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Pat Buchanan
ST. GEORGE  • Pat Buchanan

First of all, Pat Buchanan is one of the greatest guitarists one can find. He is conversant with many styles, and can express a wide range of emotions on his instrument, and can turn from one to another on a dime.

And this is how many people know him, since he is a widely sought-after session player in Nashville, on records from stone country to power pop and jazz. But he’s also a fantastic singer, and an accomplished songwriter. The writing partnership he’s fostered with Bill DeMain has yielded more than a score of memorable songs over the years, and all but two on this record are products of this team. (DeMain should be familiar to many of our readers, both as half of the outstanding duo Swan Dive, and also as an established journalist and writer who contributes monthly to Puremusic.)

Apart from Pat's considerable studio reputation, the mark of his greatness is truly to be found in his own recorded work, first one with The Idle Lets, and two solo records, the eponymous debut and this latest gem, St. George. (It’s an island off Florida.) Although Pat is unmistakably one the guitarists keeping the power in power pop, he and co-writer Bill DeMain extend their musical tentacles both into the domains of country blues and adult contemporary on this recording, but always with a pop sensibility.

Nashville pop icons Bill Lloyd and Will Kimbrough each contribute a co-write apiece, and the clarity of everyone’s voice resounds, not the least Buchanan’s. Stringmeister co-producer David Henry has outdone himself here, something he continues to do.

There is a leap on this record. This particular group of songs profiles a guitarist whose prowess can be blissfully overwhelming truly as a songwriter, as a singer, and as an artist. There’s so little he can’t do, that one is struck by the restraint in play. Clearly, here it is the tunes that rule. And they should, when they’re that good.

I like most all the songs a lot, but I’m partial on this disc to the power poppiest, "I Can’t Worry" and especially "Halo." Be sure to check the clips on the Listen page, and try and get this out of your car deck. Very highly recommended.  • Frank Goodman

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pat buchanan online      buy it here

our review of pat's previous album

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