Pensacola, Florida
Friday July 19th 2019


Let’s Go Down to the Swamp

By Sarah Mc Wilson

A bluesy swamp mix of lyrics, grooves and rhythms, drawn out of life on the Gulf Coast. It’s what longtime area musician and multi-instrumentalist Michael J. McCartan has been pouring his creative energies into in recent months. And the result is a full-length original album, fittingly titled “Swamp Mix.” All 11 songs are written, sung and played by McCartan, with the addition of harmonica by Jeff Glickman and John Barksdale.

To welcome “Swamp Mix” into existence, McCartan is releasing it into the world Monday night, May 20, at Lili Marlene’s inside of Seville Quarter. He is performing the album live as the opening act of Monday Night Blues, a venue that has become his guitar-playing stomping grounds.

McCartan is quick to tell you that he’s a drummer first, a drummer who learned to play three chords on the guitar—C, F and G, he jokes. The truth is, playing music has always been deeply rooted in his existence.

This album explores his songwriting and blues-inspired guitar playing and combines his strength of percussion and heart for storytelling. If you close your eyes while listening to track “The Gulf Coast Way,” you might feel as if you’re sitting down on the swamp on a screened porch. It’s gritty. It’s groovy. It’s conceptual even. And honestly, it’s blown me away. I write this not as his proud daughter (though I am), but as someone who has spent a large portion of her own life listening to and deepening her connection to existence through music.

McCartan recorded “Swamp Mix” right here in Pensacola, working with local legend Phil Thomas Katt (PTK). To those who follow McCartan’s musical journey and have seen the otherworldly music videos he’s created with PTK via the Uncharted Zone—you’re in for an entirely different kind of experience with “Swamp Mix.”

WHAT: Michael J. McCartan CD Release Event at Monday Night Blues
WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday, May 20
WHERE: Lili Marlene’s inside Seville Quarter, 130 E. Government St.
COST: Free entry; CDs $10