MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

November 14, 2013

Swons draw crowd for Salvation Army

About 1,000 come out for up-close concert

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Colton Swon told a pumped-up Civic Center crowd he was glad to be home Thursday night.

“This is the first time to be in Muskogee in a long time,” he said. “And we want y’all to feel like you’re in our living room tonight with us just jamming out. That’s what it feels like to us.”

The Swon Brothers performed at the Beyond Bell Ringing Benefit at the Muskogee Civic Center on Thursday night to an audience of approximately 1,000. The brothers came on stage and immediately broke into a song, after which they took some time to thank the city of Muskogee for their support of them and the Salvation Army.

“I can’t say it enough, we have an incredible support system,” Zach Swon said. “And I am thrilled to see so many of you out here supporting the Salvation Army.”

Darby Sellars, a Muskogee resident, said she thought the “Swoncert” was “really good.”

“I like what they are doing with the Salvation Army,” she said. “Also, I’m glad they’re back in Muskogee. I think a lot of artists lose their roots when they get famous, and I like that they came back and are proud to be Okies.”

The Swon Brothers spent a great deal of time during the show intermingling with the audience and encouraging crowd participation. Colton threw out shirts with the brothers’ faces on them while joking with Zach.

“I’m sorry his face is on this shirt,” Colton said.

“I’m just sorry it’s not the only one,” Zach said.

At one point during their rendition of “Okie from Muskogee,” the brothers invited an honorary “Third Swon Brother” up on stage to help them play guitar and sing vocals. After belting out the chorus, the young boy was given the guitar after The Swon Brothers each signed it and advised him to “get some boots.”

Jacob Sellars, 14, said he appreciated the exuberance the brothers exhibited during the show.

“I like how they interact with the crowd and get up and shake hands and high-five people,” he said.

Jason Sebo, a lieutenant with the Salvation Army, said the concert was a “more intimate setting,” than the free concert the brothers put on recently.

“It’s a good thing,” Sebo said. “It’s hometown boys coming home. These boys love their community, and we’re humbled to partner with them and help meet the needs of our community. Our need continues past the Christmas season, and with the Swon Brothers and this concert, we’re able to put thousands of dollars in our account to help people.”

Last spring, the Swon Brothers competed in the NBC competitive music program, “The Voice.” As they advanced each week toward the finals in mid-June, the Swons generated more and more excitement around the Muskogee area.

They came in third on the final show, broadcast June 18. The brothers signed with Arista Records last week.

Colton Swon said the brothers are “living their dreams.”

“We get to do this together,” he said. “The Good Lord is very good to us. Without you (the fans) we’d play to a lot of empty rooms, and that’s not cool. We’ll be back next year.”

Reach Travis Sloat at (918) 684-2908 or tsloat@muskogeephoenix.com.