Pat Pepin: In It For the Long Haul

 

        by Liz Betit, The Hallowell Record

 

        Anyone who knows Pat Pepin knows that she REALLY is "In It For the Long Haul".  She is a fully committed songwriter, singer, musician and entertainer.  Pat writes stories of life, love, joy, and sadness, above all else, Pat Pepin is a storyteller.  She pulls her ideas from the life scenes around her as well as her own life. 

       " In It For the Long Haul" reflects the many facets that comprise Pat Pepin.  She can be bluesy, saucy & tart, smooth, jazzy, flirty, and playful.  Pat has always had the ability to articulate what women feel about men, love and relationships.  Women can really relate to a lot of Pat's songs.  Al ot of us have been to the places that Pat's been, we are just not able to put the emotions into words quite the way that she does. 

        Recorded  right here in Hallowell, at The Rootcellar, Pat is joined on her CD by local musicians: Bob Colwell on all manner of keyboards, Steve Jones guitars and other stringed instruments, Dave Thibodeau bass, Dick Hollis percussion, Angela Plato on trumpet and a cameo appearance on guitar by Pat Colwell on "Long Haul Trucker." 

        Pat, herself ,a long haul trucker, has spent the last year or so, on the road bringing her brand of music up and down the east coast but a long the way, Pat has honed her musical skills.   Patty's vocals on "Sunday Kind of Love"  really shows what she is capable of, vocally.  She shows fantastic vocal control and caresses her voice like a musical instrument.  I was really impressed with Pat's vocals on this CD. 

        The soulful "Can't be Satisfied" has a danceable beat and tells a story of a thirst that can't be quenched.   Bob Colwell's organ rifts add a somber texture to the overall tune.   "Don't Call Me Baby, (Baby)" cast Pat in her most infamous role, as the saucy and tart jilted woman.  Her down and dirty sax playing lends to the over-all bluesy feel of the song.  Ladies, this is one we can all relate too!

         "Can't Take It With You" has an awesome arrangement and creates the illusion that Pat is playing with a complete Dixieland Jazz Band.  It is obvious that Pat was strongly influenced by her trips to New Orleans and came away with rifts of New Orleans style jazz floating in her head.  Angela Plato on trumpet, Bob Colwell on clarinet and Pat not only playing the saxophone but the trombone as well, make you feel as if there is a Dixieland Band coming down the street at any moment.  She captured the full flavor of Bourbon St.   Dick Hollis's drum and percussion playing is spot on.  I really enjoyed this tune.

         "Long Haul Trucker" is a classic driving Rock and Roll tune that makes you want to jump up and dance.  Pepin and Pat Colwell are no strangers to playing together and their musicality complements each other.  Patty has a rocking sax solo embedded in this song. 

         "Til Death Do Us Part" is a different  kind of sound for Pat with sax solos that remind me of the sax player that used to play with Sade.  It is a  serious song wrapped around a serious story of rose colored relationships.  The tone of the music lends creditability to the story.   Pat's does an awesome rendition of "This Dress" and "Why Me", where Pat shows us her smooth style and classic Pat Pepin saxophone playing.   Both Steve Jones and Dave Thibodeau have a strong influence and add smoothness to both tunes but in particularly to "Why Me."

         Once again, Pat spells it all out for us ladies, with "Sneaking Suspicion".  I had all I could do to not stop typing and start dancing around the living room and Pat does some fine sax playing  in here as well. 

         And then, we come to "Sunday Kind of Love".....   Pat really out does herself here vocally.   I can see Pat in full "torch style" regalia belting out this song of love and longing.  It's like Pat stepped back into a different era...very polished and as I stated above, this song really shows what Pat is capable of giving us, vocally. 

         "Left me Lonely" is a blues tune with a funk overtone and yet again another good dance number.  Pat pulls out her playful side in "Ain't What You Got" (it's what you do with it!)  

         Fortunately, for us, there is a bonus track entitled, "Living at Walmart".  (America's free camping ground from sea to shiny sea).   The tune has a real kind of Les Paul 50"s style, thanks to the superb guitar playing of Steve Jones.   Pat tells us of her observations as she travels from Walmart parking lot to Walmart parking lot in her RV. 

         This is Pat Pepin's best CD yet...each of her recordings best the one before and once again she blesses us with some memorable dance tunes and some wonderful stories!  After hearing this, Pat may find that her fans are 'In It For the Long Haul' as well!