Patrick McAloon Band
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Patrick McAloon Band

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The best kept secret in music


"angels and ferris wheels"

Bob Gulla
Providence Phoenix
July 18-24, 2003

We're well into summer now and music is everywhere. That's why the summer is so great. It's not the beach; it's not the weather. It's the music. It's riding down the road like a fastback king in your beat-up Vega, windows rolled down and slammin' a great cassette in the dashboard confessional known as your stereo. Feel the breeze. Feel the heat.

Patrick McAloon: Angels and Ferris Wheels (

Some promising stuff here from the Providence-based Patrick McAloon, a 24-year-old melodic romantic with designs on writing a disc-full of great American pop songs. Has he done it? Well, no, not yet. I mean, he's only 24. But he still has plenty of worthwhile stuff to sing about and his sound, similar to poignant, literate artists like Paul Simon and Squeeze and, to a lesser degree, Dave Matthews (whom he obviously follows), is well on its way. McAloon is more talented than Matthews - the former Berklee student plays all the instruments (excepting a few guest appearances) - and he produced, recorded, and mixed the album together with partner Don Jutras.

So McAloon's no slouch. You can hear it on his fresh picking on "Wireman," his bluesy vocals on "Thief," and his telling lyrics on the soulful "Isaac": "Hidden corners open up / And release me from this bind / I wish it could be that simple / To escape this frame of mind." Read it and say, "Ahhh." - Bob Gulla-Providence Phoenix

"McAloon Build Fan Base"

The Patrick McAloon Band may get compared to Jason Mraz and Dave Matthews, but 24-year-old McAloon has a style all his own. His eclectic mix of folk, rock and pop, unique voice and obvious enthusiasm have helped the band build a strong and expanding fan base in their home state of Rhode Island as well as the Boston and New York areas.

As they gear up for their first Middle East show Sunday, McAloon said he's excited to take the stage where he's seen many other band perform.

"The tour is really just about getting our name out there," he said in a phone interview.

Fans can expect some improvising and scatting during the set, which will consist primarily of songs from the 2002 CD angels and ferris wheels. He said the band will also debut some new tracks and may play some covers, such as Los Angeles band Paper Sun's "Caravan," which McAloon played acoustically at two recent Boston shows.

Particularly popular on college campuses, the band has appeared several times on WTBU's "BU in the Morning," Boston University's morning student radio show, and McAloon recently played solo to more than 125 people at WTBU's Coffeehouse Night at Espresso Royale Caffe. The band has also performed at Northeastern University and in Harvard Square.

McAloon's music career started when he studied at Berklee College of Music from 1996 to 1998 and fronted the local band dahlia. Some of those fans stuck around when the Patrick McAloon Band formed just over a year ago as McAloon joined with drummer Kerry Hood, bassist Don Jutras, guitarist Nicky P and keyboardist/percussionist Royston Dunn, some of whom he'd been playing with for years.

The band usually performs in Boston once a month, but band manager Jon Mason said McAloon often plays solo in the area to maintain publicity during long lulls between shows.

"The goal is to mushroom cloud out from your home base, and you can't build up a scene by playing one or two shows here and there," McAloon said.

The band is currently writing new material for a follow-up album set for release in late 2004 or early 2005 and planning a tour of the East Coast this fall.

"It seems like there are more and more people every time we play [in Boston and New York]," Jutras said. "We're starting to see familiar faces in the crowds. We're so grateful for the fans."

If their quick success in the last year is any indication of the future, the Patrick McAloon Band will soon have a lot more to be grateful for.
- Lauren Capular 3/04/04-BU Press


angels and ferris wheels-independent release 7/02

***NEW album slated for a Summer '05 release


Feeling a bit camera shy


Fresh-eclectic-mature-melodic-magical. These are just a few of the words used to describe angels and ferris wheels, the debut album by Patrick McAloon, a twenty-four-year-old, Providence, RI based singer/songwriter. Released in July 2002, angels and ferris wheels, a full-band electric offering, appeals to a wide audience because of the variety, authenticity, and energy of the songs. Tracks range from rock to blues and folk, all performed with amazing vocal and musical power. Patrick's fan base reflects the eclectic nature of his songs: "When I look out to the crowd, I see loyal fans from ages 15 to 50 and everywhere in between." It is this ability to appeal to a variety of people coupled with Patrick's masterful talent that make his new album and his live shows incredible experiences.

Patrick can't remember a time when music wasn't an essential part of his life. "My mother always said that I was singing as soon as I could talk. My dad played guitar, taught me some chords, and I was hooked." Patrick got his first guitar when he was in junior high school, and by the age of 15, he was playing in clubs and had already begun to form what would become the band "dahlia".

From 1996 to 1998, "dahlia" was widely embraced throughout the New England region, and during part of this time, Patrick was also attending Boston's Berklee College of Music. With 200 or more shows a year, sometimes three or four shows a week, Patrick found his life as a full-time student in a full-time band challenging but inspiring.

After a successful two-and-a-half year stint, "dahlia" came to an end as members decided to pursue their own interests. For Patrick, this split brought about a time of change and growth in both his personal and professional lives. He married his long-time love Robin, and together, they started a family with their beautiful baby Ruby. Meanwhile, Patrick was using his creativity and collaborating with other musicians, especially songwriter and Patrick's musical partner, Don Jutras. Patrick's love of the energy he gets from performing brought him back out to clubs soon enough. "I agreed to play at a local Irish pub, and I saw it as an opportunity to get my feet wet again. We didn't really publicize the gig, but when I got there, the place was packed with old fans of dahlia's and new people who had heard about me through others. The feeling was just amazing."

Patrick's musical artistry, both in terms of his vocal range and tone and his masterful guitar work, is what keeps bringing fans back for more. This passion and energy have been captured in the studio as well. His debut album was recorded between February 2001 and June 2002 while Patrick balanced his family life and a full-time job as an art director. "I worked on the album for a few hours after work when I could and on weekends. The album was mainly created in the studio in terms of the arrangements. We had vague ideas of how we wanted the songs to sound, and we let them take shape in the studio. Sometimes I would spend a day banging my head against the wall, but then on other days, everything would just click," says Patrick.

Patrick's patience and his collaboration with other musicians definitely paid off. This album is an eclectic and original group of tracks that reflects Patrick's variety of influences that include Counting Crows, Sting, David Gray, Peter Gabriel, Dave Matthews Band, Sarah McLachlan, Jeff Buckley, Willy Porter, and Aimee Mann. "I like so many different kinds of music. I can listen to almost anything and get excited about it. Inspiration is everywhere." angels and ferris wheels is receiving high praise from fans who have known Patrick's work for years and from those who are just becoming exposed to this young artist's extraordinary talent.

Patrick's humble, passionate songs interlaced with haunting hooks and mature, socially-conscious lyrics are sure to catch the attention and devotion of many new fans as he begins the next stage in his astounding musical career.