Written by Daniel Barker
Feb 07, 2009 at 08:30 PM
ImageThe Pope of Pasadena pontificates another holy union in the heart of Pasadena with a house full of music lovers and Patrice Pike on this day February seven in the year of our Lord 2009…..On a wonderful 60° Texas winter night, the Austin based artist brought along her two favorite Johnson’s – Matthew and Carlos..PP’s second trip to the Kenny Pipes Co.’s Almost Austin House Concert’s Series proved to be night of conversation and community with an unvarnished, honest performance packed of worn wisdom and pure professionalism.

Patrice Pike has been privy to numerous successes in her career. With major label deals, international television appearances, global radio play, and countless concerts spanning the continents, Pike knows the ins-and-outs of life in music. PP recently received the great honor of being the youngest person ever inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame. She has also received numerous awards, including Musician of the Year in Austin, Texas. She has released 5 CD’s and is soon to release a new creation which ventures into a new sound for Pike, mixing organic and electronic instruments, showcasing her strengths in rock and soul music.

Her band mates this night have had their share of successes as well. In January of 2000, Texas born Matthew Johnson accepted an invitation to assume lead guitar responsibilities for both U.S. and European tours of Great White. In 2002, Matthew took to the road with festival band Redbone, who had the gold single “Come and Get Your Love” all the while based out of LA. Then, in February 2007, Matthew got a call from Patrice Pike that brought him full circle back to Texas. During Carlos Johnson’s 28 year musical career, he has explored many musical venues playing with country, pop, rock, and classical performers. He has toured the United States and overseas with such groups as War, Bobby Womack, Willie Nelson, New Jack Hippies, and D.R.U.M.  Carlos has also performed at multiple Wonderjams in Amsterdam…

However, with all those miles between the three, it was evident in the 50+ turnout that PP has nurtured a respectable loyal local fan base playing free happy hour gigs at The Mucky Duck on Wed. nights taking the edge off before the highly anticipated Irish Sessions begin. I assume paying respect to her ancestral path…The Ex-Sister 7 member is supporting her latest solo album “Unraveling” released on TapeSlap Records. After 31 shows, Pipes and his gang know how to do it right, making subtle preparations until the last minutes, demanding high quality sound and providing a little extra room on an already tight stage for Kenny’s surprise guest, Mr. Carlos Johnson. The stage was set, literally, for another successful AA house concert.

On her first visit to AA, PP was reunited with Wayne Sutton for one night. Together with a musical partner she considers a brother; the reunion show would be hard to top…PP and the Johnson’s rose to the challenge from the first note of “Rufus”, a very sexy song delivered with surgical confidence from a very naturally sexy woman.  Flashes and cheers were the order from that point on.  The sound quality was great but it seemed the volume was a little too shy on the lead guitar thru the first set…After the fourth song, a light banter broke out like only a house concert can bring, leading into “Can’t Count On You”…The attendee and the artist can feel exposed and vulnerable at such an unsecured event but the payback is in the access….

The highlight of the first set was “Chico”. PP brings her funky, high energy to the tune that draws on the strength of this trio….Matthew Johnson had already showed his nice harmony vocals this night but hadn’t let loose on the Stratocaster yet. He lit it up on his amazing solo bringing the respectful and knowledgeable crowd of all ages to hoot’n and hollerin’….Carlos Johnson’s playing is so smooth it sometimes can be taken for granted but anybody who has heard a bad bongo player knows the delicate dance he does…On this number, Carlos showed everyone in ear-shot he brought his AA-game…An intermission was in order…House concerts are generally a donation only, pot-luck & BYOB event which is nice on the wallet but does demand the use of judgment and responsibility.

I have to say the stick factor was deep into the 90 percentile for the entire show. It has tended to fade in past performances but PP has a full arsenal acquired in years of performance that hold interest. The second set proved to be more informal… Longer stories and exaggerated improvisation spiced up the closing of a personal event for all participants. PP spread her wings toward to conclusion brandishing her skills well beyond singing, writing and playing guitar. Taking a seat from a more-than-willing fan and holding a drum between her legs, she and her band mates went into an onslaught deploying “Babylon” and “Fire-Fly” back to back weaving several stellar skat solos that are all but making a comeback with help of fellow Austin artist Guy Forsyth and Carolyn Wonderland…

PP treated the audience to her personal Inauguration attendance rollercoaster ride of a tale prefacing the sharing of a musical moment inspired by her experience…Through tales of her mother timeless wisdom to defining “Grave Rubbing”, PP connects with her audience on a very intimate level framing the evening by reminding us, in the moment, that even the most “successful” bands of all time long for this kind of connection.  PP and crew played well over two hours showcasing the payoff from all the hard work and many miles it took to get to Kenny Pipes on House St. in Pasadena, Texas this night.

House concerts are a great alternative for a night of music. If you have not made it out one yet you need to get a date down. Explore and investigate, you might be surprised that one is taking place closer to your home than you think.  AA has a fine line up already booked for 2009. House concerts take time to support independent music and independent artist and that is a good thang…HMR will see you out supporting live music…