Patterson Barrett moved to Austin shortly after appearing on Jerry Jeff Walker’s eponymous first release on MCA records, playing pedal steel, dobro, and guitar (including the song “L.A. Freeway”). Not long after arriving in Austin, he formed the band Partners In Crime, which included Buddy and Julie Miller, releasing one album on their own label, Criminal Records.
In the years since, Patterson produced some of Hal Ketchum’s earliest demos, served in Al Kooper’s back-up band, and performed before 10,000 festival-goers as Chuck Berry’s pianist. He accompanied Nancy Griffith on Austin City Limits, legendary Austin singer Lou Ann Barton in music clubs around the country, and Buddy Miller on his Your Love And Other Lies CD, and more recently, on the Buddy & Jim CD.
After years of collaboration with other talented artists in every format imaginable, Barrett released his first solo effort entitled I Must Be Dreaming. This collection features Patterson in the role of singer/songwriter in addition to musician/producer. On it, he explores some of the aspects of dreams and other alternate realities of life and death that touch us all.
Patterson followed I Must Be Dreaming with the release of his sophmore solo CD “When I Was Your Age…” The music on the disc is solidly americana, with elements of folk, rock and country evident. Barrett once again does most of the instrumental duties, wielding an army of musical hardware, from the staples (guitars, keyboards, bass) to the slightly more exotic (pedal steel, accordion, and balalaika), but there are notable guest contributions. Bonnie Bramlett lends her unmistakable vocals to the rocking abandon of lead-off track “Come Back To Me,” and she joins the equally iconic Gurf Morlix to sing on the gospel-meets-gravel-road chorus of “Nobody’s Fault But Your Own.” Morlix also adds licks and a solo to “In Your Own Voice,” leaving his unique imprint on the song. And the inspiration himself, Barrett’s son Emerson Wells-Barrett, played drums on the cautionary (but completely fictional) tale “The Wrong Way.”
Patterson cites Neil Young and country-rock pioneers Poco and the Flying Burrito Brothers as his early influences, as well as soul stalwarts such as Sam and Dave, The Temptations, and Marvin Gaye. The music on I Must Be Dreaming has been compared to John Hiatt, The Band (whose song “Sleeping” he lovingly covers), and Josh Ritter.