Bobby Patterson’s life in music has had many facets. Whether as a DJ in Texas, a producer for artists like Fontella Bass and Little Johnny Taylor, a writer whose work has been covered by everyone from Albert King to The Fabulous Thunderbirds to Golden Smog, or as a recording artist — Bobby always brings the soul.
According to critic Robert Wilonsky, writing in Patterson’s hometown Dallas Morning News, “Bobby Patterson, whose body is 70 and whose voice still needs an I.D. to buy a drink, sounds today just like he did in the mid-1960s, when he was Dallas’ No. 1 soul brother.
On July 22nd, Omnivore Recordings will release Patterson’s first new studio album in years, titled I Got More Soul! “Life and death are in the power of the tongue. On this new album I speak to the old and I speak to the young,” says Patterson. “This new CD is the real deal. The longer you listen, the better you feel!”
Recorded in Austin, Texas, I Got More Soul!, well, simply has more soul than any release you’ll hear this year. Filled with originals and a few choice covers — including Sly & the Family Stone’s “Poet,” originally released on 1971’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On — I Got More Soul! channels the past and brings it blazing into the future.
One of the major buzz artists from the roots sector at SXSW 2014, Patterson is scheduled to appear at the Lincoln Center Out Of Doors summer festival in August, on a bill with Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires and many more.
Patterson was born in 1944 in Dallas. He recorded his first session in 1957 for Liberty Records for L.A., which was never released. Meanwhile, Dallas label Abnak Records (home of the Five Americans of “Western Union” fame) signed him to its Jetstar R&B label, for which he recorded, doubling as staff producer and promotion man. Among his hits were “T.C.B. or T.Y.A.,” “She Don’t Have To See You (To See Through You),” “How Do You Spell Love?” and “Don’t Be So Mean.
When Abnak folded in the late ’60s, Patterson recorded one indie album and then produced and promoted records by other artists including Fontella Bass, Chuck Jackson, Little Johnny Taylor and Albert King. King recorded “That’s What the Blues Is All About,” which Patterson co-wrote.
His song “She Don’t Have To See You” even found its way into the unlikely hands of mid-’90s indie-rock “super-group” Golden Smog who included it in their 1995 album Down by the Old Mainstream. The vocalist was Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.
Patterson was also known to Dallas/Fort Worth residents as a DJ on R&B radio station KKDA-AM until the station’s switchover from urban to Korean language programming.
Producer Zach Ernst, the former Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears guitarist, has served as Patterson’s band leader of late, and was quoted in the Dallas Morning News, “I’ve never seen an R&B show, a more real deal, old-school show, than just being on stage with Bobby, and I know the rest of the world needs to see that. All I wanted to do was set him up to be revered and witnessed by a much larger audience.”
“This new CD is like Lone Ranger and Tonto, like Cisco and Pancho. I come to you in mono and stereo,” says Patterson in summation. “If I’m lyin’, James ain’t Brown, Al ain’t Green, and B.B. ain’t King.”