In an era where volume dictates attention, Patrick Coman pulls you in with a quiet unshakable confidence. It’s a confidence built from a decade behind the scenes with some of the generation’s best songwriters as a booking agent, sound engineer, and DJ/producer for premier Americana station WUMB, before stepping into the spotlight with his debut full length album Tree Of Life.
Turning his back on a career in the music business to spend his time as a stay at home father by day and full time musician by night has paid dividends for Coman as a writer and performer. Over the past year he’s opened for a crop of revered Americana artists like Del McCoury, Robbie Fulks, Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams, Joan Osborne, and John Fullbright, and veteran musicians have taken him under their wing, including celebrated blues guitarist Peter Parcek and drummer Marco Giovino (Robert Plant, Buddy Miller) who co-produced Tree Of Life and helped to bring in notable musicians to fill out the band like bassist Joe Klompus (Letters to Cleo), organist Tom West (Peter Wolf, Susan Tedeschi), and the “Beehive Queen” Christine Ohlman, who lends her unmistakable grit to the spirited duet “Don’t Reach”.
Coman’s own vocals bear the laidback blues-inflected style of fellow Tulsa, OK natives JJ Cale and Leon Russell, while the protagonists in “The Judge” and “Trouble #2” bring to mind that other towering figure of Oklahoma music Woody Guthrie. The 12-song album (11 Coman originals and a cover of Leon Russell’s “Magic Mirror”) also stirs in touches of Lou Reed’s street walkin’ strut, the swampy groove of Little Feat, and darkly humorous rockabilly rave ups that swing like demented versions of Sun Studios classics.
Nearly all of the material was written in the months leading up to and directly following the birth of Coman’s first child. With a new baby in the house, songs were pieced together late at night or early in the morning in that mystical twilight period where dreams and reality blur. This cosmic bridge is reflected in the album’s title and sequence, where haunting opener “Heartbeat” beckons the listener into this eerie dreamlike landscape, before galloping across a fun house mirror version of Americana that reflects back in ways that seem both familiar and strange.
Mark Pucci Media / email@example.com