- Label: 'Need To Know Music'
- Genre: 'Alt/Country'
- Release Date: '17th July 2020'
Philadelphia-based guitarist and songwriter G.F. Patrick sings big screen countrified songs of rust and dust.
As Galen Fitzpatrick , he was part of a bluegrass inspired folk band called Black Horse Motel. As G.F., this is his debut solo album and it's a remarkably confident one.
The accomplished set of 14 songs (plus one hidden track) makes for an hour's worth of material and contains no obvious fillers. He is backed by drummer/percussionist Billy Conway, Frank Swart on bass and Mark Blasquez on guitars and keys.
"Everyone knows that growing up sucks", he sings in the title tune and the narratives serve to confirm that life is full of disappointments. The protagonists of his songs are like modern day versions of Steinbeck characters scavenging to make ends meet and make sense of the world.
He documents their noble struggles with a John Prine eye for detail and, with Refugee Plea (Jungle Prayer), he has written an issue song that Steve Earle would be proud of (check out the lyric video of this song for the details).
The updated subterranean homesick blues of Anger of Magdalene (Ain't No Future Workin' 9 to 5) confirm that working for the man is never going to lead to fulfillment.
Equally, relationships are fraught with problems. In Blood on the Bottle he tackles the always topical problem of men who can only express their emotions through violence. In Like Father, he traces this dysfunctional behavior back to family roots likening it to doing "battle with the beasts" .
In Patrick's world of beat up trucks and dead-end jobs, there's not much cause for hope but the steely gaze the singer directs towards these topics burn with an intensity that appeals to our sense of empathy rather than feeding our apathy.