As a part of the sixth annual Porch Stomp season, we're working with Beehive Productions, NYC Ferry and Blue Point Brewery to bring you a series of videos featuring artists spanning the gamut of NYC folk scene (and then some). Check out our blog every month for new videos and interviews with artists, and be sure to follow us on instagram: @porchstomp and Facebook: Porch Stomp
Christine Sweeney was among the first people I met at the Northeastern Regional Folk Alliance. Her infectious charisma and girl-next-door persona were evident markers of success, and I recall being blown away by her ability to effortlessly handle a crowd. Her songs feature a signature blend of down to earth lyricism meets unforgettable melody, which, when accompanied by her velvety vocal and incredible songmanship and work ethic, seemed to be a pathway for momentum within the local scene.
Many years and collaborations later, we are grateful to have Christine as a part of the Porch Stomp community for a long time. A regular queen of Long Island music and a performance schedule requiring almost Spartan-like endurance, she has continued to grow artistically and professionally, making headway through performance slots at festivals such as the CT Folk Festival and Falcon Ridge Folk Festival where she performed on Grassy Hill Emerging Artists Stage. We're so excited to have her as this edition of Porch Stomp Present's featured artist.
Check out Christine Sweeney performing "Familiar Streets" live at the Haylaught, our home in Brooklyn, NYC. Continue reading for a Q&A with Christine and be sure to find his music online at the link below.
How did you first find out about Porch Stomp and what is your favorite Porch Stomp memory?
I heard of Porch Stomp from my good friend Nicholas Horner. We were at a folk conference together, and everyone was freely sharing their passion projects, careers, CDs, latest songs. It sounded so cool - and it was. One great memory I have was from two years ago. I brought a friend, and after I was done performing my set, we walked around and saw some other artists. Walked through the wonderful houses there (some are museums or art installations) and we took a detour through a field, and just rolled around in the grass. It was just such a wholesome day! It makes me feel good to think there's this magical thing every year that I am a part of with other creative people. No judgements, positivity flowing everywhere, cute little porches. Love it.
You spend a lot of time around more traditional folk circles- what do you feel your role is as an acoustic-pop artist and what are some of the musical connections that you've made that have been the most fruitful?
I've made friends with presenters who have had me in their home or concert halls, which was wonderful. It gives me chance to be sharing my music with many more people. It also is such a huge gesture to be invited to someone's home. An intimate connection. Additionally, some of my closest friends who are also musicians I have also met at folk festivals and conferences. The beauty of those type of events is that talking about your music in depth is encouraged because everyone who tends is a music lover or maker. They're not just a casual music fan most of the time.
Who are your favorite songwriters that have effected the content of your music?
I love John Mayer, I listened to a lot during high school and college, which was when I began songwriting. I love the molding of jazz, blues and pop in his songs. Especially pre-mountain man/poncho phase. I also listen to a lot of KT Tunstall.
What is one piece of advice that you'd offer to New York based artists looking to play beyond the five boroughs?
My advice to be make more friends and reach out to the ones you have! Some of your current friends may have already toured in the markets you're looking for. Ask for help, opinions, and advice. And if appropriate, ask for a contact. You can also find other artists that are similar to you, and look at where they're playing and start your research there. Expect to revisit those places every few (3-4?) months, so don't look too far away if you're trying to build something away from your home base. It is also a best practice that if an artist sets you up with a show in their area, offer to reciprocate in yours. There is a community surrounding independent artists, and we need to take care of each other.
Find more about Christine at his website here :
Special thanks to Jeff, Sue and Redia of Beehive Productions as well as the fine folks at Blue Point Brewery for making this video possible.