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Soul-Rocker Billy Swayze Recording EP with Former Wilco Drummer Ken Coomer
Billy Swayze, a Bowling Green, Ky.-based musician, is working with former Wilco drummer Ken Coomer to record an EP packed with driving, catchy songs inspired by the likes of Otis Redding and Lou Reed.
September 18, 2012 (Bowling Green, Ky.)−Bowling Green rocker Billy Swayze is in the studio with Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) recording a batch of songs for his upcoming EP.
Swayze has garnered a local following with his unexpected blend of pop sweetness, desire-driven soul, and rock ‘n’ roll edge.
“I like the contrast between Otis Redding, a soul singer, and Lou Reed, who is the epitome of cool,” Swayze says. “I try to figure out how to blend those two together, because I have one side that’s dreamy, and then I have this other side that’s to the point.”
Both of Swayze’s sides come out in full force on the upcoming release, first made apparent with the sticky-sweet soul/rock of its high-energy opener, “Need Your Lovin’.”
Throughout the album, Swayze continues to deliver unexpected blends of sound, from the psychedelic blues rocker, “Seed of Love,” to the Bowie-esque space-soul/grunge sound of “Crusin’ for a Bruisin’.”
Never forgetting his pop sensibility, Swayze recorded “True Lust,” a modern take on vintage pop, with a catchy chorus fit for audience sing-alongs.
Swayze’s high-octane personality is reflected in every aspect of his music, including the story of how he decided to make music professionally.
“I wanted to be a NASCAR driver, so I built a stock car and I went up to Beech Bend and I raced 11 laps, and I totaled the car,” Swayze said. “I about died. At that time I was playing some guitar, and I thought man, I better stick to music, this racecar stuff isn’t working out. So I got a band together and we started playing shows.”
Since beginning his music career, Swayze has continued to expand his range and push his boundaries.
“I’m trying to get more familiar with what I want to be,” he said. “You can always reinvent yourself. You can do a batch of songs that sound this way, and release that, and then you can have another batch on another record that sounds completely different.”
Swayze and his band, Jeremy Pryor (drums), Chris Placco (bass), Murf Adams (guitar) and Andy Guilaran (keys), have gained a reputation in Nashville, securing them a spot on the outdoor concert series Live on the Green in support of the North Mississippi Allstars.
Swayze is looking forward to playing some of the biggest crowds of his career, and has his sights set on the 2013 SXSW music festival.
In the meantime, he’s putting the finishing touches on the EP, and churning out great songs as always.
“Writing music is just something I have to do,” he says. “It’s embedded in me. I’m always looking for the next song. It’s like a disease. It’s my getaway.”