Artist Biography

Planetary Nights is the banner for the Americana music written and recorded by New York City based songwriter R.J. (Bob) McSweeney. Over thirty original PN songs have been released on several records: Elliptical Motion in 2009; Live ‘n’ Untethered in 2010; Today Ain’t Too Late in 2012; Shimmer in 2013; and Silken Sky in 2015. PN songs reflect rock, pop and roots influences with each song having its own unique personality in terms of melody, arrangement and dramatic lyrics.

A wide range of musicians have contributed to those recording sessions, including Eric “Roscoe” Ambel (Steve Earle, Joan Jett), who produced the Today Ain’t Too Late and Silken Sky albums; Rob Arthur (Peter Frampton); Kelly Looney (Steve Earle); and Mark Spencer (Son Volt, Blood Oranges), Mark Hermann (Five for Fighting), who produced Elliptical Motion; Rob Clores (Black Crowes); Phil Cimino (Chris Barron); Graham Hawthorne (David Byrne, Paul Simon).

The catalogue of Planetary Nights music has received critical praise and has attracted an extensive fan base from Internet and radio airplay. Bob’s songs have been accepted and represented by a number of prominent music libraries used by music supervisors working with the film and television industries. Several PN songs have been licensed for television (e.g. CBS, A&E, ESPN) as well as for product advertising.

Here are excerpts from some reviews:

“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.” (Billboard)

“Planetary Nights is back and better than ever with their second studio album. R.J. & company have one hot record on their hands of raw energy and a rootsy, rockin’ sound.” (Scope Magazine)

“Today Ain’t Too Late” is straightforward Americana the band imbues with surprises . . . maintaining the variation that they are adept at.” (Billboard)

“Today Ain’t Too Late is a winner with rocking roots as infectious as any you’re likely to hear from better known bands. McSweeney does it all—lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, songwriter—and he does it all with dynamic originality. The album features a collection of gritty rockers that will have audiences up on their feet mixed with a couple of tender ballads that will keep them up and swaying.” (Blogcritics, Jack Goodstein)

“On their new album, Planetary Nights is a rock band that brings their sound back to basics, still keeping an eye out for fresh and original melodies, somewhere in between the primal kick of The Ramones, the poprock oriented twist of The Replacements and the Americana rock a la Tom Petty, fiercely showcasing rock ‘n’ roll swagger.” (I Still Sing Along Blog)