Posted by Natalie Plumb on 11/24 at 12:21 PM
On Nov. 12th, Domenick Swentosky, of Indiana, Pa, performed, as he does every Thursday night, at The Deli. Swentosky gigs three to four times a week. Acoustic rock is the best way to describe his style, though it may be more accurately described as indefinable.
Finger-picking is a prevalent tactic in many of his songs, across a number of genres. His vocal range is impressive, attaining not only the Broadway belt, but also the soft vocal key of John Legend. His dynamic voice seamlessly adapts to a range of musical styles. His “menu” of cover songs is extensive, from Allen Johnson to The Who.
Swentosky’s skill was displayed in his cover of Tenacious D’s “Tribute (The Greatest Song in the World).” Swentosky’s unique take on this quirky bar favorite had him jumping from talk to hard-headed rock to a bit of twang.
Swentosky said he enjoys playing cover songs because they help him learn new strumming patterns and rhythms for originals.
“Every cover that you learn gives you new ideas for originals,” he said.
Swentosky began playing guitar at age 20 and his impressive work on the instrument makes it hard to tell that it has only been eight years since his first gig. Swentosky has added several other instruments to his repertoire. He played the sax, an instrument he began playing in fourth grade, and the trumpet, as he looped his guitar strumming using a computer program. He also played the harmonica with a contraption on his head while simultaneously playing the guitar.
Audience member Cayla Rasi, a senior in print journalism who has seen Swentosky perform at the Allen St. Grill, another common venue for the artist, questioned why such a great musician would not team up with a full band in order to “progress the sound.”
Swentosky tried the “band thing” around age 24, he said, adding it just was not for him, because “they fall apart.”
The bar atmosphere was not the best setting for Swentosky. Sometimes it served him well, as the musician is very personable and said he enjoys a smaller crowd that he can get to know. However, much of the 30-member audience was talking loudly around the bar over the music.
Rasi said this might mean that students are taking his music for granted in this atmosphere.
“But that doesn’t mean they can’t hear him,” Rasi said.
Swentosky might be able to get a sizable crowd for venues like the State Theatre in the future. He seemed to have enough fans in the bar screaming his name.
Swentosky has debuted two albums of original songs that each took “two months of straight work”: Greytime (2004) and Afterlife (2007). Greytime, the title of Swentosky’s first album and URL of his official Web site, is a word Swentosky uses to describe what others would call “being in the zone.”
“Greytime is when time is out of your mind,” Swentosky said. “When you’re so engrossed in something and not noticing anything else; a whole day could pass. Musicians, artists, sports players – we all feel this.”
For a list of other show dates and to listen to some original song selections from Domenick Swentosky, visit http://www.greytime.com/fr_schedule.cfm.
Author: Natalie Plumb
Bio: Natalie Plumb is a sophomore in Penn State's College of Communications' print journalism program. She enjoys writing, singing, playing guitar, reading, dancing, speaking French, traveling, playing basketball and softball, ballet, choir, tennis, skateboarding, snowboarding, swimming, and growing in her faith. Her favorite music genres tend to be techno, folk, gospel/religious, and, of course, just about anything you can dance to. That said, her favorite bands are not too exclusive. She enjoys experimenting and hears new bands often. Though most of these artists are mainstream, her favorite artists include, but are not limited to, Josh Groban, Natalie Grant, Carrie Underwood, Radiohead, Big Daddy Weave, John Mayer, Relient K, Jewel, Ju White, Fleetwood Mac, Stacie Orrico, Kelly Clarkson, Black Eyed Peas, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cascada, Nine Days, Eve 6, Mae, Aerosmith, Ben Folds Five, Akon, The Wreckers, and many more
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