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Artist: Mikey Sweet
Album: The North King
Release date: October 10, 2014
Artist website: mikeysweet.com
Growing up in a less than ideal family life pushed Massachusetts native, Mikey Sweet away from the comforts of home and to living in the streets and a box car rolling slow. The personal journey led him across America in search of answers, into the arms of the law and singing for supper. Eventually, Sweet realized the only road to salvation, and to The North King, was through learning to accept the things he could not change in loving fast, falling hard.
A collection of nine stories centered on those real-life experiences comprise Sweet's first studio recording. Track to track, The North King is a straightforward accounting of the highs and lows of homelessness and the freedom attached. Story lines and emotions tug at heartstrings before happier times are celebrated by brighter notes and full-on, rock 'n roll hooks.
Sweet's dry, dusty breathiness is Dylanesque, yet his own. (A quality he comes by naturally, for his father was a musician who played Dylan's music at local clubs.) Darker tones pair perfectly the vivid imagery spelled out on these "road dog gospel" narratives. Most compelling, though, is the songwriter's skill for translating matters of the heart in such a way the lesson learned is universal, a trait that parallels some of our generations greatest storytellers in Springsteen, Hiatt and Browne.
With every line sung and note played, Sweet works his craft on "Dry Bones", as performed at Spirit House Recording Studio in Northampton, MA.
Mikey Sweet's brand of Americana-folk-rock is destined to turn heads and top the charts. The North King is available for purchase and unlimited streaming via Band camp. (See embed below). Our editor picked up a hard copy of this record at TURN IT UP in Northampton, which has locations in Brattleboro, Keene and Montague.
In upcoming months, The Mikey Sweet Band will perform in Philadelphia, NYC, at the Iron Horse Music Hall (Northampton, MA), and other select venues throughout the Northeast. Click tour for more information.
Yours in music,
Deb (FromMaine) Hebert
Editor's Note: If you live in the Pioneer Valley, you'll notice Sweet pays subtle homage to the georgraphical inspirations in the titles, The North King and Mill River. Given his wide expanse of travels, we hope to interview him on this upcoming tour, as with each track, there are stories to share.
Photo and video courtesy of Mikey Sweet. All rights reserved. 2015.