Patty Hall
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Patty Hall

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter

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"CD REVIEW - JUST BE GLAD!"

by Katie Kowsh

Call her a singer-songwriter, history teacher, guitarist, poet, banjo player, or author, Patty Hall has earned all of these distinctions.

In her newest album, JUST BE GLAD!, Hall sews together 13 tracks from her bountiful quilt of life experiences. This ever-versatile artist sings about topics ranging from a tribute to Amelia Earhart to failed relationships.

Hall is confident in her musical convictions — what she’s learned what and who she is. The overwhelming impression on this album is that she is just having a hoot doing what she loves to do. You can feel her joy and hear her smile through the wire. Her voice is added with wisdom, making her sound comfortable enough to just let it all hang out. And, through that, she is able to put others at ease too. The best part is that she isn’t too busy to stop and share what’s on her mind with whomever will listen.

In addition to performing at local San Diego coffeehouses, Hall also gives workshops and lectures. She’s also got some impressive supporters. Lou Curtiss writes, “I first heard Patty Hall sometime in the early 1970s and immediately booked her for a concert series I was doing at Folk Arts Records, my store in San Diego. Her original songs were clear (still are) and she also played traditional and old-timey music.”

A fourth-generation California native, Hall was more than qualified to call herself the “Native Daughter of the Golden West.” She recalls what it was like to leave her California home for Nashville in 1975 to pursue an internship at the Country Music Foundation. It begins with an effortlessly graceful kind of acoustic arpeggio that warms listeners up for lyrics and a delivery that’s just as thoughtful and seamless. Hall longingly sings, "Far across the valley - far as the eye can see / looking to the hills – the hills of Tennessee/ I swear I saw an ocean – It was shining in the sun / where the state of Alabama ought to be.

These days Hall is back in San Diego sharing what she’s learned during her 25 years away. Whether it’s a documentation of her longing for the land she loves, living an organic lifestyle, or giving a history lesson about life “back in the olden times,” Hall entertains, teaches and keeps it real. Her “tell it like it is” clarity and candid nature is like a welcome mat on the doorstep of her brain, inviting friends to stick around a while.

© 2006, SAN DIEGO TROUBADOUR - SAN DIEGO TROUBADOUR - January 2006


"CD REVIEW - JUMP ON UP!"

MAY 2008 SAN DIEGO TROUBADOUR

JUMP ON UP!
PATTY HALL

Reviewed by Allen Singer

In some distant corner of one of those soon-to-be-gone music stores, in between show tunes and spoken word CD albums, you might still find a children’s section with discounted, overly
dusty, but still in alphabetical order children’s CDs. There might be some wonderful children’s song collections there and Patty Hall’s new CD would be a perfect addition to any child’s home library of songs.

JUMP ON UP! is a joy for both children and adults. It’s a 12-track musical surprise consisting of five of Patty’s original children’s songs, six American traditional tunes, and an excellent original tune called “Little Dancers” by Jason Weiss. The folk songs all lend a sense of continuity and provide a historical grounding for her CD. Knowing Patty, this is not an accident of musical roulette with the tracks or style, but a way of enriching what children and even adults hear. The CD welcomes children in and invites adults to join them in a quality music experience. JUMP ON UP! provides kids with a wake-up call to be yourself and appreciate who you are. It’s a CD with a beat and a distinct rhythm, providing a musical place
where kids’ differences and similarities can be universally appreciated.

The CD starts out with “Wrinkly Knee Blues,” a song played as a Chicago-style blues tune that lyrically points out the uniqueness of each of us while giving voice to our own little quirks. Patty has definitely moved on with this CD by adding blues to her trunk full of musical styles. Whether doing old traditional tunes or her own wonderfully written songs, Patty performs heartfelt music. Her award-winning song, “Raggedy Candy Heart,” is a complex but heartwarming song that feels very real. Patty Hall really is Raggedy Ann! In fact, she has written many books about the doll, her adventures, and her stories.

The old traditional tunes on the CD showcase Patty’s core as a musician who is dedicated to the very roots of American string music and her special talent as a banjo player, vocalist and guitarist. Patty plays “The Keeper,” an old camp that brought me back to when I was a kid away from home at summer camp, enjoying the comfort of a great group sing around the campfire.

JUMP ON UP! is comforting, educational, and musically diverse. Unlike many children’s musical CDs, it’s not condescending or overly commercialized. Adults can learn a thing or two by giving this children’s CD a listen. You’ll definitely shake your tail feathers to this wonderful collection of timeless music.

- SAN DIEGO TROUBADOUR


Discography

• LAY YOUR BURDEN DOWN (CD) (Native Daughter Records NDR-1003) TO BE RELEASED 2012

• JUMP ON UP! (CD) (Native Daughter Records NDR-1002) Released 2008

• JUST BE GLAD! (CD) (Native Daughter Records NDR-1001) Released 2005

• THOMAS HART BENTON: THE SOURCES OF COUNTRY MUSIC (DVD, VHS of award-winning documentary film by John Altman) estured artist on soundtrack. Released 1976.

Photos

Bio

A SELECTION OF PLACES PATTY HALL HAS PERFORMED:

FESTIVALS
• Adams Avenue Roots & Folk Festival (San Diego)
• Adams Avenue Street Fair (San Diego)
• Joe Rathburn's Folkey Monkey (San Diego)
• Sam Hinton Folk Festival (San Diego)
• Poway Train Song Festival (San Diego)
• Berkeley Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention (CA)
• Calabasas Pumpkin Festival (CA)
• Fresno Folk Festival (CA)
• KPFK American Folk Fair (CA)
• National Women's Music Festival (IL)
• Original Raggedy Ann & Andy Festival (IL)
• San Diego Folk Festival (CA)
• Tennessee Grassroots Days (TN)
• UCLA Folk Festival (CA)
• UC-Santa Cruz Folk Festival (CA)

CONCERTS
• College of the Redwoods (CA)
• Fresno Friends of Folk Music (CA)
• Hudson Guild Theater (NYC)
• Moorpark College (CA)
• San Diego Folk Heritage (CA)

CABARETS & CLUBS
• Exit/Inn (Nashville)
• Claire de Lune - SDSAI (San Diego)
• Folk Arts (San Diego)
• Ice House (Pasadena, CA)
• McCabes (Santa Monica)
• Phranks-n-Steins (Nashville)
• Seventh Seal (Los Angeles)

MUSEUMS & HISTORIC SITE PERFORMANCES
• Belle Meade Plantation (TN)
• The Hermitage (TN)
• Indiana Historical Society (IN)
• South Bend Antiquarian Society (IN)
• Travellers’ Rest Historic Site (TN)

STORE-SPONSORED PERFORMANCES
• Barnes & Noble (stores in CA, IL, IN, OH, KY)
• Borders Books & Music (stores in CA, IL, IN, OH, KY)
• FAO Schwarz (NYC)
• Storyopolis Books (CA)

WORKSHOPS & RESIDENCIES
• Barry Olivier’s Guitar Workshop (CA)
• California Institute of the Arts (CA)
• Country Music Hall of Fame (TN)
• Middle Tennessee State University (TN)
• National Association for the Preservation and Perpetuation of Storytelling (NAPPS) (TN)
• Sweets Mill Folk Music Camp (CA)

RADIO APPEARANCES & INTERVIEWS
• KALW-FM “Michael Johnson Show” (San Francisco)
• KPFK-FM “Folkscene with Howard & Roz Larman" (Los Angeles)
• WFYI-FM “Standing Room Only" (Indianapolis)
• WLAC-AM “The Les Jameson Show" (Nashville)
• WPLN-FM “Rebecca Bain” (Nashville)
• WFXW-FM “Joy Wagner” (Illinois)

TELEVISION APPEARANCES
• TODAY SHOW - NBC
• QVC-TV (National Cable)
• WSIX-TV "Channel 5 Extra" (Nashville)

PATTY CAUGHT FOLK MUSIC FEVER AT AGE 14…A diligent plunker on her Dad’s ukulele, in 1963 Patty won series tickets to the BERKELEY FOLK FESTIVAL from KPFA radio, and it changed everything. High on folk music, she taught herself clawhammer banjo, harvested material from every Folkways album she could lay hands on, and made her performing debut at Hayward High in an all-girl old-timey band.

CAREFUL WHAT YOU WRITE…In the early '70s, Patty penned her first original song, “ORGANIC.” This topical ode to the health-food feeding frenzy became an audience favorite, taking on a life of its own among folkies, Girl Scouts, and summer campers. The song was eventually included in the songbook HERE'S TO THE WOMEN! and is still among Patty's most-requested.

A DASH OF FOLKLORE...Patty was accepted into UCLA's FOLKLORE GRADUATE PROGRAM in 1972, and in between courses on Anglo-American folksong and fieldwork, she became a popular performer on the Southern California folk circuit, performing a growing repertoire of original and traditional material at festivals, coffeehouses, clubs, and on radio.

A DAB OF COUNTRY...Folklore M.A. in hand, Patty ventured to Nashville in 1975 to work at the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME, where she led banjo workshops, produced albums of historical country music for ROUNDER and FOUNDATION RECORDS, and wrote album liner notes for the FRANKLIN MINT and TIME-LIFE.

A DOSE OF HISTORY…Nashville was bliss for a songwriting folklorist, and Patty was soon performing, songwriting, and co-hosting a MUSIC ROW women’s writer’s night. However, music soon shared the stage with a budding career in the museum field, and as Director of Education at the AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR STATE & LOCAL HISTORY (AASLH), Patty trekked about the U.S. for nearly 10 years, coordinating programs on local history, folklore, and museum planning, and becoming known as the banjo-toting seminar director.

BOOKS ‘N’ MUSIC…In 1984, Patty retired from AASLH to started a family and write books and music full-time. Her first book, JOHNNY GRUELLE, CREATOR OF RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY (an illustrated biography published in 1993 by PELICAN PUBLISHING COMPANY) was followed by a number of others (for more on Patty’s books visit http://www.pattyhall.com/products.shtml )

EARLY TIMES…In the 1990s, Patty formed a music duet called EARLY TIMES, which interpreted historical family life thru period music at museums and historic sites throughout Tennessee. She also began researching her own genealogy, delighted to discover that she was a 4th-generation Californian, whose ancestors had come from England, Germany, and Portugal to settle in Visalia and the MOTHER LODE, long before the Gold Rush.

A NATIVE DAUGHTER...Roots-driven wanderlust struck, and in 2000, Patty and her family moved back to the land of