I Just Can't Call It Quits -
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.
Lee Zimmerman, The Daily Ripple
“Patterson Barrett is Sure to Satisfy —Patterson Barrett is a journeyman musician of the highest order. Along with an impressive stream of solo endeavors, his work as a session man regularly enriches the efforts of others. On his new album, the aptly titled Give ‘Em What They Want, several of Patterson’s pals repay the favor -- Buddy Miller, Gurf Morlix, Brian Langlinas, Jim Lauderdale, and Renee Wahl, among them. Not that Barrett doesn’t make music that succeeds on its own merits as well. As judged by the eleven songs contained herein, his reputation as a tacit troubador is solid and succinct. Wit is a prime resource here; “Coldwater County” drops in the lyrics of several well known standards of a vintage variety to spawn what’s best described as an authentic hillbilly lament. The loose and loping “Young Alleycats” references the down home approach once borne out by the Band, making it a decidedly agreeable entry that’s representative of Barrett’s obvious influences. Likewise, the funky strut that accompanies the title track brings to mind the southern sass of Little Feat, just as the blissful ballad “If I Only Knew” and the untitled bonus track show he’s equally adept at imparting a tender touch. This is home-brewed music of the finest variety, a sound that has him situated somewhere between the neighbors’ back porch and a local honky tonk that’s located just up the street and well with inreach. Barrett takes on an unassuming stance throughout, and between the pedal steel guitars, the lilting delivery and a genuinely humble vocal stance, the lack of pretense and posturing is ready made to endear him to his listener, even on first hearing. Give ‘Em What They Want provides all it promises. ” - Lee Zimmerman
“...There's something about this CD that comes through loud and clear: Barrett's earnest and charming songs and playing to match...there's a thread of honesty and soulfulness that runs through 'I Must Be Dreaming"...Trust me, this one will grow on you.” - Michael Lipton
““…All good. All really good…He can write—exceptionally well. He can sing—pretty well. He can play-—man, he can play. Add the guests, the sound, the production, a big plus for the lyrics…Damn fine stuff, this. Well worth checking out.”” - Frank Gutch Jr.
“This little gem from veteran player and multi-instrumentalist Patterson Barrett doesn’t sound anything like a debut solo album, not with the likes of Buddy and Julie Miller helping out. ... his voice suits the laid-back sentiment of “Back in My Heart” and “Somewhere Far Away.” What really sets the all-original "I Must Be Dreaming" apart is its tender ability to tap into the vagaries of midlife without sounding like overgrown teen angst.” - Margaret Moser
“RATING: **** (4.5 out of 5 Stars)”
““Forget the fact this is Patterson Barrett’s solo debut; he bears impressive credentials and considerable star connections…Barrett’s blue collar-country reveals a no-nonsense delivery and a keen eye for detail” Top 12 DIY Picks”
“...(this) veteran has, after decades of experience, released a debut that he created on his own terms...and the knowledge that (he) got it right is an important part of any artist's career".” - Willie G. Moseley
— Vintage Guitar magazine/Feb. 2008 issue
“Barrett assembles an arresting collection of original tunes. His songs combine alt-country musical textures with relaxed folky arrangements to create musical tableaus...” - Steven Stone
— Vintage Guitar Magazine
“One of those heavy cats you never heard of because he chose to hang around Austin and raise his kids rather than hit the road finally takes his turn to step out. After years of working with Jerry Jeff Walker, Nanci Griffith, Gurf Morlix, Buddy & Julie Miller, Lou Ann Barton and lots of others you like from the Americana realm, this is a tasty work out that includes several of the above as well as a reunion with high school sweetie, Deborah Holland. A delightfully heartfelt and beautiful set that has been way too long in the making, this is a must for Americana fans, who are certain to flip out at discovering an important missing link.” - Chris Spector