October 22, 2017

Patty Loveless in Concert

Denise and I were the guests of friends at the Patty Loveless concert tonight at historic Renfro Valley. I’ve wanted to see Patty Loveless for years, so this was a nice surprise.

Patty is one of the finest voices and song crafters in country music. She’s from Pikeville and Elkhorn City here in Kentucky, and she’s kept tremendous respect for the Bluegrass and mountain roots of country music. She’s blessed with a voice that has the signature sadness and strength of mountain singers. From that foundation, Patty can sing country, rock or cajun with equal profeciency. She’s well known for being a frequent contributor to the “new traditionalist” sound, and has won awards for duets with Ralph Stanley, Travis Tritt and George Jones.

Loveless was sensational; one of the finest artists I’ve ever seen in concert. Every song was a masterpiece, but I was extremely partial to the traditionalist songs that form the center of her set. With a seven piece band that was as proficient in acoustic as electric sets, Loveless showed that she understands country music from the roots up. The Bluegrass had the pathos and the harmony. The country was rockin’ and danceable. The most memorable songs were those that put Loveless in the voice of women who suffered and survived. Loveless has lived enough to have a strong emotional connection with her audience and her songs, and those who hear her will know they are hearing something special.

I hope I get to hear Patty Loveless again, but if I don’t this was one fine visit with a classic performer of the music Kentucky is known for.

(If you don’t know Loveless’s music, I would recommend Mountain Soul as a great way to hear her at her best. Really, any of her last five cds will not disappoint.)