Pat Berlinquette had pursued music from a number of angles (punk as a youth, electronic later on) far from the world of Americana. He had also put music aside for a while to build a successful career in marketing. The music never let him go completely, however. After spending about five years of “messing around, picking up the guitar once a month and maybe writing a song, but never doing anything with it” Pat’s life as he knew it was upended when his mother’s battle against cancer entered its final stage.
After moving back to his childhood home to help care for his mom, Pat says, “The muse opened the door and came back into my life at a very inopportune time…My mind was racing with these song ideas and I had music in my head constantly. In retrospect, that was kind of a defense mechanism, I think, to deal with the situation…”
By the time his mother passed away, Pat had amassed 60-plus songs. He says his muse then exited the scene again, once his mom was gone. However, he knew he had to “do something” with this creative output, which he felt was a gift from his mother. “My mom knew my dream in my life was music, and I had deferred that and self-sabotaged that for so long…She had one foot here and one foot somewhere else. The fact that it went away when she was no longer here is enough for me.”
Doing something with the songs meant hooking up with long-time friend Kenny Siegal, a musician, producer (of Langhorne Slim and many others) and creator of Old Soul Studios in Catskill, New York. Kenny made an “A list” of 12 songs that he would help Pat bring to life with the help of seasoned studio musicians, including, on a few tracks, some harmonica from John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful.
About the experience of recording, Pat says, “It was kind of a dream come true. I had never been in a situation like that. I’d always made music by myself…now I had a whole team of people who knew what to play before I did…”
In anticipation of a full album release, Pat has been releasing a track each month on Spotify and Apple Music. He looks forward to sharing his music live as a solo act in the near future, and with a band when the opportunity presents itself.
By Dan Walsh