Photo by Nicole Spaller, patty-loveless.net
When we announced Patty Loveless as our Spotlight Artist, all of us here at My Kind of Country were very excited about the opportunity to write about one of our favorites. In past months, we’ve brought in Guest Contributors to help out with the reviews. But this month, all the reviews were snatched up pretty quickly by the regular staff, so we didn’t have room for our guest writer friends to share their thoughts with you on Patty’s albums. But we have one reader who is admittedly a bigger fan of Miss Patty Loveless than any of us and he came up with his own idea for an article, just so he could be part of October’s Patty coverage. Stephen Fales, who you will all know as Steve from Boston, composed the following piece as a tribute to his favorite singer. We’re glad to have him as a Guest Contributor here at My Kind of Country, and hope you enjoy his tribute to a peerless artist.
- J.R. Journey
No one has done more to bring the mountain sound to modern country music, and few with such compassion and grace as Patty Loveless. There have been accounts of fans trying to thank Patty for the profound impact that her music has wrought in their lives, and all they were able to manage were tears when they tried to speak. Patty, with genuine humility and understanding, attributes this transfomative effect to “the power of music”. Indeed, music is a divine gift, the language of the angels and of the heart. But this is not just any music, and Loveless is not just any singer.
Patty Loveless has been blessed with one of the purest, most authentic and profoundly resonant mountain-country voices in the music world. It is an echo of her own empathetic heart, and seems to emanate from the very depths of her Appalachian soul, and the voice of Patty Loveless touches people right to the core of their being.
Loveless’ warm Appalachian alto is rich and expressive, and her gentle Kentucky drawl and twangy mountain timbre come as naturally to her as breathing. Her skillful phrasing, measured melisma, and mature sense of nuance convey a depth of emotion that is extraordinary, almost otherworldly. She is a true vocal virtuoso and knows both restraint and abandon. Patty Loveless inhabits the heart of a song, and has no need to resort to histrionics or ostentatious vocal gymnastics. She is all about the music, and allows her music to speak for itself.
At times Patty’s musical pendulum swings deeply to the countryside, as with her album Sleepless Nights and at others, to the mountainside, with offerings such as her Mountain Soul albums, but she never settles for the middle road of mediocrity. On the contrary, Loveless has found her golden mean with a unique mountain blend that combines the best of both traditions. This is best exemplified on her On Your Way Home, and Dreamin’ My Dreams albums, but it is pervasive throughout her catalog. It is real mountain-country music, and Loveless is perhaps it’s most inspired and accomplished practitioner.
Read more of this post