Swampcandy is an internationally touring, primitive blues influenced Americana duo. Ruben Dobbs’ aggressive finger-picking and rhythmic style (which often adds up to sounding like more than one guitar) combined with Joey Mitchell’s bass playing, pounding kick drum and percussive bass throttling (representing the presence of a full drum kit) easily fill up the sonic space normally created by a trio or even a four-piece. Dobbs’ soulful, passionate vocals are the glue that holds it all together and makes the band tick.
With 270-225 shows a year since 2011 including multiple tours of the eastern US, UK and Ireland, 4 full-length releases, 2 Ep’s, 1 studio release and 1 live full-length video release Swampcandy is not sure what sleep is.
A band that has a crowd pounding their fists through tables one minute and sitting silently on the edge of their seat the next, Swampcandy is dirty and sweet, brash and thoughtful, simple and complex. It’s true stories that are made up just for you. It’s pig drinkin’, whiskey eatin’, foot clapping’, hand stompin’, American music. Their roots are fermented in American mud, primitive blues, pre-war folk sounds, field hollers, gypsy jazz, and ragtime. Steeped in influences from Robert Johnson to Radiohead. Their sound is distilled in a boiler of mercurial energy swirling with tempo changes, dynamic peaks and valleys that hold the ear and refuse to let go.
“Then the show started. Swampcandy, a blues and Americana duo that I was not familiar with, opened. Watching them was something like finding a nugget of gold in a creek: completely unexpected and wonderful. The duo consists of Ruben Dobbs on lead vocals and guitar, playing mostly slide on a resonator guitar, and his playing showed me some of the best slide guitar I’ve heard since the Allman Brothers. Joey Mitchell played upright bass while simultaneously beating a bass drum with his right foot. The sound these two created was as sweet as early Muddy Waters but much more energetic. Swampcandy not only played the blues, they transformed the genre, taking one of American music’s oldest forms and rendering it brand new”
– Michael Scott Cain at Rambles.net