Joey Sweeney and the Long Hair Arkestra
Heyward Howkins, Slo-Mo & Hoagy
23 East Lancaster Ave
Ardmore, PA, 19003
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM (event ends at 12:00 AM)
This event is 21 and over
Joey Sweeney is the lead singer in Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease.
Joey Sweeney has been writing songs and prose 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, the cityblog he established in 2004 after a decade-long run as a rock critic.
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.
Whether insisted upon or lovingly squelched, "candor" marks the
pervasive theme on Be Frank, Furness—the swift successor to last
year's acclaimed The Hale & Hearty LP (produced by Chet Delcampo).
This go-round Heyward has captured an even more honest and relaxed
vibe with the help of co-producer Ben Riesman (Le Fits, Bart
Davenport) and mixing engineer Quentin Stoltzfus (Mazarin/Light Heat,
The Walkmen, Lilys, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah). Many of the tracks were
rendered to tape with a full band in a cavernous trolley repair depot
that was being transformed into a recording studio right under
Howkins' feet—imparting palpable warmth, breadth and unpredictability
into the sessions that ultimately became Furness.
While most of the central thematic figures on The Hale & Hearty were
too far gone—beautiful but broken, these folks still have a chance and
in some cases get a free pass—if for one night only—like the couple in
"Sweet Tea Oleander." It's a slippery ballad where the "whole night's
a pardon from guilt now departed" and a newly sprung couple sip from a
questionable brew just to have "anything to break up this candor."
It's a sweet but toxic mixture of Nathaniel Hawthorne meets Cool Hand
In the title track, Heyward cleverly casts the famed Philadelphia
architect Frank Furness into the role of his butler and demands verity
(and clarity) when he poses the question—"how could I get so mashed by
a neutral spirit's glass and not come out straight bitters?" The song
portrays a familiar tension between the inner-city and the privileged
outskirts where Furness may hold both the keys to reconciliation and
your parent's liquor cabinet—"I should have quit this Main Line mess.
They were first world problems, yes. Turned into first world debt."
Speaking of family, Heyward takes his name from his five-times
grandfather Thomas Heyward (dubbed "The Singing Signer"), founding
father and signer of the Declaration of Independence. On "Brite
Kites," Howkins takes his fascination with family history and familial
connections in a new direction, setting to music a poem written by his
mother. Layers of history combine to speak through one voice as
perspectives collide and push thoughts from long ago into the present.
Heyward first garnered attention in the early 2000s as the lead
guitarist for The Trouble With Sweeney, with releases that included
the widely praised I Know You Destroy and Fishtown Briefcase—both
records landed on Rollingstone.com's Editor's Top Picks of the Year.
Howkins is also a founding member of The Silver Ages, the critically
acclaimed choral group featuring singers from a wide array of
Philadelphia-based bands, including David Hartley (Nightlands, The War
on Drugs, BC Camplight), Charlie Hall (Jens Lekman, The War on Drugs,
The Lindsey Buckingham Appreciation Society), Brandon Beaver (Buried
Beds, Nightlands), Zach Miller (Dr. Dog) and Dan Matz (Windsor for the
Though dark themes creep in as many of the songs' characters struggle
and face the hardships of life, ultimately the album is defined by
Heyward's embrace of the playful and celebratory. With melodies that
pull you in (such as the buoyant album opener, "Nogales") and lyrics
that evoke feelings and situations both specific and universal ("Then
ran your first love Billy / All of ours really," Heyward sings in the
Stacker Lee-infused "Praline Country").
Slo-Mo & Hoagy
Steel guitarist Mike 'Slo-Mo' Brenner (Low Road, Marah, John Train) ventures into Indian trance mode on his newest live project. Playing a 22-string Indian slide guitar called a 'chaturangui', Brenner and percussionist Hoagy Wing perform originals and covers with an Eastern drone underpinning the sound. Brenner studied this instrument in Calcutta, India in 2013 with slide master Debashish Bhattacharya and recorded the cd "Tripti" while he stayed at Bhattacharya's school.
The Ardmore Music Hall
Thu, March 21
Fri, March 22
Sat, March 23
Sun, March 24
Tue, March 26