Austin, Texas is known for its laid back, bohemian yet ultra committed music scene--something Austin native Patrice Pike immediately conveys. She's been a professional musician and songwriter since she was sixteen, but has maintained such a raw, down-to-earth quality and irrepressible talent that Billboard magazine proclaimed her "one of the finest up and coming contemporary rock singers in America". On the surface you may hear about these things but there’s more than meets the eye and the music biz spins…
Pike is known to many as the electric front woman for the seminal Austin jam band Sister Seven which she co-founded when she was barely out of The High School for the performing and visual arts at Booker T. Washington in Dallas Texas.
She has continued to grow and evolve as both a songwriter and a performer, and is currently producing arguably the finest work of her music career even as she confronts the uncertainty of an industry in steep decline. She has performed in every possible live scenario from shed tours of traveling festivals like Lilith and HORDE tour to music festival institutions like Austin City Limit’s, High Sierra, Strawberry, and Kerrville festivals as well as community theaters, clubs and house concerts. She is known to her dedicated fans from diverse communities as a phenomenal and sincere live performer who is willing and grateful to play for them wherever they need and want her to be. Long a respected social and environmental activist, she is also the co-founder and now executive director of the Grace Foundation of Texas, an organization that provides services for young adult survivors of homelessness.
In short, she leads a rich, full, varied life that looks absolutely nothing like what she was aiming for when she embarked on her journey in music at 16. If you listen well, you will hear it in her voice and her music. She is as passionate as they come and in one of her own fans words, “Patrice is truly unforgettable. I listen to her as much as I can. I love the love she sings. I know it’s real.”
IRISH SESSION - 8:30PM
You can hear the lively blend of fiddle, flute and percussion from the muddy sidewalk outside the pub. Inside, musicians pack the corner stage.
On the right are the fiddlers, three or four of them. To the left are the bodhran drummers, holding their ancient Irish tom-toms like shields.
An acoustic guitarist strums the rhythm at center stage, with a couple of penny-whistle players blowing in his ears. All the musicians are playing hard to be heard over the boisterous banter of patrons lifting pints of ale and stout malts at tables or at the bar.
A fiddler calls for The Cliffs of Moher, an instrumental known to Celtic musicians around the world. This leads into a medley of traditional jigs and reels that inspires one lass to do a high-hopping ceili dance in a corner of the room. An older man watches, smiles, claps along for a minute and orders another pint.
THE pub could be in Dublin or Belfast, where Irish folk musicians have passed down traditional tunes from generation to generation. Or it could be in New York or Boston, where tight Irish-American communities have kept a bond with old-country culture.
But it's not. It's right here in Houston's Upper Kirby district. The scene is replayed with minor variations every Wednesday night at McGonigel 's Mucky Duck's long-running Irish session. - Rick Mitchell, Houston Chronicle