Deedra Patrick: Overcoming Adversity

Written by on September 20, 2012 in CD / DVD Releases, Gigs / Tours / Events, Interviews, Music and DVD Reviews, News To Shout About!, September 20, 2012 - Comments Off on Deedra Patrick: Overcoming Adversity

Deedra Patrick: Overcoming Adversity To Make Her Mark In The Blues 

“To anoint someone a “survivor” in the music world has got to be the most played out of all rock ’n’ roll cliches. Still, it’s a pretty apt description of Deedra Patrick, a powerhouse vocalist with a sterling reputation, not just in Bakersfield but the many places around the country where her talent has taken her.” –  Matt Munoz/BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIA.

All Access Magazine  Editor/Publisher Debra Stocker recently caught up with this talented performer to talk about her life, career, and where she is headed in her music career.

AAM: What are the top three factoids about Deedra Patrick, musically speaking, you’d care to share here?

DP: Deedra Patrick is a classically trained vocalist who could read music by the time she was five years old.  Deedra Patrick has been singing professionally since she was seventeen years old and has a sound that represents years of experience and exposure to different genres and influences, a voice that exudes raw emotion and passion with every syllable and breath that she exerts. She is a world class lyricist and her unique intonation and phrasing, along with powerful delivery are capturing audiences everywhere she performs. Deedra Patrick grew up listening to whatever music was played for her, from country to rock, to gospel and opera, jazz and blues and she loved all of it but especially gravitated towards the soulful rock artists like Janis Joplin, Ann Wilson, and blues artists like Billie Holiday and Etta James. The ever changing environment of her childhood constantly exposed her to different styles in music. If you ask her to describe her music, she says she still has not found the words to describe the sound that she has created with her writing partners Ron Brem and Chris Neufeld. To use other’s words, you would hear it described as soulful, rock, funky, blues. Interesting for a girl who grew up country loving rock and blues.

AAM: You’ve had quite the roller-coaster ride in life. How have your life experiences shaped the songs and music you’ve made?

DP: Music shapes my life and my life shapes my music. Through music there is no silence. When I was growing up, nobody talked about child abuse, or domestic violence. People kept their lives to themselves. I was raised to never talk about “my life”. Music gave me a voice when I was forbidden to speak. I began writing when I was nine years old. Although, I never shared those songs with anybody,   Sharing my music was very difficult for me to do. But I have made a promise to myself that I will always write honestly, and not be afraid to create the sound I hear or the lyrics that come to me. I promised not to be afraid to tell my story. My music is a reflection of the deepest part of me, the parts I only share through a song, hidden under the veil of music.   I think that my ability to write is what has kept me alive so many times. And those times of complete emptiness, when all that I had was a pencil and paper to talk to…those are the times when there was space for my soul to fill with wisdom. My soul pours out when I sing. The hope in life that I have gained. The reality of loss and joy of dreaming again.


AAM: You’re set to perform this year at the Kern River Rock and Blues Festival on September 28-29. How do you anticipate that experience being?

DP: Last year was awesome and this year will be legendary. Picture a small town, in the mountains, with the beautiful, scenic Kern River running through it; a stage set up right in the middle of Frandy Park, which sits up against the river, and a full weekend of some of the best rock and blues artists around. This year is sponsored by Rip Cat Records and some of the artists we will see are Alastair Greene Band, K.K. Martin, Bunky Spurling, Zen Road Pilots and White Boy James and The Blues Express.   Not only is there entertainment going on Friday and Saturday at the campground, there will also be bands playing in all the local venues around town. Deedra Patrick and The Swamp KAT are scheduled to play Friday, September 28, from 9pm to 1am at Kernville Saloon, 22 Tobias Street, Kernville and then we are scheduled to open up the ceremonies at 10:30am Saturday morning September 29 at Frandy Campgrounds on the Main Stage. I will open up the ceremonies with an acapella rendition of The National Anthem followed by a one hour set of Swamp KATZ’ originals. We are going to keep that mountain up all night Friday and then wake them up bright and early Saturday!

AAM: How has living in Bakersfield, Calif., which is known as a country music hotbed, influenced your overall musical sound?


DP: My mom used to tell me the story of how Buck Owens heard her sing and wanted to put her on the radio. Her parents wouldn’t let her because singing secular music was against their beliefs. But she constantly sang to me when I was very little. After we moved to Oklahoma, where I spent most of my childhood, I mostly listened to 70’s rock and gospel. That is where I fell in love with such artists as Heart, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, Grace Slick, and Linda Ronstadt. At age twelve, I moved back to Bakersfield, California, where I was born, and started living with my father, who is a die-hard country fan. To my dad, there is pretty much no other kind of music. I was suddenly engrossed in Patsy Cline, Don Williams, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Willy Nelson, Elvis. I became obsessed with Crystal Gayle and Anne Murray who both had deep voices like mine. Then high school hit and so did Pat Benatar. I had a great teacher at the time who was teaching me to sing classical / opera and she was right up my alley. I did everything I could to get rid of my southern accent and rebel against country music. But it’s hard to remove the country when your roots go as deep into country music soil as mine do. Soon I discovered Janis Joplin, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Big Mama Thornton, Koko Taylor and those are the women who have remained with me all these years, who I still hope to reach even a drop of the magic they created when they sang.   I can tell you this, the importance of telling a story completely and cleverly is something that listening to good ol’ country songwriters taught me. And I do try to incorporate that wisdom into the process.

AAM: Any new recordings in the works?

DP: Yes. I am presently working on getting into the studio to record a full length album. I have written thirteen great songs with Ron Brem and Chris Neufeld of The Swamp KATZ and I hope to record those songs soon with my band. I am an unsigned artist. So, I am trying to find backing to get in and record the album as well as market it when we are finished. If you are reading this and looking for a great project to invest in, hit me up!  We have two songs already recorded and mastered and those two songs will receive worldwide airplay the week before Christmas on American Veteran’s Radio. That means we will be heard world wide by American deployed soldiers. That means so much to me and Right now I only have two songs, “Chasing the Rabbit” and “When the Rain Came Down” that will be available for purchase soon. It is my goal to have a full  EP available for purchase by Thanksgiving so that our soldiers and families can purchase for the holidays.

AAM: Do you believe it is any harder to achieve success in the music business being a woman?

DP: When I was starting out, it definitely was. But the industry is like night and day compared to what it was back then. To succeed in the industry when I was starting out, meant giving up raising a family and getting married and focusing every single ounce on playing out all the time so that you constant exposure. We didn’t have the internet to get our music out there or to market ourselves. The only way you were going to get noticed was to play out all the time in hopes of getting noticed. So, that whole “white picket fence fairytale” was never mine. The only way to break into the business was to knock on doors.   After moving to LA, I started approaching record labels and they would commonly say “We already have our female rock artist.” I grew up listening to the radio, waiting patiently until a female artist would get played.   But times have changed, now we have the ability to release our music to the world, independently. So, alot of the challenges that women used to face in the industry aren’t like they were. So, we shall see. Ask me that again next year!

AAM: Where do you see yourself, musically and career-wise, five years from now?

 DP: I see my music reaching worldwide exposure, still raw and from the heart, still telling stories about what I have seen so far on this earth. I see myself traveling around the world promoting my album…and I see myself winning a Grammy. Did I say that out loud? Wouldn’t that be something! Most of all, I see myself happy and fulfilled.