Pat Pepin
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Pat Pepin

Readfield, Maine, United States | SELF

Readfield, Maine, United States | SELF
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By day, they are grandmothers and middle school education technicians. But when the sun goes down, Pat Pepin and Jan Sturtevant take to the stage, clad in denim and sometimes rhinestones, to belt out the blues.
Through marriage, children, divorce and grandchildren, music has remained a rock for the women.
“Both of us can definitely sing the blues,” said Sturtevant of Livermore with a hoot. “We’ve had some real tough times.”
They both got involved at a young age in music through church, living and making music just miles apart for years. They met for the first time two years ago at a festival.
“We had a ball. Right off, there was an instant con-section,” said Pepin of Readfield. Friendship came fast. Pepin – who has her own group, the Pat Pepin Project , and Sturtevant quickly decided to form their own band. They named it the Mojo Mamas.
Pepin is the front woman, jamming on the sax guitar and foot drums. Sturtevant cleans up on piano and vocals. They play with attitude, their sound more like a five-piece band. After shows, people ask, “How do you do that?”
In November, Mojo Mamas was chosen by a panel of judges to represent the Maine Blues Society in the 20th an-null International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The winner of the national title receives a cash prize, studio time, appearances at several major blues events around the nation and the title of “Best Unsigned Blues Band”.
The blues started in rural areas with people singing about hard times, Pepin explained. The music appeals to Pepin, she said, because of the genre’s honesty and full circle of emotions.
Pepin writes much of the music the Mamas perform. She wrote most of their set list for the upcoming Memphis gig.
The tow talk about Memphis like a 6-year old would talk about Disney World, though neither think the trip and the contest is a-bout winning.
“You don’t go down to win; you go down to network," Pepin said. “What you get out of it, that’s what makes you a winner. Just being there, ahh. These trips are what life is all about.”
It will be Pepin’s second appearance at the contest. There, the duo will have 20 minutes to wow the audience and the judges. “In 20 min-uses, you have to say, ‘Ta-da. This is who we are!’ said Pepin.
She’s not worried. With her flaming red hair and Sturtevant’s coy wide smile, Pepin said people will see them coming a mile away.
Music is Sturtevant’s life, and Memphis is just a way to get out there and get an education. “I just think it’s way cool," she said. “It’s exciting. I am just going to go and do my absolute best. We’ll just play our hearts and souls out. You never know, there is a chance.”
They’ll see who the competition is and try to top it.
Until then, they’ll be kick-in up their heels at gigs a-round the state, hoping to raise the $1,000 for the trip.
Fundraiser performances are set for 2 p.m. Sunday Jan. 11 at the Loose Moose in Gray and 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 18 at Sully’s in Winthrop.
The Mojo Mamas will also be performing at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 at the Midnight Blues Club in Auburn.
“You don’t choose music. Music chooses you. It’s true. It’s a passion. It’s like we have two lives,” Pepin explained with a giggle. “I’ve got to scrub the floor and then a few hours later, I’m wearing red velvet and rhinestones."
They see themselves as living proof that a life begins at 40.
“Don’t give up,” Pepin said. “It’s never too late to start following your dreams. Live kind, and good things will happen.
- Lewiston Sun Journal, Lewiston Maine


The CD "Blue Stories" is my introduction to Pat Pepin (www.patpepin.com), but let me tell you that this Readfield-based performer is somebody you should get to know.

Her brand of the blues is versatile, varied and very entertaining as she slides, swings and sways through the 13 tracks that make up this 48:54-minute-long CD.

It should also be noted that "Blue Stories" is her second album. Pepin's first release was "I'm Ready," which came out in 2002, and it presents the multi-instrumentalist playing acoustic guitar, bass, kazoo and one jaunty, smoking tenor saxophone (her

As good a sax player as Pepin is, I find her vocal chops to be most compelling -- she can be sassy, witty, exuberant and sultry, but she's always passionate -- and powerful.

I strongly suggest that you check
out Pat Pepin's excellent "Blue Stories." In short, this is a compelling, independent performance that will keep you moving, grooving and satisfied for repeated listenings.

- Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc. 3/25/05


Maine-born singer-saxophonist Pat Pepin is no stranger to these parts, having competed in both the 2002 and 2004 IBC in Memphis. Drawing from her influences of Etta James and Janis Joplin, Pat has released her second CD, "Blue Stories," and it is chock-full of blues both humorous and serious from a woman's point of view.

Trying to find Mr. Right is the flirty subject of "Personal Ad Blues," while it is just uncanny how "A Woman Can Tell" when a man is not being straight with her. The man who's the subject of "If I Hadn't Met You" is the reason she sings the blues in the first place, while getting out of a bad relationship after "the honeymoons over" is the story of a "Year Of The Blues."

On the serious side, our favorites were "Maybe Tomorrow," and a stirring reading of Lucinda Williams' "Drunken Angel." These showcase Pat's sultry way around a good ballad.

This is a fine set from an accomplished musician and entertainer. Get a copy of "Blue Stories" from Pat Pepin and---ENJOY!!

Don Crow - Music City Blues Society, Nashville TN www.musiccityblues.org
- Music City Blues Society, Nashville TN 3/05


BY PETER "BLEWZZMAN" LAURO, © September 2009

"In It For the Long Haul" is not just the name of Pat Pepin's latest release. They are the very words that she lives by and it's a phrase she confidently uses to describe her career in the music business. In a business that's short on longevity, those are some tough words. On the other hand, Pat's a tough gal. Just ask her where she's from and she'll proudly say "I'm from Maine, where the men are men and the women are too." With an attitude like that, along with having a mastery over the tenor sax, outstanding vocal talents and a great songwriting ability, I believe Pat Pepin may just live up to her motto.

On "In It For the Long Haul" Pat Pepin on vocals, tenor sax, acoustic guitar, soprano sax and trombone, is joined by: Bob Colwell on piano, organ, bass and clarinet; Steve Jones on guitar, bass, dobro, banjo and tambourine; Dave Thibodeau on bass; Richard Hollis on drums, conga and tambourine; Pat Colwell on lead guitar; Angela Plato on trumpet. The disc features a dozen tracks, of which nine are Pat Pepin originals. Showcasing her versatility, the songs cover many styles of blues.

One of her originals, "Don't Call Me Baby, Baby", features Pat doing two of the things she does best..... telling off a man and blowin' the hell out of her sax, and she may be at discs best on the latter. This one also features a great rhythm groove and several hot piano highlights.

You'll feel like you're strollin' down Bourbon Street when "Can't Take it With You" comes on. This is a nice mix of Cajun Blues and Dixieland Jazz and showcases Pat's sense of humor in her writing. The lyrics are a hoot and the horns are hot on this party style sing-a-long.

Be careful if you're driving when this one comes on. This smokin' Texas style blues will make you feel like a "Long Haul Trucker", speeding along on I-10 in a rush to get to San Antonio. This one's a no holds barred jam with everyone's pedal to the metal. Great lead guitar, fiery rhythm and flame throwin' sax all highlight this one.

This track has Pat wondering what a lot of us are wondering these days...."Why Me?". I don't know the answer to that, but I do know that Pat's got this jazz lounge, singer thing down pat. This one's all her. With the band in a smooth and tight jazz groove behind her, she shines on vocals and sax.

It wouldn't be a Pat Pepin disc without a song written, or made famous by, the great Etta James. This time she chose the very beautiful "Sunday Kind Of Love". Once again, it's her vocals and sultry sax riffs that highlight this soft, slow and very sexy ballad. The slow dancers are going to just love this one.

Before I tell you about the closing track, the one referred to as the "bonus novelty track", let me set it up a bit. Ya see, like many blues musicians, Pat Pepin travels the country in a van. Hers is a mini RV with a vanity license plate affectionately displaying it's name - PATIBGO (pictured on the back of the CD cover). Having - on many occasions - taken advantage of a major national retailers very relaxed policy towards RVer's, she was inspired to write "Living At Wal-Mart". It's an incredibly clever and extremely humorous "jingle" about spending nights at what she calls "America's free campground". You're just gonna have to hear it to appreciate it.

Other tracks on "I'm In It For the Long Haul" include: "Can't Be Satisfied", "Can't Take It With You", "Till Death Do Us Part", "This Dress", "Left Me Lonely" and "Ain't What You Got".

Now that Deanna Bogart has made women saxophone players winning Blues Music Awards a common thing, could it be long before another one does? Pat Pepin doesn't think so. If you want to hear why, check her out at www.patpepin.com. Hopefully you'll tell her how and why you're visiting... the Blewzzman sent you and you want to buy a copy of "In It For the Long Haul".



- mary4music.com


By Liz Betit - Hallowell Record , October 09

Anyone who knows Pat Pepin knows that she REALLY is "In It For the Long Haul". She is a fully committed songwriter, singer, musician and entertainer. Pat writes stories of life, love, joy, and sadness, above all else, Pat Pepin is a storyteller. She pulls her ideas from the life scenes around her as well as her own life.

" In It For the Long Haul" reflects the many facets that comprise Pat Pepin. She can be bluesy, saucy & tart, smooth, jazzy, flirty, and playful. Pat has always had the ability to articulate what women feel about men, love and relationships. Women can really relate to a lot of Pat's songs. A lot of us have been to the places that Pat's been, we are just not able to put the emotions into words quite the way that she does.

Recorded right here in Hallowell, at The Rootcellar, Pat is joined on her CD by local musicians: Bob Colwell on all manner of keyboards, Steve Jones guitars and other stringed instruments, Dave Thibodeau bass, Dick Hollis percussion, Angela Plato on trumpet and a cameo appearance on guitar by Pat Colwell on "Long Haul Trucker."

Pat, herself ,a long haul trucker, has spent the last year or so, on the road bringing her brand of music up and down the east coast but a long the way, Pat has honed her musical skills. Patty's vocals on "Sunday Kind of Love" really shows what she is capable of, vocally. She shows fantastic vocal control and caresses her voice like a musical instrument. I was really impressed with Pat's vocals on this CD.

The soulful "Can't be Satisfied" has a danceable beat and tells a story of a thirst that can't be quenched. Bob Colwell's organ rifts add a somber texture to the overall tune. "Don't Call Me Baby, (Baby)" cast Pat in her most infamous role, as the saucy and tart jilted woman. Her down and dirty sax playing lends to the over-all bluesy feel of the song. Ladies, this is one we can all relate too!

"Can't Take It With You" has an awesome arrangement and creates the illusion that Pat is playing with a complete Dixieland Jazz Band. It is obvious that Pat was strongly influenced by her trips to New Orleans and came away with rifts of New Orleans style jazz floating in her head. Angela Plato on trumpet, Bob Colwell on clarinet and Pat not only playing the saxophone but the trombone as well, make you feel as if there is a Dixieland Band coming down the street at any moment. She captured the full flavor of Bourbon St. Dick Hollis's drum and percussion playing is spot on. I really enjoyed this tune.

"Long Haul Trucker" is a classic driving Rock and Roll tune that makes you want to jump up and dance. Pepin and Pat Colwell are no strangers to playing together and their musicality complements each other. Patty has a rocking sax solo embedded in this song.

"Til Death Do Us Part" is a different kind of sound for Pat with sax solos that remind me of the sax player that used to play with Sade. It is a serious song wrapped around a serious story of rose colored relationships. The tone of the music lends creditability to the story. Pat's does an awesome rendition of "This Dress" and "Why Me", where Pat shows us her smooth style and classic Pat Pepin saxophone playing. Both Steve Jones and Dave Thibodeau have a strong influence and add smoothness to both tunes but in particularly to "Why Me."

Once again, Pat spells it all out for us ladies, with "Sneaking Suspicion". I had all I could do to not stop typing and start dancing around the living room and Pat does some fine sax playing in here as well.

And then, we come to "Sunday Kind of Love"..... Pat really out does herself here vocally. I can see Pat in full "torch style" regalia belting out this song of love and longing. It's like Pat stepped back into a different era...very polished and as I stated above, this song really shows what Pat is capable of giving us, vocally.

"Left me Lonely" is a blues tune with a funk overtone and yet again another good dance number. Pat pulls out her playful side in "Ain't What You Got" (it's what you do with it!)

Fortunately, for us, there is a bonus track entitled, "Living at Wal-Mart". (America's free camping ground from sea to shiny sea). The tune has a real kind of Les Paul 50"s style, thanks to the superb guitar playing of Steve Jones. Pat tells us of her observations as she travels from Wal-Mart parking lot to Wal-Mart parking lot in her RV.

This is Pat Pepin's best CD yet...each of her recordings best the one before and once again she blesses us with some memorable dance tunes and some wonderful stories! After hearing this, Pat may find that her fans are 'In It For the Long Haul' as well.!

- Hallowell Record


Pat Pepin is an accomplished musician with a knack for writing some great songs and playing some mean sax. This self-released CD is her third and it is a fun and interesting set of a dozen tunes, eight of which were penned by her and another jointly authored by her and EG Kight.

She has a clear, resonant and beautiful voice to go with her strident instrumentals. In addition to vocals and the saxes, she adds trombone and acoustic guitar to the CD. Bob Colwell is on piano, organ, bass and clarinet, Steve Jones (not me, some other Steve Jones) is on guitar, bass, dobro, banjo and tambourine, Dave Thibodeau is on bass, Richard Hollis is on drums, conga and tambourine, and Angela Plato is on trumpet. Pat Colwell’s lead guitar is featured on “Long Haul Trucker”. They are a solid, cohesive and talented group.

Pat is at her best vocally here on the slower, bluesy stuff like “Ain’t What You Got”, “Sunday Kind of Love” (a cover), and “Left Me Lonely”. She emotes more of her feisty red-haired vocal self in these three tracks than in any of the others. That’s not a knock on the other nine cuts that she sings so well on, she just seems to let it all hang out far more on these three.

In “Can’t Take it With You” we get a great New Orleans funeral march sort of song with some catchy lyrics on top of her solid tenor sax and other great instrumental solos. “Long Haul Trucker” gives us an innuendo filled set of lyrics in a Dick Dale-like tune with really nice guitar work by Colwell. The covers “Why Me” and “This Dress” are just as much fun as her original stuff. She adds her own flavors to these tracks to make them bright and enjoyable. The bonus track is a hilarious novelty song entitled “Living at Wal-Mart”, and I can picture Pepin cutting up with her audiences on tracks like this.

I’ve never had the pleasure of hearing this down-Mainer live yet, but I hope to remedy that soon! She has represented her home state three times in the International Blues Challenge and this CD made the final 4 in this years “Best Self-Produced CD Competition”, so watch out for this hot, sax playing blues vocalist; she’s an act you won’t want to miss!
Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford, IL.
- www.bluesblast.com


I've been writing reviews long enough now that I am starting to receive "new releases" from artists whose prior CD's I've already had the privilege of reviewing. I guess that's a good thing for all of us. It is with great pleasure that I get to do this review of "BLUE STORIES", the second release by PAT PEPIN.

Although it clearly states in the CD's notes that "the stories told here are true", I know Pat Pepin well enough to know that they are - without having to read it. On "BLUE STORIES" not only will you experience Pat's wonderful vocal and musical talents, but she'll let you into her heart, her mind and her soul, as she allows you to feel some of her deepest emotions. Her original songs, complimented by very related covers, divulge her complexity as well as her humor, hardships and true life adventures.

"AS LONG AS I AM MOVING" and "SOMETHING 'BOUT TRAVELING" although both covers, were obviously hand picked to go with the other stories - they fit perfectly. Either of these songs could be Pat's theme song. One is about always being on the move and the other is about traveling - particularly alone and at night. Both of these are Pepin characteristics. The first of the two is one of the livelier tracks on this CD. Scott on bass, Bob on piano and Pat on sax get into a nice jam on this one.

On one of her original tracks Pat sings about a "YEAR OF THE BLUES". It doesn't however, take too long to realize that Pat is NOT singing about 2003, the year which Congress had decreed as the official "Year of the Blues". Nope, on this song, she is actually singing about her life - from her wedding day until her first wedding anniversary - which she humorously but truthfully describes as a year of the blues. The lyrics are delightfully amusing in addition to being very soulful.

I guess after dumping that chump and losing that loser, Pat got desperate enough to resort to placing a personal ad which she explains in another original called "PERSONAL AD BLUES". This is outrageously clever. Although I don't believe she ever did find that "generous, thoughtful, hardworking, kind, smart, witty, humorous, creative, honest, handy man who will treat her like a queen and give her satisfaction guaranteed lovemaking" yet, but there is still plenty of time. The sax solos on this one are hot.

Another cover in which it sounds like she may be just a bit too familiar with the storyline is my personal all time favorite blues love song - "I'D RATHER GO BLIND". How much more can a love of someone be expressed than to tell them you'd rather go blind than to see them walk away? It can't be done. Pats soulful singing of this song and her sultry sax solos clearly make this one of the recordings highlights.

"IF I HADN'T MET YOU", another original, is an obvious tribute to an ex-boyfriend of Pat's. She is extremely thankful to him for........her learning to sing the blues.....having someone to cry over.....and other such related topics. This one has a smoking Kazoo.....that's right Kazoo, solo.

In spite of the apparent torch this product signifies, it's quite apparent that Miss Pepin hasn't lost her sense of humor. It's also very obvious that she had a good time recording "BLUE STORIES", and I'm sure you'll have an equally good time listening to them.
- BY PETER LAURO


It's commonly known that if you do exciting stuff when you're young - travel around the country, play in a rock band, meet famous people - then you'll have stories to tell the grandkids someday.

Pat Pepin and Jan Sturtevant are doing things a little bit in reverse.

The two women already have grandkids, but are still trying to create tales of glamour and excitement to regale them with. The two women form blues duos called the Mojo Mamas, and have been electrifying audiences around Maine for the past couple of years. In November, they won a competition sponsored by the Maine Blues Society and will travel in late January to Memphis, Tenn., to compete in the 20th annual International Blues Challenge.

If they win, the Mojo Mamas will get about $10,000 worth of prizes, including cash, studio recording time, and gigs at major blues venues around the country.

That would be something to tell their grandkids, all right. They could even take the grandkids on the road if they wanted to.

It would be great to be able to just get on a plane and go do a weekend gig in Phoenix or someplace," said Pepin, 46. "We'd love to go on the road, play blues festivals around the country."

The Mojo Mamas are rare on the blues scene for a couple of reasons. First, you don't see a ton of all-women blues groups. Second, it's unusual in blues to see two women who sing, write songs, and play a variety of instruments.

"I had always played in bands with men, and it's nice to play with a woman and have that camaraderie, to be able to say 'What are you wearing tonight?' " said Sturtevant, also 46.

When they perform, the two "nanas," as Pepin calls them, sing with the vocal power of Etta James or Koko Taylor. Sturtevant pounds out rhythms and baselines on the piano and organ, while Pepin plays guitar and sax with her hands and stomps a bass drum and cymbals with her feet. At any given time, the two women comprise a five-piece band.

"Their overall presentation is something. I mean, I'm pretty coordinated, but not that coordinated," said Deb Danuski of Lisbon Falls, lead vocalist for the blues group Blue Steel Express.

"They do a lot of high-energy stuff and really get the audience involved. Pat is definitely not shy, while Jan is not quite so outgoing, but just as talented," said Paul Benjamin, a nationally-known blues promoter based in Maine and organizer of the annual North Atlantic Blues Festival, held each July in Rockland. "Nationally, maybe 20 percent or less of blues players are women. Some of the well-known ones are lead vocalists, like Koko Taylor. But to have two in a group by themselves, writing and playing all the instruments, is fairly rare."

Pepin and Sturtevant stand out in a crowd also because they are so much alike. Both women are 46. Both were married, are currently single, and each has one grandchild. Both grew up in Maine. Both have degrees in music from the University of Maine at Augusta.
Both work in special education at local schools. Pepin works at Maranacook Community School in Readfield, the town where she also lives. Sturtevant lives in Livermore and works at Livermore Falls Middle School.
"We're so much alike," said Pepin. "Sometimes on stage we have these spooky moments. We don't even say anything but we both start playing the same song."
Sturtevant has been in bands around Maine since the 1970s, including a fiddle group and a gospel-funk band. She gives private lessons in piano, voice and guitar. All three of her children are musical, and one of her sons is currently studying for a master's degree in musical composition.

Pepin got serious about music when she was a young, recently divorced woman with two children. She decided to go to college and study music, at the University of Maine at Augusta, as a saxophone player. She had played flute in high school and taught herself guitar.

While she was getting her degree, in the mid-'80s, she began fronting her own band, the Pat Pepin Project. Basically, any






time Pepin had a chance to play a gig somewhere, she'd round up musicians. So over the last 15 years or so, she figures she's had 40 to 50 people in the Pat Pepin Project.

For most of those years, Pepin's band played rock, pop, and just a little blues. Then about three years ago, Pepin attended the North Atlantic Blues Festival in Rockland and saw some of the biggest female names in blues today, including Shemekia Copeland, Shirley King (daughter of B.B. King) and Susan Tedeschi.

"I had an epiphany, seeing all those women playing the blues," said Pepin. "I hadn't seen many women doing what I was doing, playing sax, fronting bands. Suddenly, I see all these women."

Pepin and Sturtevant met around that time, as Sturtevant began playing with the Pat Pepin Project. The Pat Pepin Project represented the 140-member Maine Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis two years ago.

The band lost in the first round, agai - By RAY ROUTHIER, Staff Writer Copyright © 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc


Discography

Pat Pepin:
* In It For the Long Haul, 2009 (IBC finalist for Best Self-Produced CD 2010)
*blue stories, 2005, independent release
*I'm Ready, 2002, independent release

2010 Music Video: "Living at Wallmart" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orn7xAEKov4

Photos

Bio

..."Singing her heart out, blowin' the hell out of the sax, and telling stories to her new found fans as if they were old friends at a back yard barbeque, had to have people wondering why Pat Pepin is not a more recognizable name in the Blues world, as indeed it should be." - Pete "Blewzzman" Lauro for BluesWax, Nov 2008

Pat Pepin is a singer and saxophonist who knows the blues from the inside out. She performs with conviction and power, infusing her music with heart-felt emotion, drawing the audience into a Blues experience like none other.

This phenomenal musician has set her sites on achieving national status. Pat has worked all her professional life as a vocalist, sax player, songwriter and music teacher. She has done so while simultaneously raising two children, building her own home and earning her degree in music from the prestigious University of Maine, Augusta. Today, she also assumes an active role as grandmother to her daughter’s four children.

With a career that spans over 25 years of experience, three CDs, a tour schedule that has included gigs and appearances up and down the east coast, Pat believes that she has what it takes. She fully expects to achieve her goal of touring internationally and to continue to create and deliver high energy, honest entertainment.

Pat’s passion is not confined to the stage. Her warm and upbeat manner is a hit with kids. She hosts the annual Children’s Program at the Maine Blues Festival and has had the honor of working with patients at the Barbara Bush and Shriners Hospitals as part of ‘Raising the Blues’.

Pat's most recent album "In it for the Long Haul" was one of 4 CD's that advanced to the finals of the 2010 International Blues Challenge's "Best Self-Produced Cd" catagory.

Pat is welcomed on stage by numerous national acts and has performed with her own band around the country. Her music is played world wide.

• 2009 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise “Mojo Boogie” Award receipent
• International Blues Challenge competitor 2002, 2004, 2008 - Memphis, TN
• Annual Children’s Program, Maine Blues Festival
• 2008 South Florida International Blues Festival
• Raising the Blues workshops for hospitalized children – Boston, MA / Portland Maine
• North Atlantic Blues Festival, Rockland, ME
• 2009 & 2010 Waterside Blues Festival, Ft Pierce, FL

Pat sincerely hopes that you will give her your kind consideration as regards to her talents and what she offers in terms of being an accomplished songwriter, Blues educator, saxophonist and vocalist. She is available for clinics and workshops introducing Blues music to children.

Please visit patpepin.com for more information and YouTube for video clips!

Pat's new music video of her novelty song, "Living at Walmart" went viral in just a few days and has recieved more than 11,500 views in just 3 weeks!