"...Pat Wictor walks onstage and sits down. He places a Guild DV-52 flat across his lap and begins playing slide guitar. The sounds are snaky and sizzling...."
--Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live
In a remarkably short period of time, Pat Wictor has become the name that is being chatted about on the acoustic, blues, folk and Americana circuits. Steeped in American "roots" music, Pat is a contemporary songwriter and interpreter drawing on the rural country, gospel, and blues traditions of our nation.
An American by birth, Pat was raised outside of the United States until his teenage years, living in Venezuela, Holland, Norway, and England. This time abroad gave him an unusually deep awareness of being a resident of a country while also a world citizen. Through these early experiences, he gained an appreciation for taking diffferent paths to arrave at the same destination.
Indeed, Pat took a convoluted path to folk music, winding his way through rock, heavy metal, and jazz. He started with guitar, shifted to bass, moved to saxophone, and then quit music entirely before a return in 1993, a time when he also began composing songs. By 2001, he left a teaching career to pursue music full time and does so in the broadest way possible. An adept improviser and accompanist, he is sought after as a collaborator, sideman and session musician, with numerous recording credits to date. His monthly e-mail column, "A Few Choice Words," is read by thousands of subscribers. He is a music educator of note, teaching workshops on writing, interpreting, and rearranging songs, on slide guitar and other guitar techniques, and various topics of music history.
His performances--part fireside chat, part meditation on matters earthly and transcendent--feature his originals. In addition to his own tunes, he is quick to offer up a newly-discovered lyric from another performer, or a fresh arrangement of a traditional song, delighting in introducing his audience to innovative material. With flowing red hair and zen-like calm, Pat embraces his audience with the sincerity of his music and the clarity of his voice, inviting them in.
Pat views his life and his music as a journey, populated with an ever-shifting landscape of people, places and emotions. It is a journey he is eager to share with others, knowing that it is the experiences along the way, not the arrival, that initiate the most profound changes.
Pat's fifth CD, Heaven Is So High...And I'm So Far Down, was released in July '06, and has receivved nationwide airplay on folk and specialty radio programs. The disc features standout originals like "I Will Walk With You," the a cappella "Raise My Voice and Sing," and the title track. The CD also includes distinctive versions of Bob Dylan's "Oxford Town," Dave Carter's "When I Go," and a swampy, rousing version of "You Got To Move," featuring Abbie Gardner of Red Molly. His previous CD, Waiting for the Water, also received wide radio play, reaching #4 on the FolkDJ charts in February 2005, and remaining on the charts for months afterward.
HONORS AND CREDITS:
2007 Finalist, New Folk competition, Kerrville Folk Festival
2006 Most Wanted, Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase
2006 Nominee, Emerging Artist of the Year, International Folk Alliance
2006 Nominee, Best Gospel Song, "Love Is the Water," Independent Music Awards
2006 CD Favorites, "Heaven Is So High..", The Midnight Special, WFMT Chicago, Rich Warren, host
Quotes and Testimonials:
“Pat Wictor’s songs, his blues tinged slide guitar and mellow performance style impress the hell out of me. Watch out for this guy. He’s a terrific new talent.”
-Gene Shay, WXPN, Philadelphia
“If you can make it to only one concert this year, let it be a show by Brooklyn’s own Pat Wictor, who plays heart-felt blues-based roots music like the only begotten son of Bonnie Raitt (same red hair!) and Chris Smither. And unlike blues interpreters who have seen too many stormy Mondays with hellhounds on their trail, Pat is also an excellent songwriter whose new/old compositions will send you on a journey through the old Dock Boggs and Son House 78s. But these aren’t old songs, they’re originals that, to paraphrase Mr. Smither, are “still flopping around on the deck.”
-Jim Motavalli, WPKN, Bridgeport, CT
“Soft-spoken and articulate, in the 1930’s he could have been a dust bowl preacher. The sermons, accompanied by the choir of his slide guitar, would have brought comfort to many a soul.”
-Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live
“His performances are delicate, nearly evanescent...a daring and unusual approach for a blues singer who give listeners fresh perspectives on such familiar material as Son House’s “Death Letter” and Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor.” Wictor’s compositions...are especially memorable.”
“Pat Wictor is a phenomenal lap-slide guitarist and songwriter as well as an interpreter of others’ music. His lyrics are intelligent and compelling, his stage presence commanding.”
-Mike Space, Former Artistic Director, Godfrey Daniels, Bethlehem, PA
“Amazingly his live performances are as polished and brilliant as his recordings. It has been my supreme pleasure to harmonize with him.”
-Jen Schonwald, Angel Band and Full Frontal Folk
“Although I am inherently suspicious regarding any so-called “buzz” that surrounds a new artist, the word of mouth about Pat Wictor is more than justified when you listen to the man. He’s a master at the lap-style slide guitar, has a haunting voice, and showcases an eclectic selection of songs on his CDs.”
-Charlie Backfish, Sunday Street Program, WUSB, Stony Brook, NY
“This is one of the best CDs to come across my desk in a long time.”
-Jeff Rusch, WNTI Hackettstown,NJ
“He not only is a great guy and a great talent, but I believe he has, follicle for follicle, the best hair in folk music.”
-Rob Carlson, Modern Man