Reviews



 
 




















Patty Booker-I Don't Need All That

Review From A Nashville Source
OK Where did she come from and where has she been all my life? This CD is not perfect, The cd is recorded a little harshly in spots. She is such a belter it is easy to understand why. Check out the cds "Town South of Bakersfield 1 & 2" (2 albums on 1 cd and "Town South of Bakersfield 3".

These act as a great introduction to Los Angeles based artists. Patty was on TSOB v3 along with the likes of Dale watson, Wylie and Wild West Show and others who have made it in a bigger way. The first has people like Lucinda Williams, Katy Moffatt, Dwight, Lauderdale, Kathy Robertson, etc. These cds should be compulsory listening for anyone remotely interested in great modern country (and I Do mean country) music.



           


Review in the Orange County Weekly

By Rich Kane

Patty Booker does country music like it ought to be: without glitz, glamour or the slightest wretched aftertaste of pop gloss that's always threatening to kill off good country. Put her in a ring with Shania Twain, and you just know Booker would kick her ass. Booker is a defiant tuff chick who not only wants you to hear what she's got to say but also wants you to keep your distance.


She sings tunes in which she proudly admits she has been cheating on her man; songs in which she sings that if you try to take away her man, you're going to wind up with a faceful of fist (the song "Fist City" seems like it was inspired by The Jerry Springer Show); and songs in which she says that she doesn't even need a man at all, anyway. She's also unafraid to belt out odes to PMS, which is much more refreshing than some guy crooning about his johnson (and who needs another one of those?).




PATTY BOOKER • I DON’T NEED ALL THAT (PMS)

Review by John Conquest at 3rd Coast Music, Austin, TX

However straightforward their music, most artists seem to resent and resist being pigeonholed, but Booker gives the impression she could cheerfully live with the label ‘Hard Country.’ The very first words out of her mouth are Hell Yes, I Cheated, which, no disrespect to Ted Roddy, who sang it on The Wandering Eyes Sing Songs Of Forbidden Love, is much more effective when sung by a woman (cf Julie Christensen’s Almost Persuaded), and in among the ten tracks, mostly originals, some cowritten with Jann Browne, is Loretta Lynn’s don’t mess with me anthem Fist City. When Browne, who coproduced and sings harmony, tells people that Booker is so country she makes Loretta Lynn sound like she’s from Detroit, this is, of course, supportive hyperbole, but you can see what she’s getting at.


With home court advantage, the LA Times’ Randy Lewis pretty much nails it when he says Booker’s voice “alternately recalls the feistiness of Brenda Lee, the vulnerability of Tammy Wynette and the steely resolve of Loretta Lynn.” Browne and Booker do triple bills round LA with Chris Gaffney, who duets Let’s Talk It Out, while members of his band, notably pianist/organist Wyman Reese, make appearances, along with Rick Shea from Dave Alvin’s band, steel guitarist Jay Dee Maness and fiddler Candy Lerman Girard. Booker niftily finesses having an actual crying baby on No Matter What He Say, so the only real disappointment is PMS, a hell of good song screwed up by one of those clusterfucks that may be great fun for the participants but don’t wear well outside the studio.


Nonetheless, I’m pencilling this in for Country Album of the Year and am seriously tempted to ink Booker in for Female Country Vocalist . This is as good as Hard Country gets, or as hard as good country gets, take your pick. JC





Review from What's Up

Jana Pendragon, Huntinton Beach

Patty Booker has long been one the strongest, clearest and most expressionistic country and western singers anywhere. A local and an alum of the historic Town South of Bakersfield sessions, her paean to Bakersfield in the form of the song "99" is timeless. As a duet partner with Rick Shea, she is peerless as these two profound performers bring to mind the magic of Bonnie and Merle, Tammy and George and Loretta and Conway. This is her first complete solo CD release. Made with the painstaking help of producers Jann Browne and Matt Barnes, Booker's staus as an artist of quiality is evidenced not only in the material she performs, but in the willingness of so many top West Coast players to join her. In addition to Shea and Browne, you will hear Chis Gaffney, Danny Ott and drum master Larry Mitchell, among others. Obviously a joyous occasion, the sessions that resulted in I Don't Need All That were full of spirit and sass like Patty herself.


The songs range from covers, "Hell Yes, I Cheated" and Loretta's "Fist City", as well as tunes penned by Booker, Browne and notable songwriter Max D. Barnes. With 10 strong cuts, Booker and company make every single one of them a musical event that stands on it's own merit. Especially impressive is "Sleeping with Two Men" and "No Matter What He Say". Also, walking the trail Loretta Lynn pioneered so many years ago is "PMS", a woman's song if ever there was one.


Booker is distinguished in her representation of the Bakersfield-LA. C&W and roots music scene. Very much her own woman, she has always done things her own way and in her own time.  Between raising babies and her music, Booker is another phenomenal woman who is about to kick things in high gear. Either get on board or get out of the way, Patty Booker has the chops and the talent to make the whole world listen. Raw, edgy and honest, she is an inspired original.


Review in the Orange County Weekly

By Rich Kane

Patty Booker does country music like it ought to be: without glitz, glamour or the slightest wretched aftertaste of pop gloss that's always threatening to kill off good country. Put her in a ring with Shania Twain, and you just know Booker would kick her ass. Booker is a defiant tuff chick who not only wants you to hear what she's got to say but also wants you to keep your distance.


She sings tunes in which she proudly admits she has been cheating on her man; songs in which she sings that if you try to take away her man, you're going to wind up with a faceful of fist (the song "Fist City" seems like it was inspired by The Jerry Springer Show); and songs in which she says that she doesn't even need a man at all, anyway. She's also unafraid to belt out odes to PMS, which is much more refreshing than some guy crooning about his johnson (and who needs another one of those?).

Los Angeles Times


Orange County's Top 10 Pop CD Picks

Mike Boehm

#5 Patty Booker, "I Don't Need All That..." (PMS Records)


The first CD by this veteran country singer has all the traditional virtues: honesty, humor, heart-piercing feeling. Booker, with the writing, playing and production help from some of Southern California's twang-music elite, splendidly fills the part of a woman vulnerable enough to be hurt, but tough enough not to be a doormat.



Country Standard Time

Patty Booker: has her time finally come?

By Joel Bernstein

The once thriving, the L.A. country music scene is just a shell of its former self. Many of the artists who performed on three "Town South Of Bakersfield" albums headed out to Nashville or Austin. The few hardy survivors band together, and every once in a while manage to put out an album to remind us of the scene’s past glory. Patty Booker has been there since before it became the next "next big thing." She had one great cut on "TSOB" Vol. 3," but nothing else until 1999. Her new CD, "I Don’t Need All That" is a glorious dose of hard-core country.


In her early 40’s Booker is maybe country music’s youngest grandmother since her hero Loretta Lynn. With her kids all grown she’s ready to pay some attention to a career that she’s always kept on the back-burner. Booker grew up in California and loved to sing, but "I never really thought about a career. I just liked to sing. You have fantasies about being a star."


Booker was in college when she met Gary Brandin. They formed a band and for most of the ‘80’s Booker sang in Orange County clubs five nights a week. "In the early "90’s I stopped performing regularly" to raise her family, according to Booker. In those early days, Booker met Jann Browne, a rising star in the area. "I used to go around to see her before she had her hits, and she kept coming to the gigs I was doing. She would sit in, and I would go to her gigs and sit in." After Browne’s brief national success (two Top 20 hits in 1989), she returned to L.A. where Booker remained friendly with her and Matt Barnes (Browne’s guitar player and songwriting partner.)


With her kids finally grown, Booker says, "I was thinking about an album, but (Browne and Barnes) helped initiate it. (They’re credited as co-producers.) I was wondering who I was going to get to help me with this. I had a couple of people in mind, and it just took off with them. To have somebody you’ve admired for so many years want to work with you is an honor." Booker reflects on the once great local music scene. "I wonder myself what made it so hot then and not now. Dwight Yoakam brought a lot of people in because he played with the punk bands. That’s when it got into Hollywood. By the time Vol. 3 come out, it was already dying. A lot of people were leaving town. I couldn’t find anything for a full band five nights a week now. That’s another reason I went away from there. I wasn’t making a living any more." "If I could just do this, I would. Sometimes I work as a massage therapist. I do sewing and housecleaning." (Browne has a petsitting service.) "There was a time years a go when people made a lot of money playing clubs."


Booker is an illustration of the changing economics in the music world. "I’ve gone through 1,000 copies (of the CD) and just ordered another 1,000." A major label exec could add 3 zeros and still not sound as excited as Booker does. "Artists who’ve been there tell me if I were on a label I wouldn’t be making as much money. Other people tell me I should be on a label because of better distribution." Booker has never performed outside of Southern California, although she’d like to. She missed a chance to do a European tour with Browne and Chris Gaffney because her daughter was about to deliver Booker’s first grandchild. Another tour scheduled for October fell through. "I should be looking for a manager and a booking agent. People tell me ‘You’re doing all right,’ but I think someone else could do better. I just play one or two shows a month." But even though she’s never strayed from home, Booker is building a following with her own self-promoted disc. A couple of well-placed Internet reviews attracted attention from radio stations, distributors and other publications and led to her receiving orders for her CD from Europe and Australia - places where her traditional country music is more popular than in its own homeland.


"To me, there’s nothing better than hearing the pedal steel guitar and someone singing their heart out," Booker says. "When I was small my mom would take me to a place called Cal’s Corral, and I loved hearing the sound of the pedal steel guitar. Some people hear that sound and they just think of rednecks. I hear that sound, and I come alive."

Patty Booker - I Don't Need All That, 1999 -PMS

Review from Country Standard Time

By Joel Bernstein

Way back in 1992, Patty Booker had a cut on "A Town South of Bakersfield Volume 3" alongside the likes of Dale Watson and Wylie & The Wild West Show. Since then, Booker has not been heard of in any town east of Bakersfield. This fine album will leave a lot of people wondering where's she been all this time. From the instant Booker opens the album by belting out the line "Hell Yes I Cheated," you know this is not one of those demure ladies that today's country radio is in love with.


When Booker tackles Loretta Lynn's "Fist City," she doesn't just match Lynn's twang, she almost manages the far more difficult task of matching Lynn's irate passion. The original song "PMS" could serve as a companion piece of sorts to Lynn's hit "The Pill." Accompanied by such prominent Southern California talents as Chris Gaffney, Rick Shea and former Curb artist Jann Browne (who also served as co-producer), Booker proves on her first album that, hell no, fine honky-tonk music is not just a man's world. - Joel Bernstein



Review From Twangzine - Bliss

Patty Booker I Don't Need All That - PMS Records

I live in a converted mountain cabin with jerry-rigged wiring north of L.A. Its location on the side of the San Gabriel foothills means no TV reception without cable. I’ve got better ways to blow 30 bucks every month, so no boob tube at my house. A funny thing happens when you basically ignore TV (except for the occasional awards show at a friend’s house) for six years. You hear things differently. In-jokes about Taco Bell’s talking chihuahua zoom over your head, but your own shaggy mutt drops his stinky old chew toy in your lap a lot more. You talk to your friends and neighbors more. You get off your couch-potato butt and take hikes. And you get introduced to new recordings the old-fashioned way--through your ears, via albums or radio, with no MTV/CMT pollution to cloud your perception of a song.


Makes it a whole lot easier to tell the real thing from the bullshit. You start wondering what happened to everyone else’s ears, why the featherweight party anthems ruling the radio waves get more airplay than, say, Buddy and Julie Miller or George Jones. When I popped Patty Booker’s new album I Don’t Need All That into the stereo one summer afternoon, I got a charge I hadn’t felt in too long a time. The first words that punch out of the speakers are: "Hell yes, I cheated!" It was downright exciting.


I must’ve pushed the Rewind button half a dozen times before moving on to the second song. No politically correct sanitization of her image, no bright production sheen, and J.D. Maness’ steel guitar twangs almost as hard as her voice. Talk about a tone-setting opener. Booker honors Loretta Lynn with a hellacious version of "Fist City." She duets with Chris Gaffney, another undersung hero of West Coast country. She sings about "PMS," for crying out loud. It’s her signature song, and it gets a fun treatment here from Booker and her raucous Premenstrual Singers. No way does she shimmy around in a demure slip dress like some self-styled "country divas." Booker’s song "99" was one of the great spots on 1992’s weak A Town South of Bakersfield, Volume 3 compilation. I Don't Need All That is her first solo album. She sings "Hell Yes, I Cheated" (by Larry Cheshier and Royce Glenn Sutton) and "Sleeping With Two Men" (by Booker and Shari Cyrkin) with a tinge of sadness, but what comes across most powerfully is an invigorating pride of ownership in her mistakes and actions, because they contribute to her resilience just as much as her hard-knocks wisdom, humor and sass. "I Didn’t Want to Go" has a lovely melody and hook, and Booker’s harmonies with co-writer (and album co-producer) Jann Browne are beautiful. It’s refreshing to hear two women sing full-out without the vocal exercises that pass for "amazing" singing nowadays. Throughout the album, Booker is well supported by a high-caliber crew that includes Maness, co-producer Matt Barnes, Rick Shea and Gaffney sideman Danny Ott on guitars, and Candy Lerman Girard on fiddle. The chief production flaw is that Booker’s earthy vocals don’t sound quite as full or vibrant as they do in live performance. In her liner notes, Booker writes, "I once heard Loretta [Lynn] say her only regret was she didn’t get to spend enough time with her children, so now that my kids are grown, I’m ready to share my songs with the rest of the world." I don’t even want to contemplate what it says about our society that the very thing that gives her music its grit and truth—the fact that she did the right thing, did the hardscrabble work necessary to keep body and soul and family together—is also what will keep her off the "country" charts. She’s "too old." Yeah, right. Check her out and then say that. She may never take centerstage at the CMA podium, but she’s served up a country album so hard and real it rocks. Bliss