Originally from Colorado and part of the same singer-songwriter scene that gave us Nathaniel Rateliff, Esmé Patterson was initially part of the folk band Paper Bird with her sister. Patterson has increasingly let loose her inner rocker on each new solo album — particularly on her third record, released this past June, titled We Were Wild.
While the transition to her sound on We Were Wild was still underway, Patterson also recorded and toured with Austin musician Shakey Graves. Their duet in “Dearly Departed” became a bit of a hit and helped get her name around. She told World Cafe that keeping her options open has made it possible to explore the professional opportunities she’s encountered.
Esmé Patterson’s new album There Will Come Soft Rains (out March 6th) began as a concept inspired by the penultimate tale from Ray Bradbury 1950’s short story collection The Martian Chronicles. While getting her start as a member of the Denver folk pop septet Paper Bird, Patterson’s magnetic appearances on Leno, Conan, and Letterman in the time since, alongside co-writing and performing with Shakey Graves, has led to sold out shows nationwide and millions of downloads of their collaborations.
NPR Music praises: “Gone are the banjos and remnants of folk music, and in their place are electric guitars — sometimes fierce and somewhat understated. But all of this instrumentation is meant to be supportive, not center-stage. At the heart of these songs is a reach for independence: “I can’t sit still ’cause I’m no mountain / I’m human, I’m human.” If there’s a thread that ties Patterson’s songs together, it’s discovering who you are and standing strong. She’s doing that well — with a powerful and sensitive band that’s got her back.”
Opening is Tucson’s own Gabriel Sullivan. His new Black Crow is his fifth solo album to date, and comes during an incredibly prolific several years for the singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer and label and studio owner. In recent years Sullivan has recorded three albums and toured extensively (especially in Europe) co-fronting the Tucson-based band XIXA; recorded and toured with Tucson’s long-running, legendary Giant Sand; built out and recorded numerous acts at his Dust & Stone Studio (including The Lost Brothers, Billy Sedlmayr, Imarhan, Giant Sand, as well as the XIXA albums); wrote and recorded a song a day for an entire year; and has been involved in numerous other recording projects, collaborations, one-offs, tours and gigs.