While what separates good art from the garbage is all a matter of taste, one could argue that great art is defined by its ability to create a rich texture that can transcend earthly, human boundaries, reach out and grab us at the very core of our souls. Music is a completely auditory pleasure, but great music will make you feel something emotional and physical, as if to connect us to a more divine spirit that is the source of all our senses and feelings. Perhaps music is our connection to God, and the musicians who bring it to the masses are merely conveying the message of a more powerful being. Whatever you think or believe, what isn’t up for debate is that this unique feeling that music can ignite in our bodies is real, and we all share it. Further, when we find an artist who is better than most at conjuring this feeling, we reward them with fame and fortune. In Sarah Patrick, we may have found one of those special artists who is very much on the cusp of getting the stardom that she’s worked towards her whole life.
Country music is having a very exciting year so far. There have been a litany of new releases from a wide ranging variety of artists from diverse backgrounds making significant strides to expand the image and sound that brought them all to Nashville in the first place. It’s been a bit of a renaissance, and I think it’s only fitting that someone like Sarah Patrick choose this time to make her debut appearance on the scene, assisted by the masterfully talented David Frizzell and with plenty of indie support behind her as well. Country needs a lot more women with attitude and open-minded aesthetics, and not only does Patrick bring both to the table, but she also brings a sensationally good, clean persona with her that is comforting during these days where it seems like every artist wants to be more vulgar than the last. In many ways, she’s not just proving that you can be a strong, fierce country woman without coming off like a gritty redneck, she’s also challenging the culture that’s built around Nashville to own up to its own hypocrisies. It’s awesome, and for that alone I could endorse music enthusiasts to support everything she does from here forward.
Nevertheless, the real story behind the buzz surrounding Sarah Patrick isn’t her creative identity or relationship with the old timers that run show business; it’s all about her witty, easy listening country music that she gives us on The Woman I Am. From start to finish, the album maintains a steady, mostly upbeat pace with consistently innovative vocal attacks and lyrical riddles alluding to the unpredictable nature of love and relationships. It’s what we all love in a good country album, but presented with a little more sincerity then we’ve been treated to in some time. And seeing how Nashville will react to that sincerity should also make for moderately entertaining panic if the current chart toppers aren’t able to keep up.