Joey Sweeney

Joey Sweeney

Joey has been writing songs and non-fiction since he was a teenager in the 1980s. Over the years, he has fronted the groups The Barnabys and The Trouble With Sweeney, as well as recording and performing as a solo artist. Meanwhile, he’s also written for a wide array of publications, including Salon.com, Philadelphia Weekly, the Philadelphia Inquirer and his daily perch, Philebrity.com, a cityblog he established in 2004. His songs and records have received widespread critical acclaim over the years; of his last record with The Trouble With Sweeney, Fishtown Briefcase, Pitchfork said “[Sweeney] mixes autobiography and fiction against the group’s 70s-inflected indie pop, resourceful— and unabashed— enough to digress into an E Street interlude or an AM-rock guitar coda.” He’s also garnered curse and praise as a writer of prose, having won the AAN Award for Music Criticism and appeared in Best Music Writing 2002. From 2004 through 2010, Sweeney mostly shied from performing and recording, focusing instead on his role as Publisher & Editor of the website Philebrity.com. In 2011, however, Sweeney stepped back into his old role of singer-songwriter, this time fronting the rock band Arctic Splash. Joey Sweeney Your Life Is Calling compiles the best of everything before the Splash.

In early 2013, Sweeney went on to record Long Hair, with Grammy award-winning producer Aaron ‘Luis’ Levinson, Lushlife aka Raj Haldar, and others. Long Hair is slated to be released by the eclectic La Société Expéditionnaire imprint (home and spawning pool of Lewis & Clarke, Judson Claiborne, Strand of Oaks, Arc In Round).

Judson Claiborne

Judson Claiborne is an American rock band formed in 2007 by Christopher Salveter (singer-songwriter) and Ryan Boyles (multi-instrumentalist). The two met in Chicago as their previous bands called it quits (Low Skies and High Hawk, respectively). Stuart Berman’s Pitchfork review of Low Skies’ final record pinpoints the foundational sounds of what would become Judson Claiborne; “the sunstroked stumble of Crazy Horse (c.f. “Cortez the Killer") and the Dirty Three’s desert-dragging dirges” and “Salveter’s distinctive vocal, a death-bed confessional tremble that doesn’t so much suggest a lump in his throat as a tumor”. Low Skies released three records on the Flameshovel label and toured extensively, most notably as support for Neko Case, Band of Horses, Okkervil River, Explosions in the Sky, and The Handsome Family.

The first Judson LP, Before Midnight Scholar was self-released in 2008 and represented a new musical vision. The songs contained a more vast emotional landscape, making room for playfulness and celebration. The album was mostly conceived on Salveter’s bicycle throughout a tour of Southeast Asia. The record howls reverent delight, but it’s not without a few deep laments for lost friends and lovers. Mark Guarino wrote the following for No Depression, “Before Midnight Scholar has a dreamy quality, though underneath the sophisticated textures of country mysticism is a steely edge that suggests a bottom dropping out at any moment. While the music is continually seductive, its core appeal is Claiborne’s voice, which is as nuanced and filled with tremors as those of Rufus Wainwright and Jeff Buckley”.

Time and Temperature was the band’s sophomore LP released in 2010 by the La Société Expéditionnaire label. The album represented a clear progression into an atmospheric rock band with full-on grooves, a string quartet, and a horn section. The band began spending more time on the road, supporting bands like Lower Dens, Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird, Grant Lee Phillips, The Cave Singers, Marketa Irglova, and Cass McCombs. Pete Zimmerman of the Huffington Post named the record, “One of the top ten Chicago albums of 2010 that isn’t Kanye West”.

Salveter focused on personal goals that would supplement his music-making as he completed training and certification as a Yoga teacher in early 2011. He relocated to the Pacific Northwest with the intention of writing some new songs. Only 6 months later he returned to Chicago to begin arranging and recording for what will be the band’s third LP, We Have Not Doors You Need Not Keys. The album was recorded and mixed by Tim Iseler, who has been the band’s engineer for their three LPs. Guest musicians include Marketa Irglova of the Swell Season, as well as members of Early Day Miners, Low Skies, Angela James, and Darts & Arrows.

Lewis & Clarke (Solo)

Delaware Water Gap, PA songwriter and guitarist Lou Rogai guides this mercurial ensemble into long, torn-open and moody soundscapes. They blew up their pastoral folk sound on 2007's Blasts of Holy Birth, and took that brooding tangled beauty down even darker roads on their 2009 EP, Light Time. Reviewers from Billboard to Pitchfork have been vociferous in their praise with comparisons from Leonard Cohen to Pentangle, but more importantly: L & C has quietly and steadily built a devout following in indie folk circles with haunting, hushed vocals and introspective songs elegantly couched in understated arrangements. There's a new LP in the works to be released with La Société Expéditionnaire, the record label Rogai dedicates to exposing the wild and/or fragile music of like-minded artists.

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Joey Sweeney with Judson Claiborne, Lewis & Clarke (Solo)

Friday, August 2 · 9:00 PM at Ortlieb's