May 5 2023
One would be hard-pressed to find a more affable or good-natured artist and entertainer than Patterson Barrett. Always a reliable support player — his credits include work with Jerry Jeff Walker, Buddy and Julie Miller, Chuck Berry, Nancy Griffith, Deborah Holland — he can also claim a captivating string of albums recorded under his aegis.
It’s little wonder he titled his new album "I Just Can’t Call It Quits". There’s simply no need to consider retirement at this juncture. Yet, if he has any doubts about that decision, he certainly doesn’t show it. His jaunty rhythms, folksy vocals and good-natured attitude reflect the fact that he genuinely enjoys what he does. A quirky take on the Sam and Dave standard “Soul Man” attests to that disposition, but so does practically every song in the set, whether it’s the easy, breezy sway of “Where Do We Go” and “Another Beautiful Day,” the calming caress of the upbeat and optimistic “Dream Geography” or the sweep of pedal steel and mandolin bolstering “Who’s Left to Keep the World Turning.”
Barrett garners any number of indelible influences — the latter day Byrds, the Burrito Brothers, Doug Sahm, and Poco among them — but it’s his reassuring embrace that binds it all so emphatically. He comes across like a companion and confidant who makes you feel instantly at ease, without the need to put up any artificial posture or pretense. Even when he expresses a sense of yearning and desperation on a song such as “Longing For Sun,” he never abandons that sincere sense of dreamy desire. The down home designs of “I’m Pretending,” a tune credited to Buddy and Julie Miller and featuring harmonies from Buddy Miller as well, attest to his sweeter sentiments