Courtney Patton’s ‘What It’s Like To Fly Alone’ Due Out February 16th

Courtney Patton’s ‘What It’s Like To Fly Alone’ Due Out February 16th

Harlan Howard might have been the first to mutter the famous phrase that country music was, “Three chords and the truth,” but Courtney Patton has clearly made that her life mantra. Following her previous solo albums, Triggering a Flood (2013) and So This Is Life (2015), Patton has continued to draw on true life, day-to-day experiences on her third album, What It’s Like To Fly Alone, to be released February 16, 2018. Fresh off her second annual Hard Candy Christmas Tour with friends and fellow respected artists Sunny Sweeney, Jamie Lin Wilson and Brennen Leigh, Patton has proven herself as a driving force within the Texas music scene and far beyond.

Patton explains the genesis behind the project: “The album is titled after one of its songs, “What It’s Like to Fly Alone”. The title sounds melancholy, but the resolve isn’t. This record is full of songs about people who have had to “fly alone” in some way, whether through grief, loss, life choices, addiction or love. We have to work through our struggles, choose our own destiny, just like the characters in each song. We have to make ourselves happy. No one else can do that for us. I’ve been down in most of those ways, but I choose happiness. In the end, “flying alone” is soaring because you pick your path and you find your way.”

The album is phenomenal. In an era in which clichés and bravado are mistaken for bold noteworthiness, there is something far more brave in peeling back highly personal and emotional open-book songs and delivering them with sensitivity and sentiment. Patton has done just that. She is the consummate storyteller on this project. Heartache isn’t just described, it’s tangibly felt.

Patton has called upon many of her musical friends to assist singing and playing on the project as well. Chip Bricker, piano player with Gene Watson’s highly acclaimed Farewell Party Band, is on piano. Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame member Lloyd Maines is on pedal steel, lap steel, dobro, mandolin, baritone guitar, electric guitar and acoustic lead guitar. Giovanni “Nooch” Carnuccio and Jerry Abrams, the touring rhythm section in husband Jason Eady’s band, are on drums and bass, respectively. And the impeccable Jamie Lin Wilson (The Trishas), Dan Tyminski (Alison Krauss & Union Station) and newcomer Kensie Coppin are on harmony vocals.

Five of the tracks have been written by Patton herself. Cowrites include four songs by Patton and fellow songwriter Larry Hooper. Matt Hillyer (leader of the Dallas-based honkytonk band Eleven Hundred Springs) co-wrote “I’ve Got One Waiting.” “This Road to You” was written by Patton and Micky Braun (Micky and the Motorcars). “Gold Standard,” written by Kelley Mickwee (The Trishas) and Owen Temple, is the only cover song on the album.

After having fellow Texas troubadour Drew Kennedy produce her last album, Patton has taken the production reins this time around, further cementing this as her most personal work to date. But nothing is more personal on the project than the closing track. “Fourteen Years” is an incredibly powerful look back at Patton’s tragic loss of a sister in a car accident and the time spent after that loss wondering what might have been. Bricker’s piano and Maines’s steel intertwine with a sparse production to bring the brilliant songwriting and emotion to the surface, making it an incredible testament to a sibling.

What It’s Like To Fly Alone track listing:
1. “Shove” (Courtney Patton)
2. “What It’s Like to Fly Alone (Hawk Song)” (Courtney Patton)
3. “Round Mountain” (Courtney Patton, Larry Hooper)
4. “Open Flame” (Courtney Patton, Larry Hooper)
5. “I’ve Got One Waiting” (Courtney Patton, Matt Hillyer)
6. “This Road to You” (Courtney Patton, Micky Braun)
7. “Words to My Favorite Memory” (Courtney Patton, Larry Hooper)
8. “Sometimes She Flies” (Courtney Patton)
9. “Gold Standard” (Kelley Mickwee, Owen Temple)
10. “Devil’s Hand” (Courtney Patton, Larry Hooper)
11. “Red Bandana Blue (Kent’s Song)” (Courtney Patton)
12. “Fourteen Years” (Courtney Patton)

Rita Ballou

January 8th, 2018

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