Billi&Patti
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Billi&Patti

Band Country Acoustic

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


""She's a little bit country: she's a little bit rock 'n' roll..."
You can't help but hear an edited version of the old Donny and Marie tune echoing in your head when listening to Bradenton-based Billi & Patti describe their transformation."
- Nightlife Ticket Magazine Sarasota Herald Tribune November 7, 2003


"Those who think "women's music" is just code for "lesbian folk singers" should definitely check out this year's line-up: Singer-songwriter Javette plays a mean guitar, Billi and Patti bill themselves as a kind of hard rock act, and Amie Alden's music has a country-influenced sound."
- Southern Voice April 26, 2003


"Billi and Patti can belt out songs in every genre, from the quicky music of the 90's alternative band Four Non Blondes to the classic R&B music of Aretha Franklin."
- The Lance March, 2003


"Patti Brainard is a veteran of the music scene, a guitarist weened on Southern rock and R&B. Kristen "Billi" Hall is a relative newcomer with roots in Country. On the surface, it seems like an unlikely pairing. Yet, one listen to the two women harmonizing is enough to dispel any doubts that they could make music together."
- Bradenton Herald March 14, 2003


"This is the first time that I can remember in my entire musical career, where I'm actually getting unsolicited leads," said Patti Brainard, known to most as Patti B.
She's the brawnier half of Bradenton's home spun, harmonic country-rock duo Billi and Patti, and a grisly-edged alto vocalist and guitar player who's plugged away solo of in various group formations for more than 25 years.
"I'm not chasing 'em. I'm not calling 'em first, they're actually calling us first."
From all over the country.
In fact as you read this, Billi(Hall, a countrified mezzo-soprano formerly in Crosstown Traffic) and Patti-whose vocalizations interweave as liquid harmony-debut in Texas during a 16 day mini-tour.
- Nightlife/Ticket/Sarasota Herald Tribune April 23, 2004


National recording artists Billi and Patti play at Modern Mud in Warrensburg on Friday. The acoustic country/rock duo is touring the U.S. in support of their newest CD, "Love and other four letter words." - The Concordian April 28, 2004


Billi is country. Patti is rock. Together they're magic."
- Watermark June 17, 2004


Billi & Patti sing and strum their way through 14 songs about life, love and the pursuit of happiness on their album titled Love . The title really does say it all for this fiery and charismatic duo. They are from two decidedly different backgrounds and styles in music yet they manage to find a groove that works, and one that flatters each other's talents nicely. Their voices and guitars are a unified chorus of musical excellence fighting for a cause, that cause is a cure for the fatal disease *AIDS.
- Blogcritics.org July 12, 2004


"I'm just an ordinary woman. Looking for some ordinary love" - sings Patti B. in the song ORDINARY WOMAN - one of many fine ode-to-love torch songs on the new BILLI & PATTI cd "love and other 4 letter words". And those two lines may well sum up the heart & soul of the duo's charming, down-home slice of acoustic country-rock fixin's.
Billi and Patti bake a great cake (so to speak) out of just a few good ingredients. This is thanks in part to their own song-making resourcefulness and also to the fine sound engineering by renowned producer Mike Badalamenti. Except for a few guitar solos dubbed in here & there by "Mikey", and some hand percussion by Billi, the only musical accompaniment to the dual vocals on this album is a solitary acoustic guitar - aptly played by Patti in classic flat-pickin' country-rock style. There's never more than two-vocal parts sung at a time. No doublings, layerings or fancy sonic-effects gimmicks. These gals are straight-shootin' and true.
Patti B.'s songwriting formula follows the tried-and-true, simple & solid "everywoman" style that's produced million seller hits for artists like Peter Frampton, John Cougar Mellencamp, Melissa Etheridge, Melanie, and a whole slew a' southern blues/rock bands from Doobie Brothers to 38 Special.
Most of the cd's songs are of the torch song type - a pining for true love. Here Patti's lyrics shine with genuine simplicity - and the loneliness of heart she sings of is directly transmitted to the listener.
The lead vocals and duo vocal harmonies are generally delivered in an easy-goin', middle-of-the-road manner. Once in while, however, (as in the finale of the vivid & angry working-class lovers' quarrel - IN THE NAME OF LOVE) Patti lets loose and wails - showing off an awesomely edgy, airy, howlin' head voice ala Janis Joplin, Macy Gray, Bonnie Tyler that made this listener jump up and take special notice. "Tell me you love me then you act like you hate me. Call me names when you say you wanna date me"..."You wouldn't know the truth if it bit you in the ass. If this is love, then I'm gonna pass".
Billi and Patti acknowlege their God in both the cd's credits and many of their song lyrics. One might consider several of the tracks (including one of my favorites - the amblin'/heavy rockin' opener BELIEVE IN CHANGE) as "Christian rock". I must say, even a diehard nihilist like myself can appreciate the thoughtful & touching ways they invoke their diety's name and weave His/Her felt presence into their lyrics.
Here and there, song-styles vary - as in the Sade'-like FOREVER LAST. Though played on acoustic guitar only - it conjures up a quasi Afro/Latin mood - with sonic imaginations of conga type percussion, fretless bass, electric piano, vibes, etc. In REMEMBER ME, REMEMBER YOU, perhaps the most "backwoods" sounding of all the album's songs, one is transported to a lazy summer evening out on the front porch - conjuring up fiddle, accordian, blues harp accompaniment into the mix.
Of special interest is the cd's final track - a heartfelt AIDS anthem - UNTIL THERE IS A CURE. As Patti explains "It was written back in the day when the 'death sentence' was still on everybody's mind". With AIDS-related discrimination, moral crisis and social tragedy of the virus as its subjects - Patti's lyrics here are so straight-forward/matter of fact/to the point as to be startling - and to great effect. Instead of heady sullen poetry she offers the simple viewpoint of a good Samaritan.
To her credit, Patti has worked as an AIDS volunteer and as manager of the UNTIL THERE IS A CURE Conference. She founded The Pet Support Service, which she still co-runs, and is part of the Trinity Charities at her local MCC Church. Furthermore, one dollar from the sale of each "Love & Other 4 Letter Words" cd is donated to The River Fund.
My big wish for Billi & Patti after hearing their cd is to have their songs also get a full rock group production. These tunes are custom-made for ROCKIN'! I keep picturing them fronting a full-tilt boogying band in some packed roadhouse club. Hell, if Bonnie Raitt can do it - these gals surely can! - Robert Urban, URBAN PRODUCTIONS, NYC

http://roberturban.com/reviewbilliandpatti.html
- URBAN PRODUCTIONS


The acoustic folk environment can be a scary place. As a performer, you're out there, fully exposed, with only a steel-stringed guitar to protect you. Your attributes and flaws are on display. You live and die by your songs.

Thankfully, the country-folk duo Billi & Patti have nothing to be afraid of. First and most important: They both sing beautifully. Pardon me while I'm probably the millionth person to favorably compare them to the Indigo Girls, but that's a major compliment. They trade lead singing and strengthen each cut with solid, exceptional harmonizing. The results sound relaxed and confident but still immediate. This is especially beneficial on the cuts that tackle uncomfortable topical issues (such as "Until There is a Cure," which discusses the AIDS crisis).

Their lyrics are righteous and sustain a high level of quality. They are sometimes simple, but I believe that (in this case) it keeps the tone conversational and honest. I have been especially critical of songwriters who rely heavily on clichés. As I listened, I braced myself in anticipation. What a pleasant surprise to hear Billi & Patti announce, "Now I know it sounds cliché, but I love you more each day." Hey, at least they warned me that they were going to use a truism! In general, the lyrics stay firmly on the side of honesty and directness without straying too far into triteness.

The music reminds me roughly of Shelby Lynne. But there is an almost power-pop feel on the choruses. One that really hit me was "Love is the Key" where the unorthodox chord choices and super harmonizing lift the song into the stratosphere. Patti plays a sweet rhythm guitar that gives their voices a perfect foundation. One guitar, two voices, and a whirlwind of emotions, issues, moods, and ideas. And I'd be willing to bet the songs translate even better live. Their website (http://www.billiandpatti.com) lists several festival and show dates for this fall. Check 'em out.

Review by Thomas Mitchell - Ear Candy


Discography

Radio Airplay list on Website!

Ordinary Woman (5 song EP)
Love and other four letter words (full length CD)
www.loveandotherfourletterwords.com

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Country Meets Rock Head On!

Billi Hall and Patti B. are the hottest new duo on the scene. The culmination of Patti's hard rock roots with Billi's country twang have everyone's ears buzzing. Their acoustic country rock sound is upbeat and familiar, yet unique.You will be surprised by how much sound comes from these two ladies.Their vocal styles are very different yet complimentary, creating harmonies that are sensational. Their original music is fast becoming a national sensation with radio airplay. They are local favorites and veterans of The Southern Womyn's Festival, a variety of PRIDE Festivals and The Withlacoochee Womyn's Festival. Recently they won the acoustic division of the "Women Who Rock Florida Battle of the Bands at Gay Days."They have an uncanny ability to touch everyone and involve them with their show by passing out their songlist. Their live shows are always a hit because the audience runs the show!