A songwriter that can also play guitar? NO WAY.
This guy has been around awhile, and his mastery of music is in full force here on 1964, Pat Guadagno’s most personal project yet. With songs of white steeds, lost loves, broken friendships, and the eternal peril of growing old and feeling youthful, this album has it all for fans of folk, rock, acoustics with a twinge of darkness, and the glowing love of a man who wants to watch the world fade away like New England leaves at dawn.
And the best part? He starts it all with someone else’s song.
Take a listen to album opener “Violets of Dawn.”
Sentimental is used a lot to describe this genre of long winding tales and guitar-heavy burdens, yet somehow, Pat never overdoes any sounds or poetic patterns on this behemoth fifteen track album. He has climbed several artistic towers over the years, and with this album, he covers his favorite tracks alongside some strongly personal solo work.
One cover I found really great would be his version of the Bob Dylan gem “Boots of Spanish Leather.” Here, Pat is a fan at his most attributed and sincere, playing a song that is all about the emotional depth of the person performing it. Take a listen to get a better sense of what I mean.
Guadagno in his own words details how he came up with this project.
“I tried to produce this new album, with the innocence of the child who first heard these songs. We listen to music with different ears as we age. Back then the magic came through the speakers without reference or perspective. Songs were unexplained and meant something different to everyone. What we saw, with eyes closed, could never be captured in a video. I included some of the songs that reached me, that year, in ways I could never describe. There is no message or theme here; just an homage to the year magic happened and a musical renaissance ensued.“
And that intent is on in full force here, with Pat singing his heart out like he was still screaming in diapers. He has grown into and grown up with these songs, and while some of them sound the same, his individuality as an artist is what sets him apart when playing them. Even harmonica, an instrument that dangles between the fine line parody and virtuosity, is used on songs to great effect. That is hard to do in an era where we are now post-Old Town Road (featuring Young Thug) remix.
In 2023, we lost Gordon Lightfoot. If you’re looking for a new songwriter to inspire and dazzle you with their years of emotional style, look no further. Pat Guadagno is here and now.