Local musician Michael Sweigard will perform at 7 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Alabaster Coffee Roaster and Tea Co., 410 Pine St. Friend and fellow musician Kyle Anspach will join Sweigard for the performance.
Sweigard's sound is best described as acoustic, singer-songwriter music with a blend of rock and pop. He said he enjoys writing and performing music that has profound lyrics and at the same time, encourages the listener to think.
Recent projects of Sweigard include a self-released EP, "Loading Dock," in addition to the musical scoring for a documentary for a filmmaker who's a friend.
Like many artists, inspiration for Sweigard's music comes by way of life experiences and through interaction with people. While he attended college in Tennessee, the singer-songwriter performed primarily at cafes and university functions throughout the area.
"As odd as it sounds, many of my songs come out of the darker moments in life," he said. "... and leave the listener asking themselves questions - such as how can we improve ourselves or make our lives better?"
He said that writing songs that provoke thought and reflection has been an ongoing but enjoyable challenge.
One song that Sweigard is particularly proud of is "Leave This Place," which has been a lot of fun for him to perform.
"It's got a darker feel to it," he said. "... and speaks about different adversities and how to get beyond them."
Sweigard likens the music he writes to a young child.
"Some songs are born and they grow, while others need a lot of attention and discipline," he said.
According to Sweigard, his music and songs aren't always happy, but they're not meant to be downers either. He said they're meant to be transparent.
"Sometimes things can be said in music easier than in conversation," he said. "The communication takes on a whole new dimension."
Being born into a musical family, Sweigard said his interest began early. He started playing the bass in the ninth grade, before eventually picking up the guitar in the 10th grade.
"It's a relationship I've truly enjoyed," he said. "Music is a big part of who I am."
In addition to the guitar, Sweigard plays the harmonica and the piano.
Musical influences of the singer-songwriter span a wide array of genres, including U2, Johnny Cash and Switchfoot. Additional influences are his family: Sweigard's father grew up playing the trumpet, tuba and bass and his mother enjoyed singing in the choir.
Future gigs for Sweigard include a scheduled performance at The Lighthouse Lounge, Phoenixville, Jan. 22, and The Nazareth Center for the Arts, Nazareth, March 11. Both shows begin at 7 p.m.
According to Sweigard, the acoustic performance at Alabaster's will last an hour and a half. Admission is free.