Courtney Patton | Texas Review | Ralph Arvesen
Courtney Patton performing during the Reckless Kelly's Farewell Tour at the Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, Texas on June 29, 2024. (Photo: Ralph Arvesen)

Influence is defined by Webster as the power to have an important effect on someone or something, changing them in an indirect but significant way. Courtney Patton embodies this definition, combining poetic lyrics, a rich blend of musical influences, and storytelling to create an extraordinary set of songs on her 2022 album, Electrostatic. With just one listen, your perspective on music will be transformed.

Courtney Patton is a multifaceted talent: a mother, wife, producer, singer, songwriter, and musician. When the Covid pandemic halted live concerts in early 2020, Patton and her husband, fellow troubadour Jason Eady, kept the spirit of live music alive with their weekly program, Sequestered Songwriters. This show featured many of their dear musical friends, from Suzy Bogguss to Cody Jinks, and was themed to honor influential artists and songwriters. Through weekly tributes to the likes of Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Vince Gill, the Eagles, and Don Williams, Patton honed and broadened her songwriting craft and musical tastes. The result on Electrostatic is evident. Compared to her previous, more stripped-down projects, this new album offers greater musical depth without losing the highly personal, open-book songwriting that she is loved for.

The album feels more soulful, fuller, with jazzier elements and even Spanish influences creating a rich tapestry of sound to accompany her sensitive and sentimental lyrics. It's as if Patton has internalized the influences of her musical heroes and crafted her own autobiographical dedication to music itself. Reflecting on the project, Patton says, “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 two years of Patton's deep dive into the back catalogs of nearly every artist she ever loved. She spent hours learning how their songs were played, studying why they connected with her emotionally, and investigating what made them so meaningful. Patton became a deeper student of music, and it shows in Electrostatic. The lyrics are as personal as anything she has recorded before, especially the title track, a dedication to her sister, who she lost in a vehicle accident nearly two decades ago. The song is a tribute to the lasting influence of those who have passed away. Patton explains, “It’s a song about finding the beauty still around us in the memories of those 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 aspect of the new project bears Patton's fingerprints and influence. She co-produced the album with her husband and the Band of Heathens’ Gordy Quist. The musicians on this project include a group of all-star talents: 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 brings their unique influences to the project.

Electrostatic follows Patton's previous solo albums: Triggering a Flood (2013), So This Is Life (2015), her acoustic collaborative project with Jason Eady, Something Together (2017), and the Billboard-charting What It’s Like to Fly Alone (2018).
Fan reviews:

Courtney Patton is such a talented woman. Her voice is beautiful and her songwriting is superb. She is about as real as it gets!

Courtney is a true delight. She can sing anything and do it amazingly well. Her songs touch on the ups and downs in life we can all relate to. Her infectious joy in what she does radiates the room and leaves you with a full heart and a smile on your face. Don’t miss her concerts.

Always top notch! Courtney brings the best every time!

Just love this lady . Great vocals, fun banter and a thoroughly enjoyable evening. If you haven’t seen her please go. She never disappoints.

Courtney Patton’s performance was awesome. The band was absolutely wonderful. She is so, so talented. I will see her again the first chance I get.

Pure gold, Courtney is an incredible singer and her songs are beautifully written and performed. She’s super fun and personable and just an all around badass. Love the new songs , great performance in a super cool venue.

Courtney's singing, songwriting and storytelling are the absolute best. Plus she's a super kind and beautiful human being which always make her shows phenomenal.
Courtney Patton shared the stage with Reckless Kelly and Steve Earle at the Whitewater Amphitheater. They continue across the United States with the last stop at the Southside Preservation Hall in Fort Worth, Texas on August 4, 2024.

Courtney Patton
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Photos by Ralph Arvesen
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