free concert

Allison Bugg

The best ideas for a successful Valentine’s date aren’t the most expensive.

In fact, trade in the fancy dinner for two because Patrick Sweany is making a special appearance with his band tonight at The Lime Spider in Akron, and it’s absolutely free.

The 29-year-old singer and guitarist from Massillon keeps himself plenty busy. He spends most days checking e-mails, making phone calls and running errands.

“I try to make time for practice too, but I’m usually only home a few days a week,” Sweany said.

He said he plays out on the road anywhere between 200 and 250 nights a year.

“I’ll leave on a Thursday and be back Monday or Tuesday,” Sweany said.

He plays about half of his shows with the band and the other half solo.

The Patrick Sweany Band includes Kent native Jon Finley on baritone guitar, Clint “The Dover Tornado” Alguire on drums and Sweany on vocals and guitar.

Many early country, soul and blues musicians, especially post-World War II guitarists such as Muddy Waters, influence the band.

“The music we play consists of mostly blues and roots-oriented music,” Sweany said. “I fell in love with soul music as a young kid, and one of my all-time heroes is Ray Charles.”

Growing up, there was always music around the house, he said.

“My dad was a bass player, so when I was 12 or 13 years old I knew I wanted to play guitar,” Sweany said.

Having graduated from Kent State in 1997 with an English degree, he’s been playing for a living for almost 10 years.

He released his debut album, I Wanna Tell You, in 1999, which was recorded at Suma Studios in Painesville.

Sweany works independently and remains unsigned by any record label.

“It has its ups and downs,” he said. “Of course it’s always been a dream of mine to have a label and booking agent because they have the money to support you, but things get better for me every year.”

Sweany released his latest album, Henryfordbedroom, which was recorded at Under the Tree Studios in Cleveland in spring of 2002.

He recently finished a tour of the South and plans to tour again starting in May or June. He said he’s also planning a trip to Europe for the near future.

He plays weekly shows every Tuesday night at the Zephyr Pub, which is his longest-running gig, going on five years.

For a complete list of show dates, visit

Contact local music reporter Allison Bugg at [email protected].