Patrick Smith’s music is heavy with tradition, beautifully well crafted, and performed. It is also edgy and explosive, sometimes dancing along the dark, funky low notes that hide in those sucking, black spaces best-found lurking in barrooms sometime ‘round midnight before bursting forth in a blaze of white-lighted gospel that sends dancers’ hands writhing towards heaven in ecstasy. His music is full of place, bringing all that the Mississippi River melting pot has to offer with it. He deftly fuses various influences that rolled in on that mighty river to his hometown of Vicksburg, Mississippi, weaving into his songs Delta blues, barrelhouse rocking piano riffs, wailing jazz, underbelly soul, heart-wrenching gospel, and the funkiness of a New Orleans brass band. Patrick’s throaty, warm, whisky voice ties his sound tightly together.
The Patrick Smith Band’s new CD, Free Beer and Fried Chickn, released in 2004, features musicians with whom he has toured and played over the years such as the North Mississippi Allstars, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and Jimbo Mathis. Some of the legendary artists Smith and his band have appeared with across the US and Europe over the past fifteen years of touring are B.B. King, Doctor John, the Neville Brothers, Little Feat, Galactic, Junior Brown, and Buddy Guy, among others.
Patrick Smith is a self-taught pianist who had his first paying gig at the age of fourteen. Throughout high school, he played the explosive Highway 61 blues corridor between Vicksburg and Greenville, Mississippi, having to sit outside the kitchen door or in the parking lot during set breaks because he wasn’t old enough to stay inside the bars he was playing in. Patrick honed his skills by playing constantly and jamming whenever he could, jamming with the now-legendary Beanland on riverboat cruises on the Mississippi as a teenager and playing with JoJo Herman of Beanland and Widespread Panic fame while in college in Oxford, Mississippi. Now, Patrick often tours with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Heavy tourin keeps Patrick’s own band fine- tuned as they currently perform more than 100 gigs per year. The Patrick Smith Band’s music is funky, bluesy, and soulful, but rocks. It resonates with both the weight of a yellow moon and the freshness of ice dripping off a cold beer. It’s new and old at the same time. This music’s got gut. The Patrick Smith show is electric and kinetic. You won't help but be moved.