In a genre many believe to be a man's game, there are several female artist's that are not only producing the same quality product as the guys, but in some cases, outperforming their male counterparts. So you are probably thinking to yourself right now that this is some sexist look at the role of the female artist in music, or for that matter, their value as artists. Not hardly. The way I see it, if it's good music, it's good music, plain and simple. An important factor to examine in this debate is, how more often than not, the craft of songwriting is not only colorblind, but not gender specific. A measure of an artist's success can be their ability to draw inspiration from within, as well as from their surroundings, and this includes the ability to tell the story from a point of view vastly different from their own. While we can fuel this debate for hours, days even, the fact remains that there are few standout women on the Texas Music and Red Dirt scene. Well, Courtney Patton is one such artist who can change all that.
With the 2013 release of Triggering A Flood, Courtney not only proved her ability as a first-rate singer-songwriter, but solidified a spot as one of the best independent Texas musicians that you should know. With a sound that often channels the spirit of a breed of country music that many consider long since forgotten, mixed with the no-nonsense approach of the modern grass-roots artist, Courtney Patton is offering up zero apologies for her own unique blend and spirit. "Music has always been a part of my life. I've grieved with songs, I've celebrated with songs. I could set my life to a soundtrack- the highs, lows and in betweens. And, because of music and my personal relationship with it, I'm finally making a living because of it. Hopefully other people are able to use my music for their own soundtrack."
As with most solid singer-songwriters, the hunger to collaborate with others is always present, and when asked about who she would like to write with, Courtney had this to say: "First, Carole King. She was writing in New York in the 60s and getting numerous big cuts. She was-is- good at her craft. I could learn a lot from her. Second, Bob McDill or Dean Dillon! Bob wrote several of those Don Williams hits we all know and love, and Dean wrote a lot of George Strait hits. Both of those guys know what it takes to craft a solid, marketable, REAL country song. Lord know that genre needs more of their writing as opposed to what's getting played these days."
True artists have a love/hate relationship with their craft, and it takes a delicate balance between the two in order to maintain sanity, as with most professions. For musicians, sometimes the vast difference between writing and performing can be as separate as night and day, and one can be the love, while the other, the hate. "I love the challenge and catharsis that comes from writing, but, I love the energy that performing brings. So, I guess both, for very different reasons."
While the name Courtney Patton may not be a household one to fans of the Texas or Red Dirt scene, that may be changing before too long. Her music is like a torpedo to all of your senses. The lyrics are incredibly intelligent,making you think without losing you, the stories cut close to home, pulling at your heart-strings, her vocals are well above average, and melodies are best described as infectious. Courtney's music is definitely an experience in what some might call harmonic and melodic bliss. Courtney Patton is a student of her craft, one who has learned it well, and shows no signs of slowing down. "I like to tell people that writing my songs was cheep therapy! I'd say I'm a very emotive person who has lived a life that has given me plenty of motivation."
When asked what advice she could give to the new up-start musician, Courtney replied: "Don't write cheap songs for applause. I did that when I was 18&19. I wish I had never done that because now, when people request them, I seem pretentious when I tell them I have written much better songs now and refuse to sing them. You can always be a better writer, singer, and musician. The day you stop trying to improve is the day you become stagnant."
In all aspects, Courtney Patton has the tools, ability, determination, and setting to become the next A level performer and prove the doubters wrong, and that a woman truly can play with the big boys. If you don't already own a copy of Triggering A Flood, all I can say is you truly are missing out. I'll leave you guys with a very intimate performance of Courtney's biggest single to date, Twisted.
In all walks of life we are faced with adversity and challenges. A strong competitive spirit and thick skin can usually help us over come most obstacles placed before us. It's really about proving the doubters wrong, our personal ability to will ourselves to become better, and a natural inner-motivation. Whatever your personal goals or dreams are, never let another tell you that it's wrong to dream. Strive to be the best you that you can be, and never settle for where you are. Keep traveling the roads to find that success, and hopefully, somewhere along your journey, you can stop along the way, and visit those places that can only be found, when you exit off on those Texas Red Dirt Roads.
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