Once upon the ’90s, Joe Patt was the adrenalized drummer for the Hairy Patt Band, a batch of Punk crazies that made a big impression on local and regional audiences. The creatively and geographically restless Patt relocated to Columbus and started another acclaimed area band, Them Wranch, which notched a similarly slavish loyalty before Patt pulled up stakes once again and landed in Chicago in 2002, playing in bands like Cash Audio and The Country Teasers.
Chicago’s also where Patt assembled his longest lasting outfit to date, The Royal Pines. For this aggregation, Patt decided to leave the drumming to beatkeeper Joe Gerdeman and strapped on a guitar to join guitarist Brian Harper and bassist Brendan O’Mara at the front of the stage, showcasing his heretofore untested singing voice, a sonorous instrument reminiscent of the deep power of Nick Cave and Rank & File’s Tony Kinman.
Drawing on songs that Patt had been tinkering with for years, the Pines conceived a sound that gene-spliced Indie and Roots Rock, a dark, swirling, swaggering mix of twangy Americana, psychedelic Pop and edgy Indie Rock. Mining similar veins as Pavement, Built to Spill, Crazy Horse, The Bad Seeds and Son Volt on a peyote bender, Patt and Royal Pines finally hit the studio in 2007 for their stellar debut full-length, Old World, which earned them an ass-pocketful of great notices every bit as fervent as their live reviews.
The Royal Pines finally followed up the hair-raising splendor of Old World late last year with Come Forth, reclaiming the debut’s dark spark but also showing the natural progression of their sharper-than-ever songwriting and expressive, soulful delivery, the gothic aura hanging in the air like ominous pea-soup-thick fog. After working Chicagoland to spread the word, the band brings a live dose of their new songs to Patt’s old stomping grounds (Columbus and Cincy) this weekend.
THE ROYAL PINES play Mayday Friday, May 20 with guests BILLY CATFISH and THE SPEED HICKEYS. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.