Along with his new CD — Lucky or Strong — Caleb Sweazy has been picking up a gig or two around town when not handcrafting furniture or playing with his two kids. The album release party was held downtown last month at Holenwald Social Club just behind Earnestine & Hazel’s, and saw a good turnout of friends, family, and fans of the stripped-down Americana that “finds Sweazy recalling bittersweet tales that cover everything from an old Model A Ford to WWI,” writes Memphis Flyer music editor Chris Shaw.
Tomorrow night will find Sweazy with full band at Lafayette’s Music Room in Overton Square. The show starts at 8 p.m. and precedes a day of festivities surrounding the entertainment district’s 45th anniversary.
The CD, Sweazy’s fourth, was released on the Blue Barrel Records label and recorded at Ward Archer’s Music + Arts Studio in the Cooper-Young neighborhood. The show at Lafayette’s will be more representational of the recording as the guitarist and singer plays with a full band to reproduce more of his “guitar-driven, bluesy folk rock,” Shaw writes. “Sweazy claims to like songs that make the listener feel happy and sad at the same time.”
The band will include Logan Hanna, Rick Steff, John C. Stubblefield, and Jesse Dakota. Sweazy told me he enjoyed his time recording with these musicians but that his true passion is playing live, where he has the chance to truly connect with people. “I also love to make people laugh, so it’s almost like I perform these songs so I can tell jokes in between them.”
To survive in this world, Sweazy imparts on the CD’s title song, one must be lucky or they must be strong. Well, you don’t have to be either to hear songs about love, war, tattoos, Los Angeles, and cool summer mornings — you just need to show up.
Lafayette’s Music Room
2119 Madison Avenue
Wednesday, May 20, 8 p.m.