Jade Marie Patek has been on our radar for nearly a decade. She has been a mainstay at our annual River Jam festival and has continued to carve out a career for herself one listener at a time. That's all it really ever takes to convert someone to being a fan of Jade's...one listen. Her musical lineage is well-documented as coming from a polka dynasty, but her powerful vocal prowess and effervescent stage presence have made inroads in roots music circles. The one thing that has never been in her deck was a solid studio release. She's had flashes and minor success, but the package that folks see live hasn't been on wax, until now.
From solo acoustic gigs, duo slots, backing vocals, guest spots to fronting her own band, Jade Patek knows what she wants to hear in a song and who she is as an artist. Music is her lifeblood and she years to share it with others. Her new album, Song in My Head, is a distillation of all the elements she digs. Country, rock, folk, soul and just about everything else is thrown into a mix that includes Patek's signature powerhouse vocals twisting to fit the mood of each song. Low, husky blues growls lead to soaring, upper range runs. And for the first time the songs are up to match the quality of her voice.
Lead single, "Hey Darlin" rolls out of the gate on the back of a beefy slide guitar and provides a showcase of Patek's warm vocal runs centered around the hook which is guaranteed to get stuck in your head. "Beautiful Liar" finds Patek treading ground that is reminiscent of Lady Gaga singing the works of Jason Isbell's A Star is Born collaborations. Gaga's vocal range and timber is an apt comparison for Patek's output if you've never heard her. Two sides of the same coin. "Ruin a Good Thing" is the kind of country music that people used to make back in the 90's. Steel guitar guides you through heartache and adult problems. But the scene stealer is Patek taking her voice from top to bottom in her range in the chorus. "I Won't Be Used" has a loping "Black Velvet" bass line and Patek asserts empowerment in the face of mistreatment.
I could spend the next 1,000 words describing each song, but here's the key takeaways. Jade Marie Patek is a dynamic performer who has now created a studio album that matches her live intensity and vibe. It's a ton of different genres all rolled into one with a heaping dose of soul in each note sung. We're proud to have Jade coming back to headline River Jam this year, but prouder to see the artist she has evolved into. Grab Song in My Head when it drops, stream "Hey Darlin" starting tomorow.