Andrew Swann
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Andrew Swann


Band Blues Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Authentic air, vintage material"

Longtime blues devotee Andrew Swann's
impressive CV boasts extensive experience
playing with household names at home
and abroad from the realms of blues, iazz;
rock and pop. Over many years touring
worldwide, Swann's broad versatility as
a drummer has been well established. A
one time music student at the Victorian
College of the Arts, Swann is also a
composer who plays piano, guitar and
harmonica. Southside Blues, as well as
demonstrating his proficiency on the latter
two instruments, exhibits Swann's
competent vocal abilities across a range
of traditionaI blues and gospel selections.
With a voice resembling that of Randy
Newman, he performs three original tunes
and ten others in a country blues format
aided sparsely by piano, bass, drums and
percussion backing.
A raw, no-frills project, this three-quarter hour
recording made at Preston Studios in
Melbourne avoids overdubs and technical
embellishments retaining an authentic air
consistent with its vintage material. Three
songs - the lazy 'Automobile' and 'Katie
May' and the upbeat 'Fan lt'- are sourced
from Lightnin' Hopkins, obviously a maior
inspiration. Among others derived from
Jimmy McCracklin, JimmyWitherspoon and
Blind Willie Johnson sit uncluttered alongside takes
on Bob Dylan's 'lt Takes a Lot To Laugh,
It Takes a Train to Cry' and Willie Dixon's
'Wang Dang Doodle'. Inserting occasional
lead fills, Swann plays a steady acoustic
rhythm guitar largely devoid of
fundamental riff-based structures. His
electric guitar - in distortion mode adding
grit to 'Move Me' and in a smooth-toned
setting for 'Bleedin' Heart'- evokes a
sound reminiscent of Sam Phillips' early
'5os Sun Studio waxings. Swann plans a
second Southside Blues installment where
he will explore the domain of city blues.
Based on this exercise, it too should be a
CD worth a listen.

Al Hensely, Rhythms Magazine, Australia
- Rhythms Magazine

"**** A startling talent"

It sounds like a trivia question. Whose album
contains covers of songs by Howlin' Wolf, Robert
Johnson, Son House, Tampa Red, Slim Harpo, Bob Dylan
and the Bee Gees?
OK, it is obviously this one, but asked anywhere else
and there would be head scratching and not a lot of
The amazing thing is, it works. Andrew Swann is a
multi-instrumentalist, playing drums, guitars,
harmonica and keyboards, but it is his voice that
realises the ambition.
He opens with a sweet, laid back vocal on his own Time
is Tight, recalling such artists as J.J.Cale and Steve
But when it comes to the Wolf's Somebody's Knockin, he
has a blues growl straight from Chicago's Southside.
The Dylan and Bee Gee covers? Lay Lady lay becomes a
gentle reggae while To Love Somebody sits comfortably
with Swann's material and the blues songs.

Lee Howard, Herald Sun, Melbourne. - Herald Sun, Australia

"nocturnal jazz, blues & country brew"

Andrew Swann The Braves (Elwood/MGM)

ROOTS musician Andrew Swann’s.. second solo album, a toe-tapping, nocturnal jazz, blues and country brew -- utilising acoustic bass -- is a prime example of the talent bubbling below the surface in Australia.
* * * *

SUN 12 SEP 2004
By PETER HOLMES - Sunday Telegraph

"'The new Bonnie&Clyde'"

Monique diMattina's piano on 'Max & Madeline' best exemplifies what it is that is so good about this album. Coming out of the left speaker, it has no real beginning, seemingly no relationship to the central theme, but it builds to become a core element in the denouement. So it goes with the musicianship on the 12 songs. There is always something happening, be it front and centre or off to the side.
'Max & Madeline' is a narrative along similar lines to Georgie Fame's 'Bonnie & Clyde', while 'Get On Board' is an apt opening song, setting up a J.J.Cale-style groove that serves to steer expectations away from Andrew Swann's 'Southside Blues' album released earlier this year.
There is a blues sentiment here, but Swann filters many more influences through the set. Like Cale, this will play as well down the years.
Lee Howard, Herald Sun - Herald Sun, Australia

"Genuine love of the form"

Don’t be fooled by the hat! Former Melbourne, now Sydney-based singer songwriter, Andrew Swann, is no country artist. Sure, there are elements of country in there but he’s very much working the alt/swamp/roots end of the genre, sitting somewhere between Tony Joe White and Tom Waits, or perhaps Steve Earle, Randy Newman and Dr John.
And like those guys, Swann is very much the storyteller, particularly on tracks like Max and Madeline, Get Ready and the loping dark tale of Needle and the Spoon, spinning yarns in the corner of a smoky bar, singing the stories of the people he’s met in his travels – just like the old folk blues guys used to do. In that sense, he’s also sitting somewhere between Jeff Lang and Ash Grunwald.
As it happens, though Swann’s name tops the bill on the cover. The Braves is as much the name of the band with which he surrounds himself for this earthy, acoustic, skins and brushes, wood and strings recording, as it is the album’s title. In that sense, there’s something of the spirit of the Badloves or even Paul Kelly’s bluegrass collaboration, especially the brief instrumental interlude, Ben’s Beans.
Here then its roots are Americana with a dash of gospel – as only Melburnians seem to make it – comfortably unassuming and without any pretensions. Ersatz perhaps but there’s not any irony in there. It’s obvious Swann has a genuine love of the form and delivers it with a gentle sincerity, giving The Braves something of an authenticity only a true believer, as it were, can deliver.
Just listen to Soul Sensibility, which really does seem to bridge the chimeral gap between gospel, soul and old school R&B with an ease that belies Swann’s obvious Anglo-Celtic heritage. His use of gospel-style backing vocals are an understated wash rather than the usual declamatory chorus. It bespeaks an unusual subtlety, just one more element that creates an evocative feel across the album. Perhaps that was what attracted the promoter and won this virtual unknown indie artist the opening spot on the recent national tour by Norah Jones.
Michael Smith, DrumMedia Sydney. - DrumMedia Sydney

"Always the music"

What motivates an artist to make a record like this?
There are three new songs, the same number by Lightnin' Hopkins. Others are out of the blues songbook, while Bob Dylan's 'Takes a Lot to Laugh, Takes a Train to Cry' is dusted off for a fresh rendition.
So it could just be just another blues covers record. But it comes back to the music, always the music. And Andrew Swann brings it off.
This set quietly insinuates itself in the listener's consciousness, working away until the focus is squarely on what a fine album is in the machine. It doesn't shout out it's wares but, as it grows on the listener, seems to become more vital each play.
The Swann and Monique diMattina tracks fit in for a set that recalls the immediate post-war blues, the time of T-Bone Walker and early John Lee Hooker.
A cover note suggests there is more to come, and that's a fine idea.

Lee Howard, Herald Sun. - Herald Sun, Australia


Andrew Swann................"The Braves" 2005 Elwood Records
Andrew Swann................"Nasty Cook" 2006 Elwood Records
Andrew Swann..............."Southside Blues" 2004 Elwood Records



" ROCK" - Brian May, Queen

"Sitting somewhere between Tony Joe White and Tom Waits, or perhaps Steve Earle, Randy Newman and Dr John....with the authenticity only a true believe can deliver."
-Sydney Drum Media

****"A startling talent" -Melbourne Herald Sun

With a style akin to that of the early blues artists, Swann taps into the tradition, delivering powerful original compositions and unique interpretations of both obscure and well know classics.
In a career spanning over 20 years, Swann has played festivals and clubs in USA, Europe, Japan, China, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand , Sri Lanka, UAE, Indonesia and the UK .

Swann has worked and recorded with artists as diverse as Queen's Brian May/Roger Taylor,Vanetta Fields (Pink Floyd), Carey Bell (Muddy Waters band),Coco Robexeau,Henry Butler, Big Jay Mc Neely, Betty Harris (Allen Tousaint) Leroy Jones(Harry Connick),Lillian Bout'e, Jeff 'Skunk" Baxter(Doobie Brothers), Thelma Houston and a who's who of the Australian music industry.

Andrew Swann CDs are available through indie label Elwood Records at..... and Australian retail through MGM distribution.
Releases include....
2006 ('The Braves') USA Independent Music Award Album of the Year finalist.
2005 (The Braves)Herald Sun Best Roots/Blues release.
2004 ('Southside Blues') Herald Sun Best Roots/Blues release.
2006 (Nasty Cook) **** Rhythms Magazine

Now recently returned to NY after a European tour taking in shows in France, Germany, The Netherlands and Finland, Swann has upcoming shows at New York's The Living Room, Rockwood Music Hall, Sidewalk Cafe and more in the pipeline...stay tuned.

Hope to see you at the next show!! and thanks for your support.