Monday, July 6, 2020

Patsy Thompson: “Fabulous Day” (2020) CD Review

Patsy Thompson is a singer and songwriter based in Vancouver, British Columbia. On her new album, Fabulous Day, she delivers songs to help us emerge intact, perhaps even triumphant, from whatever personal troubles may be plaguing us. The album features mostly original work, written or co-written by Patsy Thompson. Joining her on this release are Chris Rolin on guitar, Red Volkert on guitar, Bruce Morrison on bass, Rene Worst on bass, Chris Meister on drums, Jerry Adolphe on drums, Andy Smyth on piano, Mike Sanyshyn on fiddle, Bruce Bouton on steel guitar, and Gord Maxwell on backing vocals.

Fabulous Day opens with its title track. And hey, we could all use a fabulous day, couldn’t we? Things are rough out there. Well, this song might help you. When she sings “What a fabulous day,” there is a glorious power behind her delivery, something to help raise us up, help us take control of our own situations. “It’s time to move on/I’ve waited, waited so long.”  This track features some good work on fiddle. This song was written by Patsy Thompson, Chris Rolin, Bruce Morrison and Chris Meister. At the end, Patsy sings “Today is my day.” If we sing that line, we just might make it true for ourselves. “Fabulous Day” is followed by “Neon Lights.” There is a wonderful ache in her voice at times as she delivers this one. “There ain’t no use in trying to call her up tonight/Because her phone won’t work under the neon lights/And he’s wondering if she’ll be all alone tonight.”

“Picking You Up” has a positive, rocking vibe. It is seemingly about such a simple and common moment, picking someone up to go out, but sometimes even a simple act can empower you and help turn things around. And you get the sense that these two people going out dancing is in some way an act of defiance against the troubles weighing us all down. At any rate, it’s a fun song featuring some good work on guitar. “So throw on your boots and jump in my truck/I tell you what, darling, you’re in luck/I’ll pick you up.” Well, all right! And I love at the end, as the song begins to fade out, she basically shouts at the other person, “Get in the truck!” She is taking charge. That’s followed by “Dreamin’,” a song with mellower, sweeter vibe. It’s a pretty love song, the perfect song to put on for a slow dance with your sweetheart in your home. On last year’s single of “I Think About You,” this song was chosen for the flip side. “I Can’t Be In Love With You Tonight” has my favorite title of the album, and lyrically it is compelling right from its first line: “I’m not supposed to love you.” This track features a strong and passionate vocal performance and some wonderful work on fiddle.

Patsy Thompson delivers an excellent and moving rendition of “Misery And Gin,” the album’s only cover, written by Snuff Garrett and John Durrill and recorded by Merle Haggard. As on the original, this rendition features some nice work on piano and pedal steel. And I love that lead on guitar halfway through. Patsy offers a beautiful vocal performance here. “Looking at my life through a bottom of a glass/All I see is a gal who is fading fast.” That’s followed by “Passion,” which is my personal favorite track of the album. I love the style, that gypsy flavor, and that gorgeous work on fiddle, all of which work to transport us. “Everything’s been taken by the sea/Everywhere I look there’s misery/Storms rush in, there’s nowhere to hide/But I’m alone with you tonight.” Oh yes, in the middle of disaster, in the middle of misery, there can be passion, there can be a dance, and everything shrinks down to just the two of you, the world around you crumbling, burning, but not disturbing the moment. Sometimes we just have to seize these moments and close our eyes to everything outside of us, even if it is all a dream.

At the beginning of “Someone To Blame,” Patsy Thompson asks, “Are you back here just to cause me more pain?” Then she states, “All your chaos has got to end.” I can’t help but think of a certain sociopath in the White House when hearing that line. This track has an empowering sense about it. “I’m not your someone, your someone, your someone to blame/Bad news is coming down on you like rain.” And she repeats that she’s not “your someone to blame.” Again, this is a song of taking control, of emerging from a bad situation with a renewed strength. Then “Joy Ride” opens with some pretty, gentle work on guitar, and Patsy’s voice has an intimate quality when she begins. The song then grows in power from there to become a vibrant country number. The album concludes with “I Think About You,” a delightful and enjoyable holiday song featuring some good work on piano and fiddle. And, yes, it might seem like ages until Christmas (particularly the way time is behaving these days), but it will be here before we know it. And this is a song you should certainly add to your holiday play list. It was released as a single last year and has such a cheerful sound. We can all use some of that, right?

CD Track List
  1. Fabulous Day
  2. Neon Lights
  3. Picking You Up
  4. Dreamin’
  5. I Can’t Be In Love With You Tonight
  6. Misery And Gin
  7. Passion
  8. Someone To Blame
  9. Joy Ride
  10. I Think About You
Fabulous Day is available now on CD.

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