This Saturday night, Kendall Patrick will be back in her hometown to celebrate the launch of her third album and to kick off her first major tour at In the Beantime Café.
Patrick, who was born and raised in Ladysmith and now lives in Nanaimo, is touring to promote her third album, The Other Side.
“I’ve always wanted to tour, but I haven’t been ready, I think,” says the 25-year-old. “Part of it is I didn’t know how.”
Patrick says she couldn’t fathom how she could leave her life and go out on the road and make money and still pay her rent and car payments. Whenever she asked people for advice about touring, all they would tell her was ‘just do it.’
“I knew it was a matter of being ready and having faith,” she said.
A pivotal moment came when Patrick met a stranger in November, who gave her a “kick-in-the-ass” talk about just going for it.
“That night, I made a pact with myself,” she said. “I booked the month off work, and it all kind of fell into place.”
Patrick says Stef Lang’s blog, in which she shares her process for booking a tour, helped her a lot as well.
Patrick has booked four shows in Seattle, San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Monica. When she had to apply for her work visa, she couldn’t book any more shows after that, so she plans to do open mics to fill in the gaps.
One of the things that man asked was what Patrick was doing in Nanaimo, and he told her she needs to be in either New York City or Austin because those are music cities.
At first, Patrick was going to go to New York because she’s been there before. But then she started thinking her album would do better in Austin because some of her songs have a country or country-rock feel.
She started mapping off a tour to Austin and was planning to drive down the coast to Austin, but when she realized she wouldn’t have the gas to get all the way there and back, Patrick shortened her tour. This suits her just fine because one of her favourite singer-songwriters, Brett Dennen, is from California.
“I just discovered him when I was booking this tour,” she said. “All of his songs seem to guide me. He’s really free-spirited and his songs are folksy, and I love folk music because it really connects people. His free-spiritness and connection with the earth resonates with me and gives me a clear role model of what I want to be become.”
Patrick recorded The Other Side in Nanaimo with acclaimed producer/engineer Rick Salt, who brought in drummer Pat Steward and bassist Doug Elliott from the Odds to play on the album.
“They’re so good, it’s crazy,” said Patrick. “I got to record nine songs with them. Rick’s thinking was I only have so much money and so much energy, so let’s put that into this project. I was definitely on board and so honoured to work with Doug and Pat. Thank God for my parents, who financed this. I owe everything to them.”
A couple of songs on The Other Side feature fiddle by Mac Shields, with whom she used to jam growing up in Ladysmith.
“It’s nice to have that energy on the album and a little bit of Ladysmith nostalgia,” said Patrick. “I feel really great about the album. I love it.”
Patrick started working with Salt when she recorded her second album, See It Coming, and brought it to Salt for mastering. Alex Hicks, who sings vocal harmonies with Patrick and will be touring with her, had gotten an album mastered by Salt, and Patrick’s producer suggested she get another ear to master See It Coming. See It Coming never got released, but Patrick plans to release it digitally.
Patrick is excited to play In the Beantime because she loves the “folksyness” of coffee shops like In the Beantime and open mics, as these intimate venues bring musicians and fans close together and can foster real connections.
“I like that you get all sorts of people” she said. “Because I write either folk songs or my writing is based on personal experiences, it’s hard not to feel a connection, and I can see it resonating or I can hear people say it’s resonating because you are so close. These are so down-to-earth, and I never want to lose that.”
Tickets to Saturday’s show, which starts at 7 p.m., are $10 or $25 for dinner and the show and are available at In the Beantime. If The Other Side isn’t ready in time for Saturday’s show, Patrick says she will drop CDs off at the café before she leaves for California.
For more information about Patrick, click here.