Updated: Jan 12
Our concert house series enjoys sharing our passion for American singer-songwriters. These gals have played several shows for us over the years, and you are going to have a ton of fun at the end of our 2022 series.
For those who have not experienced them together, they have been traveling together and doing gigs all over the country. When they hit the road, they do a Live Chat session which garners a crowd of fans who listen to the banter about life on the road and hilarious antics.
Getting to know you.
To know Courtney Patton is to know that she can do anything and everything. Patton is a mother, a wife, a producer, a singer, a songwriter, and a musician. When the Covid world as we know it stopped concerts in their tracks in early 2020, Patton and her husband, fellow troubadour, Jason Eady, kept the heart of live music alive with a weekly program called Sequestered Songwriters. It included so many of their dearest musical friends, from Suzy Bogguss to Cody Jinks. The shows were themed in a way to honor influential artists and songwriters. It was over the course of this year, with weekly and always-beautiful dedications to the likes of Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Vince Gill, Eagles and Don Williams, that Patton- perhaps consciously, perhaps subconsciously- had her songwriter craft and musical tastes both sharpened and broadened.
Her new Album is Electrostatic. Compared to previous more stripped-down projects, this new album has more depth musically without losing any of the of the highly personal and open-book songwriting that she’s become so loved for. It feels more soulful, more full than previous projects. In spots it feels jazzier, and on one track, even draws on Spanish influences to create an incredibly rich tapestry of sound to go with lyrics that are armed with sensitivity and sentiment. It’s as if she’s internalized the influences of her own musical heroes and manifested it into her own autobiographical dedication to music itself. Says Patton on the project, “I didn’t initially start the project with this intent, but as we were making it, I could hear all of my musical heroes and influences organically coming out in each song. And that brought me so much joy.”
The new project follows a wild two years of her own personal deep dive into the back catalogs of nearly every single artist she ever loved, not just listening and hearing the lyrical idiosyncrasies and chord progressions, but actually spending hours upon hours learning how they were played. Studying why they connected with her emotionally. Investigating how they were delivered and what made them so meaningful. Patton became a deeper student of music. And it shows on and through this new project. The lyrics themselves are as personal as anything that Patton has recorded before, however. Nowhere is this truer than with the title track, a dedication to her sister whom she lost in a vehicle accident nearly two decades ago. The song is a tribute to the influence that still exudes from those that have passed away. Patton says, “It’s a song about finding the beauty still around us in the memories of those that we’ve loved and lost. If energy can’t be created or destroyed, then we can see and feel them all around us every day. Beauty from ashes. There’s something comforting about that in itself.”
Every piece of the new project has Patton’s fingerprints and influence on it. She co-produced the project with both her husband and the Band of Heathens’ Gordy Quist. Musicians on her latest project include a group of all-star musical talents such as Geoff Queen (Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison, Reckless Kelly) on guitar and pedal steel, Trevor Nealon (Jerry Jeff Walker, Rodney Crowell, Jack Ingram) on piano and keyboards, Heather Stalling (Max Stalling, Johnny Lee, The Old 97s) on fiddle, Richard Millsap (Ray Wylie Hubbard, George Strait, John Fogerty) on drums, Naj Conklin (Guy Forsyth, Jon Dee Graham, Jason Eady) on bass, and half of the acclaimed band The Trishas on backing vocals in Jamie Lin Wilson and Kelley Mickwee. Each bring their own unique influences to the project as well.
The project follows previous solo albums, Triggering a Flood (2013), So This Is Life (2015), her acoustic collaborative project with her husband Jason Eady, Something Together, (2017), and Billboard charting project, What It’s Like To Fly Alone (2018).
To know Jamie Lin Wilson; she grew up in Sealy, Texas. She is a wife, mom, softball coach, and working musician who picked up a guitar for the first time at 19.
“It’s a weird road we’re on right now––I guess it always has been,” Jamie Lin Wilson says. She’s sitting on her porch in D’Hanis, a tiny town on the Seco Creek in South Texas, not far from San Antonio. She laughs a little, then adds, “But nobody’s life is the same. There is no blueprint.”
Thank goodness for all the lonely paths Jamie’s had to find that no one else has taken. With a voice that slides in and out of notes with easy grace, a sly sense of humor, and lyrics that highlight the details most of us miss, Jamie creates stark vignettes: intimate conversations between friends who might be lovers and lovers who can’t be friends; kids hopping from stone to stone in a graveyard; the way rolling clouds can signal a new season. She lives and works in that sweet spot where folk and country meet––Guy Clark territory. “It’s unfair that the poets and songwriters are the ones who have the songs about their lives, when maybe that’s not what’s poetic,” Jamie says. “Maybe the moments are the ones happening in everyday farmers’ lives, or to a widow, or a son.” It’s her comfort in and commitment to two distinct worlds––that of the dream-chasing artists and the dirt-under-their-nails realists––that makes Jamie and her songs not just inviting, but cathartically important.
Jamie’s new record Jumping Over Rocks marks her second full-length solo album, but she’s not the new kid. She cut her teeth fronting and co-fronting beloved bands including the Gougers and the Trishas, winning over listeners and peers across the country. Now, her place as an acclaimed singer-songwriter on her own seems fated, imbued with a singular blend of freshness and road-earned wisdom. “I consider ‘Jumping Over Rocks’ to be a definitive record on myself and my style,” Jamie says. “I hope it’s something people connect with, that it’s familiar to them but also new. I hope that people find it interesting.”
No one covers the spectrum of age and experience quite like Jamie: moving portraits of men, women, and children coping, striving, wondering, and celebrating. Interesting? Undoubtedly. Universal but specific and personal, too. “I studied people around me more for this record than I have in the past,” she says. “I wrote songs from my perspective, from the outside looking in.”
Jamie didn’t pick up a guitar until she was 19. Casual remarks she dropped to her mom and cousin led to a gifting of an acoustic that Christmas. She started attending open mics in College Station, and was immediately welcomed into what was primarily a boys’ club of aspiring pickers and writers that included future fellow Gouger Shayne Walker. “By the end of the summer, I was playing gigs in a band, the Gougers,” she says. “I learned how to play guitar on stage.”
Jamie never looked back. She fell in love and married her college sweetheart, Roy. Together, the two raise their children and make their “weird road” work beautifully. “I’ve been taking kids on the road for eight years, touring constantly, just taking breaks to have babies,” Jamie says.
Jamie recorded Jumping Over Rocks during four days at Arlyn Studios in Austin. A fierce cast of musicians joined her, including Charlie Sexton on guitar, and together, Jamie and the players cut every track live. “You’re hearing my voice with the band––their playing, reacting to my emotions, and my voice reacting to the things they’re playing, all in real time,” Jamie says. “I think that adds to the feeling of these songs.”
The result is a rich collection of story songs delivered over rootsy strings, moody keys, crying steel, and sparse percussion, carried by Jamie’s songbird soprano that can convey tears or laughter with equal panache, sometimes in the same bar. The record kicks off with “Faithful and True,” a vocal showcase that mixes the sorrow of admitting shortcomings with a plea for forgiveness. Written with Jack Ingram, the song sounds like a classic from golden-era Nashville. “In our minds, it was about a relationship and obvious temptation,” Jamie says. “I started playing it at shows, and someone came up after one and said, ‘That song sounds like a prayer.’ I said, ‘Man, I think that’s what it is!’ That’s how I’ve thought of it ever since.”
Gently rolling “The Being Gone” questions the cost and payoff of decisions made, while “Oklahoma Stars,” which Jamie wrote with Turnpike Troubadours’ Evan Felker, pays tribute to those long nights that run together, unremarkably, but in hindsight come together to build a relationship, land, or life. Dreamy “Everybody’s Moving Slow” conjures up images of hazy summers as Jamie delivers a crooning performance worthy of the Rat Pack.
Opening with plaintive strings, “If I Told You” mulls over a painful thought: what if the other person doesn’t really want to know how you feel about them? Smiling through defeat, “Eyes for You” explores the vulnerability love brings. “In a Wink” kicks off with a poignant question: “Did you enjoy the clouds as much as Maggie did this morning? / I don’t know that anybody could,” before cataloguing the gorgeous moments we rush through instead of savor.
"Instant Coffee Blues," originally written by Guy Clark and featuring Ingram as a duet partner, is the sole cover on the record. It's followed by Jamie's own song, "Run," which explores an area Clark mastered, with a stirring debate over how long is too long for a woman to stay.
The album gets its title from standout track “Death and Life,” an epic it took Jamie four years to write. A widow mourning her husband and not quite ready to let go; a son who copes with his father’s death by getting to work with his hands, hammers, nails, and 2x4s: the two true tales became intertwined thematically as Jamie mulled them over. “I realized the song is how people who are still here deal with death,” she says. “It’s life after death, but not heavenly life. It’s how the living deal with death.”
When asked how she hopes listeners react to Jumping Over Rocks, Jamie brings up a hero: John Prine. “On his new album, there is a song that always gets me––‘Summer’s End,’” she says. “Every time I listen to it, I start crying, and I think, ‘I don’t know why I’m crying!’” She laughs her big laugh, which comes often and easily. “I hope something I create can get to somebody in that way. That’s what gets us through––finding common ground with someone else, whether it’s in songs or friendship. It makes you feel better about your own life.”
See you this weekend.
All bio details are directly from their websites.