Artist To Watch: Sweet Years

Friday, March 2nd, 2018

If you happen to come across Sweet Years at this year’s Rhythm N’ Blooms Festival, you may recognize the rhythm section, Travis Bigwood on bass and Zach Gilleran on drums, from two-time RnB veterans Guy Marshall. So you think you know what you’re about to see, and it’s probably some twangy cowboy country, right? WRONG! This is something completely different. In fact, Sweet Years is liable to stick out like a sore thumb at Rhythm N’ Blooms…. in the best possible way, of course.


For the uninitiated, Sweet Years, from right here in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a raucous indie-rock band that packs all kinds of punch and pace into every single second of their music. It’s fast like punk rock, has sweet melodies like you might find in pop, and the songs are phenomenal. The special sauce though, is the mind-blowing sounds of controlled chaos that Dakota Smith is able to get out of his guitar.

Consider the Rhythm N’ Blooms lineup as one of those comically large “balanced breakfasts” from 90s cereal commercials. (Stick with me here.) The headliners are the main course, and there are plenty of other great fruits and cereal and other good stuff in the middle of the lineup, and then Sweet Years is your double shot of espresso that you didn’t even know you needed. You’ll leave their set feeling like you just took all that sweet sweet caffeine straight to the dome, and you’ll be ready to run through a brick wall to get to the next show.

In their albums and other merchandise, Sweet Years uses a lot of sports themes and imagery. To follow that thread a bit, The Pilot Light is their veritable home court. So if you’re not a person who frequents The Pilot Light, there’s a good chance Rhythm N’ Blooms will be your first time seeing this Knoxville power trio. (Which reminds me: If one of Sweet Years’ sets is at The Pilot Light, that’s where you should try to see them.) As a person who covers and chronicles Knoxville’s music scene, I’m really excited by the prospect of a bunch of people seeing this band for the first time. If you need to find me during the RnB weekend, I’ll be easy to spot. I’ll be the guy walking up and down Jackson Avenue commanding strangers to come see Sweet Years with me.

– Kent Oglesby | Knoxville Music Warehouse

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