Recently nominated for a Grammy for americana album of the year.
Robbie plays by nobody’s rules–except the ones he hears in his head. He is prodigiously talented, with the soul of a country singer and the mind of a vaudevillian. Besides, his scorn for the music industry makes ours look positively prosaic. But don’t let that make you lose sight of THE SONGS.
Widely regarded by those who monitor such things as one of the most gifted songwriters to ever ply the trade, he can sing the kids ditty “Eggs” and Haggard’s“Sing a Sad Song” back to back and mean ’em both. While it is true he started off a honky tonk smartass, it quickly became evident that Robbie was a monster talent and some of his early Bloodshot albums have been rightly elevated to the status of “classic” and serve as their own Greatest Hits collections. Seriously.
It is a damning condemnation of our world’s musical taste that he has not been elevated to the ranks of the multi-faceted giants of songwriting like Nick Lowe, Dave Alvin and Harlan Howard. He damn well should be. Robbie’s cross-genre antics (like us, he has trouble navigating this world of hyphens) would have had him revered in times gone by; such artists used to be coveted, now they confuse. We take it personally that he’s not more famous and consider it evidence of our world’s moral and aesthetic decline.
Lost in the deserved accolades for being a fabulously unique, clever, and heartfelt writer is the fact that he’s also one of the best guitarists around. The chameleon-like tall guy can whip it out in honky-tonk, country, bluegrass, power pop, or whatever strikes his ample whimsy at the time.
“It’s true, I’m a long way from home,” Patrick Coman says with a faint twang that remains the most enduring clue to his beginnings south of the Mason-Dixon line. A fixture of Boston’s vibrant roots music scene as a performer, organizer of the New England Americana Festival and the For the Sake of the Song series, and as the host of Local Folk on Boston’s Americana radio station WUMB, Coman has made much of his five years in the Northeast, but it doesn’t quite yet feel like home.
An Okie from just north of Muskogee, Patrick grew up under the spell of his hometown’s famed Tulsa Sound. Equal parts red dirt, blues, rock, soul, and country this unique regional sound was the perfect template for a budding songwriter with a voracious and wide-ranging appetite for roots music.
Patrick’s latest effort Reds & Blues was written in homage to the albums that lie at the heart of this foundation. Each song was written as a mythical “missing track” to an album that has contributed to the unique style he calls “playing the reds and blues”. These albums include everything from touchstones by Bob Dylan, The Band, and the Rolling Stones to work from Tulsa Sound pioneers Leon Russell, JJ Cale, and lesser known gems from Whiskeytown, Big Star, and rockabilly legend Jerry Lee Lewis.