For Contact InfoPat & Tex LaMountain
rivers roads & bridges
We are grateful to Anand Nayak for tuning in to our music and producing a product we are proud of: rivers roads & bridges. He is a huge valley resource for us singer songwriters who want to find the life in their songs during the recording experience. I think he was happy to have a chance to play his resonator guitar so much. The country sounds that are so much a part of Tex's songs meshed with Anand's natural sensibilities. His harmonies astound me. We really benefitted from all of his skills.
Because we took a three month road trip to the West Coast just at the end of the recording phase, when we got back home to the last mixing and redos that are so tedious, we also had to figure out the CD cover and I took on the project. I used photos we had taken on the trip - selfies and photos of each other - sometimes out of synch with the Western Massachusetts feel of the songs because they were West Western. But we ignored the self-critique and chose a shot for the cover that Tex took of our shadows in Death Valley - on the salt flats at Badwater Basin - 282 feet below sea level. Thank goodness it was in March because as it was, it was in the 90's. We do have to admit we left MA on January 1, 2014 of the coldest, most stressful winter yet endured in the northeast. We headed south and then west and didn't return until the end of March. We couldn't have planned it better if we had known what was about to happen. As it was, we had a fantastic trip and did five unplanned concerts in the three months we were gone. Two house concerts: one at my sister Tina's in Bluff, Utah (four corners area) and another at my brother Dave's in Eugene, Oregon. Two in a fun coffee house, The Coffee Bean, in Flagstaff, AZ which my brother filled with his buddies and their spouses - except that on the return trip in March it was Spring break and these academics were on vacation and away. But at that second coffee house our new friend Jorge (born in Texas) sat in on fiddle and we had a blast. Our friend Bill Hanley who sat in on bass, brought him along. My brother Tony even invited all of us to play back at the house afterward. As we left Flagstaff we were into the middle of March and assumed we would aim straight for Tex's brother's in Richmond, VA. We were always watching the weather. In fact, Greenfield, MA weather was on the top of my cell phone and I would daily wince as I saw what was happening back at home. "Not still ZERO..."
We actually felt guilty for having such nice weather in Big Bend (TX), Joshua Tree, Redwoods and Death Valley - Zabriskie Point pictured here - (CA) national parks, Los Angeles at my sister Ann's, San Francisco at my friend Karen's and Tex's cousin Jim's, and Marina/Carmel where Tex's cousin Moira lives/works. We didn't enjoy it less but it was painful, even from a distance. We did notice that the weather in the midwest was not so bad at that time and it didn't seem to have icy weather coming in. I really wanted to get to my town of birth, Aurora, Nebraska, and visit Aunt Dot. She is just a particular love of my life. So we called her at her assisted living home and said we were coming. Route 40 across Arizona & New Mexico, the Texas panhandle, the Oklahoma panhandle, Western Kansas and a little bit of Nebraska. That is flat driving. And brown, tan and rust dust. What a drive. But we made it. And she wanted us to do a concert! So we had 40-50 dreamy seniors on a late winter morning enjoying our tunes. I have to say, the unplanned nature of these concerts was a treat. We had two tiny amps and two microphones and it was simple to put together and a lot of fun.
One treat early in the trip was to drop off a special painting at a meditation retreat center in Austin, TX. Our friend Gary Fiske-White had painted a portrait of Chari, our teacher and guide in our meditation practice. This portrait was going to live in the center. Once we got to Texas, Big Bend was an obvious choice. We had gotten an email from David Sneed, a friend from Wyoming, telling us we had to go to Big Bend and to Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico from the park. The way he described taking a rowboat over the Rio Grande and a burro ride up to the little unspoiled town isolated from the rest of Mexico, we had to go. So the burro photos are from that charming trip into a sweet little town along the shallow, narrow river of renown. Now I am very clear how ridiculous it is to even discuss CLOSING the border. It's just plain impossible, even if there is any real reason that makes sense, which I question. If people could survive and make an okay living anywhere, no one would ever want to come here except the rest of the people who are fixated on putting "making money" above all other considerations. But I digress....
We got Chris Brashear to play fiddle on three songs. Every time I listen to Tunbridge Fair I am so glad we found him. He also puts exclamation marks on Down the River and Sunderland Bridge. Anand heard about him and suggested calling Chris and we went "Duh, why didn't we think of him?" We had met him through Paul Newlin and his fiddling and song-writing and singing are a treat. We met Chris again in April 2014 when we opened for Robin & Linda Williams in a series of concerts for the Connecticut River Watershed Council. He is in their Fine Group.
Jerry Noble we had seen play in Greenfield a couple of times. Tex had him in mind for a while. Jerry's liquid ivories on Precious Love and gospel sensibilities on Fly Like a Bird are worth the price of admission. Gracias, Jerry.
We first met Zoe Darrow when she was about 14. She was lying on the floor - fiddling - at a late party after a concert by a Cape Breton band of four teenagers. She was too tired to stand but she was fiddling - lying down - on fire. She has become her fiddle. She is tied to it so tightly that it goes where she thinks. She is so intuitive and synched. Tex and I did a concert with her later that same year and I asked her if she sang. She said no emphatically but I could tell she sort of wanted to be able to. I assured her it would happen. I think it was the way she said no so loudly. No one who didn't really care would be that insistent. Now she admits that she is starting to sing backup at least in one of her bands. Hooray. If she sings anything like she fiddles, we will be lucky to hear her.Tex didn't hesitate to ask Zoe to play Waltz for Katherine Sarah, the song he wrote for his mom, a Canadian Scot, who came from the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Since we had her in the studio we jumped on the chance to have her play on Fly Like a Bird and Slip Away.
We can't discuss our music without mentioning John White. Since early 2009 we have been working on arrangements with John. His favorite place to play is our living room. Sometimes he calls up and says he desparately needs a music fix, can he come over and rehearse? I joke that he and Tex are in love because they trip out on the music together. John played with us when it was just the three of us for many years. He found he had to adjust his playing when we started including Rick Mauran on drums. John listens, Rick listens. Tex listens. They are all so intent and listening. I watch them listening. It's pretty amazing sometimes. I feel quite lucky to be allowed to play too.
Rick is the kid. He has this theatrical interest and intention. He likes to figure out what is needed. When he and John are feeling good, the songs just feel like they are playing themselves. They are so talented I am in awe of their ability to allow the music go where it needs to go. I think one of the reasons it feels so satisfying to play with this group is that we all respect each other a lot. We should play more but we all have lives too. It's been fun and fulfilling, hasn't it?
For more info on our upcoming concerts visit this Calendar Page with the latest gig info.
Check out this page for Photos of Pat and Tex and for promotional graphics.
Check out this page for samples of Pat and Tex Recordings and a list of available songs.
Also check out this page on Bio Information and other promotional material
For more rambling and thoughts on deeper subjects be sure and visit our Links Page !
Check out our Home Page here Home Page and get a taste for why we even bother 'at our age.'
or write us at: info(at)patandtex(dot)com