Patrick Ames seems like the kind of guy to fit in at your local dive bar, drink a couple rounds before his set, and play the night into oblivion. The guitar work on Harmonium is a standout for the entire project, with scratching strings, reverberated licks, and over the top effects to carry out his lonesome cowboy sound. Give a listen to the first track off of the album, “No People Are Supreme.”
Ames has a croaking, over-the-hill cricketer rhythm to his soundscape americana music. Where many make fun of Bob Dylan for his scrawled mess of a voice, Ames seems to double down on that squiggled depth, with even more screeching and emotional outpouring. Songs like “Sometimes” and “Will I Ever Be Noticed” carry the same weight of struggling to be seen in a world full of fakes, flakes, and mask-wearing debutantes, with varying volumes of effectiveness. Props to Chana Matthews on this one.
Ames discusses growing up in a household full of music and how that became a part of his musical consciousness. His biggest influence? Glen Campbell… and his very own mama.
“My mother sang opera and also in the church choir (I’m a choir brat). My very older brothers listened to 1960s hits and bands, and my father to Pop radio. We were close to Detroit, so it was Motown, Motown, Motown, or Puccini. And for some reason I knew who the songwriters were, like Holland, Dozer, Holland. Then Glen Campbell broke through and I remember adoring him. He had a TV show. He had a guitar and he wrote songs! I still think his Wichita Lineman is extraordinary.”
Ames’ Harmonium is like combining the early nineties work of Debbie Harry with the mid eighties sound that Bobby Dylan and his backers had. This is cigar and beer after a long day music, time to take a step back and reflect on life tunes. Give it a listen as soon as you can!