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Patterson Barrett (from I Just Can’t Call It Quits, an independent release) (by Lee Zimmerman)
Patterson Barrett is the very definition of a self-effacing individual. The title track of his new album, I Just Can’t Call It Quits, offers an admission that maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the same young man he used to be. The cover photo that finds him slipping off the side of a cliff captures a supposed sense of desperation. Yet, at the same time, Patterson Barrett’s easy and amiable persona moots any severe sense of despair. He opts for acceptance over anguish, and the end result is a most agreeable set of songs that reflects what can only be described as a most desirabl.e disposition.
That’s hardly surprising. With a resume that includes stage and studio time with Buddy and Julie Miller, Chuck Berry, Jerry Jeff Walker, Nanci Griffith, and Deborah Holland, his credibility is confirmed. So too, when he begs the question ‘who’s left to keep the world turning?’ on the song of the same name, it’s his unflappable optimism that provides the answer itself. It permeates the album overall, particularly as it applies to such songs as Sam and Dave’s classic “Soul Man” and his own decidedly upbeat original, “Another Beautiful Day”. While the latter finds him describing the environs of south Louisiana, the sentiments he shares could also be considered universal.
So too, the melodies gracing each of these songs clearly underscore that agreeable attitude. The saunter and sway of “Where Do We Go”, “Dream Geography”, “Somewhere in South Austin”, and the aforementioned “Another Beautiful Day” keep that effortless approach casual and consistent. Even a tears-in-the beer ballad, as embodied by Buddy Miller’s Countrified caress, “I’m Pretending”, manages to maintain its sense of assurance even in the midst of some heartbreaking happenstance.
Patterson Barrett can easily take credit for these proceedings overall. He takes the role of producer and plays the lion’s share of the instrumentation, receiving partial assist from his son Emerson Wells-Barrett on fiddle, mandolin, and backing vocals along with a few other selected friends and colleagues. Nevertheless, it’s his personable presence and down-home designs that ensure the album’s unfettered charms. ‘I know it can’t all be perfect’ he declares on the closing track, “Just a Moment”, allowing for an honest admission that obstacles will always and inevitably be in the way. Nevertheless, as Patterson Barrett makes clear, there’s generally hope on the horizon. Given that shared optimism, his pledge to keep from quitting certainly seems a blessing for us all. (by Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Patterson Barrett from AMAZON
Please go to the Patterson Barrett website for more purchase and artist information
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