What sets Ken Swartz apart is the concept of doing Mississippi John Hurt and Washington Phillips material in a band setting without it becoming blues-rock.Of Phillips'"Denomination Blues"Swartz writes,"Played this first on mandolin,but over time I began playing it on guitar;the band eventually gave it that funky NOLA style."The same could be said for most of the CD.
That's what caught the ears of Gene Rosenthal,who literally stumbled onto Swartz's Palace Of Sin at a club on New Orleans Frenchmen Street. Rosenthal's resume' goes back to the mid '60s, when he produced and/ or engineered Skip James,John Fahey,Backwards Sam Firk,and Furry Lewis,and managed Hurt. Swartz's influences range from Dyan,Van Zant,Richard Buckner,and Nick Drake to Sleepy John Estes,Charlie Patton,Howlin' Wolf,Furry Lewis,and Ry Cooder.Some of the songs have a jug-band feel but never devolve into novelty. ...the songs may be old but the sound is refreshingly new
SWARTZ and his band elevate pure blues and roots music with great respect. --Jim Santella (Southland Blues e-weekly)
Swartz's deep love of the blues and deeper love of his hometown are unmistakable ..it's a rousing good time ...Geno Thackara (Elmore Magazine)
Carrollton Station. The guitar work on it is beautiful and heartbreaking..........Professor Johnny P,s Juke Joint
" I grew up near Woodstock and the voice of Rick Danko was something that always gave me chills,that feeling from youth an everlasting warm memory that sometimes borders on a dream.When I arrived in New Orleans many years later I heard another voice that blurred my fond memories with my dreams.That voice is Ken Swartz. His guitar and band only make that experience greater.See him and regain that magical youth."
Aka, Stuart Hall wwoz radio
KEN SWARTZ & THE PALACE OF sin
“Soundcheck: Five Questions with Ken Swartz This is the kind of album I grew up with. Rock ’n’ roll albums used to have old time blues. Little Feat would have a Howlin’ Wolf song that sounded almost exactly like the Howlin’ Wolf version. When I go back, I think about how it always meant so much to me that they would keep the roots in there.”Stephen Maloney - OFFBEAT magazine
There may be no single person better in New Orleans at smiling away the blues than Ken Swartz : weather it be Peidmont , East Coast , or Country Blues ,Ken likes to keep things whimsical and upbeat.....Robert Fontenot (Offbeat Magazine) april 2017
"Ken Swartz and his band,The Palace of Sin have put a collection of traditional blues songs together on their record When The Roots Hit The Fan.They cover such artists as Mississippi John Hurt,Sleepy John Estes,and even Bob Marley! My favorite track is the cover of the Van Morrison song "The Way Young Lovers Do". On this one the band totally rocks the song out and Ken's voice fits especially over the music,having a tinge of a young Van Morrison coming through the mic......."
Brian Serpas - WHERE Y"AT MAGAZINE
"As the rain hits the bricks and the awnings,you can hear every note ever played by Louis Armstrong,Trombone Shorty and everyone in between.Following the vibe back to Frenchmen Street,I make a beeline to The Spotted Cat, digging on Ken Swartz and The Palace of Sin as they bear down on some boot stompin' slide blues."
Drew Moss - LONG ISLAND PULSE MAGAZINE
"We commander front-row seats at The Spotted Cat Music Club and settle in to hear local blues band Ken Swartz and The Palace of Sin belt out Drop Down Mama."
Laura Bly - USA TODAY