A.J. Swearingen of Bethlehem has more polish than many well-known performers and yet maintains the affability of a small town boy. (He attributes his quiet status to his participation in the “Artist Protection Program’.) Swearingen’s music evokes vivid images, and married with a rich baritone voice, offers up an unusual and stirring performance. Swearingen delivers what many solo artists cannot – a complete package of masterful acoustic guitar, superb vocals and a keen wit, a combination that keeps the audience glued to their chairs.
2005 marks the release of Swearingen’s fourth CD. The self-titled venture is a recording that is varied enough to show but a small part of his unique style. Swearingen has the type of voice that begs to conquer more than one genre, including folk, country, and pop. Unlike earlier efforts, A.J. played all the instruments, recorded, mixed and produced the entire album on his own. “The process”, A.J. says, “was an amazing experience. I had complete artistic control over every detail. I think this is the best representation of me as an artist so far.” The new album includes his most requested songs including “You’re Not Here With Me” and “I’m Free.”
Best described as a singer/songwriter, Swearingen has been a professional musician for sixteen years, cultivating an international fan base. These days, Swearingen, who has shared the stage with such performers as Steve Forbert, John Gorka, Ellis Paul, Tom Rush, Susan Werner, and the Strawbs, can be found performing throughout the northeast.
A.J. Swearingen’s performance at the Open Door Coffeehouse on Saturday, May 21, was well received, the second show of its kind at the up and coming venue. The Open Door Coffeehouse, located at St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church in Schnecksville, is the brainchild of Allentown folk musician Donna Lang. Ms. Lang, who is also a producer and private music instructor, has combined her expertise as a multi-talented musician with her love of live music to produce a friendly, supportive atmosphere in the heart of the Lehigh Valley. The Open Door offers a safe haven for artists, friends and family to gather to appreciate original music and poetry, whether the performers are professional acts or participants in an Open Mic Night.
“I think it’s wonderful what Donna and everyone is trying to do here,” said A.J. Swearingen. “Everyone needs to be exposed to live music. I think that it’s a dying breed.”
All in all, the Open Door Coffeehouse is definitely worth a look. The high quality of talent and relaxed atmosphere make this a great place to hang out with friends and family while supporting live music and feeding your own creativity. This is one place that should not be a well-kept secret.
For more information: www.ajswearingen.com
Open Door Coffeehouse: (610) 769-7767 or email firstname.lastname@example.org