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Pat Reedy makes honest honky-tonk music for the modern world, mixing twang, blue-collar songwriting, working-class pride, and an unconventional backstory into albums like 2018's That's All There Is. 


That's All There Is was written during breaks in Reedy's construction job, with lyrics scribbled down on scraps of paper and discarded pieces of wood. Maybe that's why these songs — with their warm, rough-around-the-edges charm — sound different than the contemporary country-pop hits recorded in Reedy's adopted hometown of Nashville. In a city full of Hollywood cowboys and wannabe outlaws, Reedy is the real deal, more influenced by the artists whose filled the airwaves during his childhood years — including Dwight Yoakam, Mark Chesnutt, and George Jones — than anything in today's mainstream. 


Years before he moved to Nashville, a 21 year-old Reedy cut his teeth on the street corners of New Orleans. He was taken "under the wings" of senior buskers, strumming songs for the locals on Lower Decatur and the tourists on Bourbon and Royal Streets. In this time he founded the street band Sundown Songs along with Kiki Cavazos, Jesse Kammerdeiner, Matt Bell, and Ross Harmon.  The group was later joined by Alynda Seguira (Hurray for The Riff Raff) and Sam Doores (Deslondes.)  Those boozy home recordings and performances became the launching pad for his career, and although Reedy eventually graduated to proper venues, he never forgot the lessons learned during his roadside gigs. 


"It taught me how to really sell a song," he says of his busking history. "How to draw a crowd, too. And, occasionally, how to fend off drunks."


Backed by the Longtime Goners, an electrified honky-tonk band of New Orleans-based street musicians, Reedy began making trips to Nashville. There, the group recorded a self-titled album in 2013, followed by 2016's Highway Bound. Although tracked in Tennessee, both albums looked to New Orleans for their cues, with accordion riffs and country-punk sensibilities that paid clear tribute to the Big Easy. Reedy toured heavily in support of both albums, hitting the road in a 1985 diesel pickup truck and bringing the hootenanny spirit of original country music to dive bars, honky tonks, and punk houses across America.


That's All There Is feels like the soundtrack to his move to Nashville, filled with pedal steel guitar riffs, upright bass, fiddle, and booming melodies inspired by classic country music. There's no accordion here. No punky influence, either. Instead, Reedy sinks his teeth into his own country roots, writing traditional-minded songs about heartache, travel, and long work days. 

"I used to slum through town during my early 20s, he remembers, and it was during one of those train rides that I met a semi-retired circus clown who became my best friend. His name was Stumps the Clown. We'd busk on Broadway, then grab beers from a gas station and climb up the Shelby Pedestrian Bridge so we could look down over Nashville. Then we'd walk to the East Side and go to sleep in a punk house. Those houses don't exist anymore, because the people got gentrified out."


Perhaps it's unsurprising that Reedy sympathizes with those who've been displaced by Nashville's recent boom in population. He's more aligned with the oddball characters and left-of-center artists who filled the city long before it became a tourist mecca, and he brings that old-school approach to That's All There Is, planting one foot in the territory of his influences while pointing the other toward newer territory. 

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