Courtney C. Patty & Jennifer Yax
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Courtney C. Patty & Jennifer Yax

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Courtney C. Patty, or CCP as she’s listed on her CD and her company label, is an incredible talent. I was smitten with the first few words, and I was not alone. To quote my daughter, “WOW! Who is that? It’s not my type of music, but she’s really good!” All I can say to that is, CCP is a phenomenal artist, and one of whom I personally don’t think I’ll ever tire. I’ve already planned to introduce a number of my friends to this CD, there’s this instinctual feeling that CCP is going to be around for a great many years and touch numerous lives with her exquisite music.

According to the bio that accompanied this CD, “I Am” is CCP’s third release, and touted as being her most mature and intimate work. She released “Season’s Change” (1998), and “Waiting on the Universe” (2000), prior to this. Upcoming is a fourth work, “Silhouette of Me” due out in early 2004. Classical and contemporary realms are both well known to this artist, and she’s been performing in them since an early age. She’s been writing songs for years, and definitely has the knack necessary. This singer-songwriter has a brilliant future ahead of her, with a voice that the angels would envy and the ability to capture life in lyrics and notes.

“I Am” the title and opening track of this release, is a brilliant piece encompassing all that Courtney is. This is a track that could be labelled “a feel-good piece for women” without much argument. The lyrics are beautiful on their own, but combined with the simple and enchanting melody Courtney’s written, it’s magic come to earth. There’s power and elegance here, simplicity and honesty, and warm acceptance.

I found myself captivated by the darker deeper notes of “Desert Passage;” there was a hint of danger in the melody, accompanied by visions of parched, windswept sands. The lyrics loaned themselves so easily to daydreaming, and the rhythmic undertone of the melody had a feel of spiritual “drumming” commonly used by Aboriginal/First Nations peoples. //In this desert passage with endless sky,/Spirit's running deep where earth is dry./Desert passage with windswept sand,/Give me the grace to understand.// It is a particularly enthralling piece that will leave you wanting more.

The closing track, “Forgive Me,” captures the feeling of trying to leave the past behind. //Be careful with my heart, a fragile piece of me you keep./ We'll meet in memories we'll be together in sweet dreams./Forgive me, for loving you; my only peace is in knowing that you love me too.// This is a sensitive look at a love left behind, for whatever reason, it’s never an easy thing to do. The guitar work in this piece is delicate and very striking, however it fades away behind CCP’s vocals. The more times you listen to it, the more you’ll pick up, but the first time through you’ll be blind to all but the compelling, melodic vocals.

Courtney is the best I’ve heard in a long time, and I plan to hunt out her previous releases and keep an eye out for future projects. She is, to quote her bio, “charismatic, captivating, inspirational, and refreshing.” I’ve no argument with those descriptions at all, in fact, I’d have to agree wholeheartedly. “I Am” is perhaps the best CD I’ve come across since I began reviewing. It’ll be seeing a great deal of play time, and for a great many reasons. Courtney is a consummate performer, whose talents reach far beyond the usual boundaries.
- Linear Reflections


Fairfield native Jennifer Yax always loved singing, but it wasn’t until she moved to the San Francisco area after college that she decided to give it a try professionally.

She started small, singing backup for bands and covering other people’s songs. Now, as she embarks on a tour of the East Coast, Yax is a professional singer-songwriter with a debut album, My Turn, under her belt.

“I don’t think I really realized [I could sing professionally] until I went out and tried it,” Yax, 28, said in a phone interview Monday from her Bay Area residence. “I started singing backup for bands until I realized, ‘Hey, I could really do this [as a career].’”

Still, it wasn’t until a few years later that Yax, who attended Hopkins School in New Haven, moved from singing other people’s words to expressing herself as a songwriter.

“I spent a lot of time singing other people’s music, which was great,” she said. “I decided it would be greater to not be limited by what other people wrote.”

After a well-received EP, 2001’s North Star, Yax delivered her first full-length album last year.

“I was really lucky,” she said of the recording sessions. “I got to work with some really great people. I have great musicians on the record and a great producer.

“It was a very daunting task, but it feels great to have done it. It was hard work.”

The independent release has garnered some good reviews from music Web sites and Yax is pleased with the response. Her feelings about My Turn, like most artists after an album is out of their hands, runs hot and cold.

“It changes,” Yax said. “I’m tremendously proud that I did it, but it’s like anything — sometimes I listen to it and I think it’s great and other times I kind of get bummed out.

“But overall I’m very proud of it and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Yax joined the West Coast Songwriters Association, a group that stages monthly open mic competitions, complete with a panel of judges. It was at one of these events that Yax met Courtney C. Patty, who would soon become Yax’s friends and frequent touring partner.

“We actually met competing against each other,” Yax recalled. “We really have mutual respect for each other’s writing, so we started to play a few shows together around here and decided it would be fun to work together.”

Yax did some shows in Arizona and throughout California with Patty, who joined Yax for an East Coast visit a little more than a year ago.

“It’s definitely a real joy to work with another artist whose artistic ability you respect, as well as whose professionalism you also respect,” Yax said.

“It’s really great to have a true partner in crime,” she added with a laugh.

Patty and Yax have joined forces for the Listen In tour, which started Wednesday in Danielson and continues today with a taping of “The Upper Room,” a show hosted by Joe Kelley on Fairfield University’s WVOF-FM 88.5. The appearance will air Monday at 4 p.m.

The duo also will take part in a Mystic River Folk Concert Series show Friday night at 7:30; the Connecticut Songwriting and Performance Conference at Three Rivers College in Norwich, which will see them showcased at 3:15 p.m.; and Yax and Patty wrap up their Connecticut stay with a free show at SoNo Caffeine in South Norwalk Sunday night at 8.

Yax and Patty have several bookings in Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts scheduled before they head home on May 2.

But it is the show in Norwalk that Yax is looking forward to most. She still has friends in the area and her father and stepmother live in Greenwich.

“I really enjoy [playing near Fairfield],” she said. “I’m still a Connecticut, Northeast girl at heart, so I love to come back and play in the area. It’s also nice that I still have a lot of friends and family back in the area.

There’s something very wonderful about coming back and playing in front of family and friends.”

This tour is much more extensive than the last time the two singer-songwriters came East, a fact Yax attributes to signing with Prince SF Promotions. The two performers also have a contract with Kelvyn Guitars, which, Yax said, gives them “a little more of a push.”

When she needs a break from the singer-songwriter circuit, Yax sings with a side project, Corner Table, an a cappella vocal quartet.

“We do ’30s and ’40s standards and it’s just great fun,” said Yax, who was a singer and musical director of Class Notes, an a cappella group at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where she graduated with a degree in government. “It’s a great outlet to just be able to sing.

“With the songwriting thing, I spend so much time concentrating on so many other things like writing and booking shows and building the whole Jennifer Yax thing, it’s wonderful to take a break.”

- Connecticut Post


Jennifer Yax and Courtney C. Patty are talented California entertainers who have shown extraordinary songwriting skills and have demonstrated an ability to captivate an audience with their performances. - West Coast Songwriters' Association


Audiences of all ages have been drawn to these two Bay Area singer-songwriters. Jennifer Yax and Courtney C. Patty are two very charismatic, strong-minded women; with distinctly different, yet complimentary performance styles. Their compelling vocals and guitar work, combined with their positive, story-telling lyrics are destined to grab your attention. - Rock101 Promotions


Discography

Silhouette of Me - (c)(p)2004 Courtney C. Patty/CCP Music (BMI)
My Turn - (c)(p)2003 Jennifer Yax/North Star Music
I Am - (c)(p) 2002 Courtney C. Patty/CCP Music (BMI)
Waiting on the Universe - (c)(p)2000 Courtney C. Patty/CCP Music (BMI)
Seasons Change - (c)(p) 1998 Courtney C. Patty/CCP Music (BMI)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Jennifer Yax and Courtney C. Patty are an award-winning singer-songwriter duo based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Successful as individual recording artists, together they bring a powerful and unique sound to the stage. Known for their original, acoustic music with folk roots and pop sensibilities, Jennifer and Courtney offer their listeners a captivating performance filled with resonating lyrics and rich harmonies.

They have toured extensively together on both the east and west coasts, and were billed on the east coast leg of the national 2004 “Listen In” tour, an annual event featuring emerging female artists. Jennifer and Courtney are both performing members of Indiegrrl, an international association of women in independent music.

Musical influences:
Courtney - Indigo Girls, Ani DiFranco, Shawn Colvin
Jennifer - Sarah McLachlan, Jonathan Brooke, Patty Griffin