Saving Country Music - September 5, 2016
“I saw my buddy Pat Reedy perform at the Buckhorn Bar,” singer and songwriter Luke Bell explains about the moment hanging out in his home state of Wyoming where he realized there was an entirely different world of music out there he’d never been exposed to. “It was an inspiring show. He pulled through in an ’85 Datsun diesel pickup truck with a homeless painter and a half wolf dog. It was just a picture of a different part of the earth.”
The Deslondes tell as similar story—just set in New Orleans—of seeing this drifter cowboy songwriter singing old country songs in a throwback style, and how it helped set them on their musical journey. Now The Deslondes are signed to New West and showcasing at the Newport Folk Festival. And Luke Bell is signed to Thirty Tigers and WME, and playing Stagecoach, Bonnaroo, and opening for Dwight Yoakam.
Those true, hardcore fans of music always want to keep digging until they find that original nugget of a musical movement or influence, or in the case of Pat Reedy, the revitalization of a style of country and roots that has been forgotten by neglect throughout the generations. This is where you find the Wayne “The Train” Hancocks and Dexter Romwebers of the world who may not be as widely-known as those they have gone on to influence, but are supremely talented and essential to the music. This is also where you find Pat Reedy, if you can find him.
Drifting from one place to another, living out the tunes he sings, writing songs and recording them when he can, and playing thrown together tours with friends that traverse the country based on an itinerary has more to do with the places he wants to see or the cool spots he wants to hit along the way, or a carpenter job he has waiting for him when he arrives instead of the most intuitive trajectory forward, this is Pat Reedy’s way of making music.
If you listened to that Thirty Tigers debut of Luke Bell’s and wonder where he pulled out that faraway voice and classic style of songs, Pat Reedy is the guilty culprit. And you get a huge new helping of a similar thing if you run down Pat Reedy’s new album with his backing band The Longtime Goners called Highway Bound. Painted in vintage colors and etched out with rustic implements, Highway Bound isn’t just a journey in distance, but in time—back to an era when those who entertained did so by sowing the stories they lived out instead of what they though the audience wanted to hear.
Born in Colorado, living most of his adult life in New Orleans where he was inspired by the street performers of the French Quarter, and now at least partially relocated to Nashville, Pat Reedy made Highway Bound as a nexus between New Orleans and Nashville, recorded with New Orleans street performers, but with the benefit of a Nashville studio and sound engineers. Steel guitar, fiddle, female harmonies, and some New Orleans accordion accompany these songs that Reedy hopes results in an homage to his time in The Big Easy.
You won’t necessarily find the same production value in Highway Bound as you might the recent Luke Bell or Deslondes projects, but you will find some excellent songs that awaken that old school vitality lost in most of the country music of today. And along the way, Reedy will take you on a journey of broken hearts, soul searching, and adventure for the sake of adventure. You won’t find a whole lot of deep moments on this road trip, but you will have a hell of a good time.
And who knows what next great artist will be inspired when Pat Reedy rolls through town or they hear Highway Bound and decide to pick up the life of a drifting cowboy poet themselves.
1 3/4 Guns Up (7.5)
August, 8th 2016
New Orleans-born musician Pat Reedy is releasing a brand-new album accompanied by a Missouri tour. Now based out of Nashville, Reedy is proud to share “Highway Bound” with his Midwest fans.
Reedy has toured the country for the past eight years playing festivals, bars, venues and listening rooms. Often seen playing alongside songwriter Ronnie Aitkens, his full band includes pedal steel, dobro, fiddle, electric guitar, upright bass, drums and piano. His live shows, known for their energy, honesty and humor, are enjoyed by audiences nationwide. Be sure to catch him in STL at Foam Coffee Shop on Aug. 11, starting at 8pm.
Where are you from?
I was born, and to my knowledge conceived, in Meeker, Colorado. I grew up more in Illinois and lived most of my adult life in New Orleans. I’ve also lived in Wyoming, Oregon, Montana, Texas and now Nashville, Tennessee.
What was one moment in your life that you can say helped shape your music career?
When I first went to New Orleans and met honest-to-God great street performers for the first time. I could play a few chords on a guitar before then but that’s when I started doing it seriously. They were extraordinarily patient and welcoming. It’s a great place to learn to play.
Have you been to STL before? Do you have any fond memories or stories to share?
I have been to St. Louis several times. I love playing here. It’s an old city, kind of a cultural hub in history, and it seems a lot of people here are proud as hell of it, as they should be. Its big, too—you never know what you’re going to find.
Years ago, after a show, Jack Grelle (St. Louis-based musician) told me “Pat, you might not like this, but I think you need to see it.” He brought us to a dive bar/nightclub which was in a closed-down McDonald’s.
They hadn’t remodeled it in the slightest either; they hadn’t even bothered to clean it. You could feel the floor holding your boot down when you lifted it to take a step or dance. It was that sticky–like walking on fly paper.
The menu was hanging in tatters from the wall, the bartenders scurrying behind the counter filling solo cups as fast as they could. They had one kind of beer and it was terrible. All the lights were off but they had hung up a disco ball and had early ’90s dance music videos playing on a projector screen. Every walk of life, ethnicity, subculture etc. was represented there and every variety of criminal enterprise was likely represented in the parking lot.
It was the most surreal bar I’ve ever been to. And at the end of the night, after they hollered “last call,” flipped the lights on, and I wondered, “How did I get to be standing blind drunk in a post-apocalyptic McDonalds in the middle of the night?” surrounded by strangers probably thinking the same thing.
When you sit down to write a song, what usually inspires you? What’s your process?
I don’t have a process and I don’t sit down to write a song. I have no such discipline. The songs come (uninvited) into my head. When I’m not on the road, I run heavy equipment in Nashville and, lately, the songs keep coming at work. So, to be honest, the process lately has been hiding behind the cab of an articulating dump truck scribbling down lyrics on one of the Spanish pages of the owners manual for the truck while telling my foreman over the radio that I’m just checking the hydro oil level.
Tell us about your new album, “Highway Bound.”
The album came out of New Orleans. I knew I wouldn’t be there much longer, and I was trying to capture a specific sound and feel that I associate with New Orleans. Hopefully that comes across. They are songs written on 2X4 scraps with carpenters pencils and played by New Orleans street performers in a studio in Nashville. Hope ya’ll like them.
Alive Magazine - Cara Wegener, August 8, 2016
This is your grandpa’s country! The Longtime Goners have gone back a long time to find their pure country sound. They’ve even got a soulful pedal steel guitar played by John James providing its own take on each song. John James is not limited to this essential instrument; he also plays the dobro, electric guitar, and fiddle which is also prominently featured on many songs. “Canners Blues” does have a bit of a modern touch with a surf-sounding electric guitar that flows just under the surface of the yodel-filled lament like gurgling water. The following song “Down in Pasco” has a bit of a Cajun feel with a spicy harmonica and fiddle combo throughout. The song packs a punch with a bright beat by drummer Tony Frickey. “Stubborn As I Am Blue” is another slow, sorrowful ballad that can cut you right to the bone with its honest take on the feeling of heartache. Backing vocalist Caitlin Rose sings the chorus along with Ronnie Aitkins, and it seems that they two are the pair who have broken up over stubbornness. The worn canvas look of the album and CD itself are also indications that The Longtime Goners are keeping it true to the old school. And with twelve classic country songs with great names like “Nowhere Bound” and “Waltzing With The Wind” filling up the album, you’ll be tapping your cowboy boots for some time. - Where Y'at Magazine
Pat Reedy and The Longtime Goners play original country music, straight up without the characteristic schmaltz of today's pop country. The band is fronted by two singers and songwriters, Pat Reedy and Ronnie Aitkens. Pat's voice is rich and deep, with a quiver somewhat reminiscent of Johnny Cash. Ronnie brings a gentle yet nasally tone to the group and has yodel that nods in the direction of Jimmie Rogers. Both songwriters sing about what they know; hard luck, heartache and life on the road as working musicians. They tackle serious subject matter while retaining a sense of humor, which comes through particularly well in their live shows.
The group's outlaw-country sound is informed by a variety of American music; folk, blues, gospel, bluegrass, swamp pop and the music of their adopted home, New Orleans. Their arrangements are tight and concise, anchored by a solid rhythm section of upright bass, tasteful drums, chicken pickin' telecaster and acoustic guitar. On top of that foundation the band features some lonesome harmonica, driving fiddle and haunting pedal steel. Whether in a honky-tonk dive or on a festival stage The Longtime Goners are sure to get the audience on to the dance floor. -- Cameron Snyder (The Deslondes)