Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease

Joey Sweeney has been writing songs and prose since 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. 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.” Sweeney is also the publisher of Philly cityblog, the co-curator of the literary fest The 215 Festival, and a creative director at Quaker City Mercantile. He is currently at work on several new writing projects, and an album of new songs.

Drawing inspiration from sources as disparate as 1970s Philly nightlife folklore and Denis Johnson’s The Incognito Lounge, Joey Sweeney & The Neon Grease have dug deep to present a living micro-history of redemption amidst sleaze. One their new LP Catholic School, chiming 80s 12-string guitars, classic rock sax solos and rainy bedroom Velvet Underground listening sessions all blend together. In these songs are little stories of triumph over dirty circumstance and grace under pressure, with the friendship of an urban family “street band” woven throughout. They’re little tales of hard-won glory. In “Baptized in Vibe,” Sweeney sings, “Everybody except me knew I would survive.”