Planetary Nights is the musical vehicle of singer-songwriter R.J. McSweeney. The sound and style have evolved over the three albums released on the Planetary Nights label since 2009 and reflect an Americana vibe, dynamic storyline, as well as an assortment of influences soaked up in the clubs and music venues of his hometown New York City over the decades. Shout-outs from over 15,000 fans at www.jango.com/music/planetarynights often refer to those roots of past and present songwriting inspiration.
His latest studio album Today Ain’t Too Late was produced by roots rock veteran Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (www.ericambel.com), who also contributed his renowned guitar wizardry. Together with R.J.‘s lead vocals and rhythm guitars, Kelley Looney (Steve Earle) on bass, Rob Thomas (Peter Frampton) on keys and Phil Cimino (Chris Barron) on drums, the album delivers a wide range of original rockers and ballads.
Planetary Nights’ first album Elliptical Motion was produced by Mark Hermann (Five for Fighting) and includes Rob Clores (Black Crowes) on keys and Graham Hawtorne (David Byrne, Paul Simon) on drums. Several songs from Elliptical Motion have received extensive FM and Internet radio airplay and the album was selected by RadioIndy as one of the best rock albums of 2009.
Planetary Nights songs have been licensed and featured by the A&E Network (“Dog the Bounty Hunter” episode), ESPN (theme song for a 21-segment Sports Center series; Southeastern and Big East football) and the Alliance of Action Sports.
Songs recorded at NYC gigs appear on the Planetary Nights album Live ‘n’ Untethered, released in 2010. The music has received excellent reviews, like Billboard Discoveries: “Road Trip, the rip-roaring first single from Planetary Nights’ 14-track Elliptical Motion is an ideal showcase for the musical vision of singer/songwriter R.J. McSweeney, the namesake behind the band. Licensed by ESPN for its “Sports Center”, the song beckons, “We’re taking a trip, we’re going together/To the hills or the shore, it don’t really matter/Your love and laughter are all I’m after. Good times, huh? Equally robust N.Y.C. offers a shout-out to McSweeney’s home base, displaying his obvious penchant for classic rock, blues and soul. The more restrained Starting Over, If Ever, Ebony Eyes and Hide Away reveal the musician’s more soulful side with equal skill.”