PAT BUCHANAN (Indiscreet) Pat Buchanan
A wicked disc of power pop from one of Nashville's monster guitar players. In our opinion, Pat is the best cross-stylist in this town of superlative guitar players. Country, pop, jazz, rock, blues--he is conversant and convincing in all these and more. So much so, in fact, that many do not realize what a fine singer and great songwriter he is. Not only that, but all these cuts were co-written by the man we believe to be the best songwriter in Nashville, Bill DeMain, known to many through his group Swan Dive (see our interview).
To stack the deck a little further, add Brad Jones as co-producer at the pop den called Alex the Great, playing killer bass and organ, along with a little Moog and Chamberlin. Nashville's fattest drummer (his sound, I mean) Greg Morrow, rocks so hard, even when he's just got a little side stick going on the snare, and his fills are classic. Jim Hoke, the ultimate swing man and secret studio weapon, appears with a handful of the sharp tools in his bag: flute, bass and chromatic harmonicas, clarinet, autoharp, and saxophone.
Pat is a veteran session player, to understate the matter. So the arrangements and the tracks are top shelf, he and B. Jones really know how to put a pop song together in funky, lush, inventive ways that appeal to people that have grown up with fantastic pop music. (I feel sorry for the kids of today, rap and techno, ouch.) There's an excellent palette of bright and pastel colors that make up almost all of this record, which makes it very valuable to me. It's not hard to find serious, morose, self-absorbed, everybody's doing that. It's damn hard to find a joyous record, and that's what this is. Even if the song subject is far from a joke, it still produces a joyful effect on this listener. My runaway favorite is "Smile on My Face," and I really dig on "The World is Flat."
I kinda liked this record at first. Then I started listening more, and now I love it. We hope some cool U.S. pop outfit like BarNone or YepRoc picks up on the fabulous record, it belongs on the shelves of a nation of boomers who are new-pop deprived. (Can no one figure out how to market this huge demographic?)