PATRICK McGRATH

1.0 – How do you compare 2006’s Wet Nurse To A Dirty Bag with the new EP, When Black Is Blue?

Wet Nurse To A Dirty Bag was a recording process that spanned almost two years for various reasons, both good & bad.When Black Is Blue, however, had 2 full days of tracking with a little extra off site tracking. The feel was spontaneous and organic. Musically they meld together being that my live show intertwines the two successfully. Wet Nurse To A Dirty Bag leaned more towards a grungier, darker, rock feel, whereas When Black Is Blue leans towards a more rootsy and, at times, quirkier side.

2.0 – It sounds like it came together rather serendipitously, or is that spin?

Ain’t no spin. It was pretty much a serendipitous affair. I had received a message from drummer, Randy Schrager, that he had a weekend free in between tours for Scissor Sisters and Jesse Malin. I then contacted producer, Eric “Roscoe” Ambel, and he told me the weekend in question was free at Cowboy Technical Services in Brooklyn, NY. After rounding out the rhythm section with bassist Jared Engel, we rehearsed twice and went in and cut the basic tracks live.

3.0 – How was it working with legendary producer Eric Ambel?

Recording with Eric Ambel was as enjoyable as it was educational! The professionalism in the studio was the real deal while the vibe was loose and comfortable.

4.0 – What lead to the decision to do an EP versus a full length at this time?

The decision was reached via money or lack there of. I wanted to record a full length and had more than enough material but the budget was rather blue collar.

5.0 – What track on the disc are people gravitating to most?

I would say most people are gravitating towards the title track, “When Black Is Blue,” with “Heavy Thunder” running a close second.

6.0 – As a folk story teller of sorts, do you draw from personal experiences or approach songs as mini-novels?

I mostly tell stories derived directly from my own experience with a few name changes and a little necessary fiction when needed. Although the mini-novel approach is apropos when developing a concept rather than a specific experience.

7.0 – How are the east coast tour dates going for you?

The east coast tour dates have been a cool mix of gigs. They’ve ranged from playing in front of a couple of hundred people when I opened a bunch of dates for the great, Mike Doughty, to driving 5 hours to Annapolis to play in front of 5 people. Both ends of the gig spectrum are good times and lessons learned.

8.0 – Do you prefer the solo dates or fielding a band?

They are two totally different animals that I enjoy but lately, due to a few new collaborations, I enjoy fielding a band.

9.0 – What guitars and amps are you playing on tour? is that important?

It is very important. I play a National Resophonic Junior and a Fender Stratocaster through a VOX AC-15. I play a Martin DM acoustic guitar.

10.0 – Ray Davies stops by for tea, summons you to pick up a guitar….you start playing – what song?

Hmmm? … Bizarre question. Perhaps “Afternoon Tea” in honor of him. I might wanna run my new tune, “At The Rock Show,” by him to see what he thinks.

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