I have no idea who or what “Inky Ovine” is, but whatever its inspiration was to musician Jas Patrick I want to see more of it.
There are only six songs on this EP, which is sort of a shame. But the first three are 15 minutes and 29 seconds of a musical ride that takes you from the sassy blues mashed up with a heaping helping of Southern rock that is Harpy to the more melodic power pop of Party Line (Classified) before letting you off with the reggae-flavored title track – yes, there is a song called Inky Ovine.
But take about five minutes and tell me Harpy doesn’t go down smooth like fine whiskey. The video, by the way, is also Patrick’s creation. (It’s more than a little strange, though.)
On the homeward side of the EP you have the sweet ballad Little Bug before the collection takes another musical turn into the effects-driven Didn’t Ask – a rare rock song where a pedal steel guitar feels in place. The cool thing about the song is the changeover in its second half, which reminded me of the technique often used on the early albums of prog-rockers Yes.
Perhaps the song with the broadest appeal, though, may be the closing track Snow Day. It’s the finale of the 6-song collection, but the good news is that Patrick is working out eight more for an LP release at an unspecified time.
As the story is told, Patrick was so disappointed in his last EP (“Tributaries,” released in 2012) due to the lack of studio time he could afford that he scrimped, saved, and finally outfitted his own home studio before turning to the actual music-making. Patrick plays everything on this EP except the bass and pedal steel guitar, which makes me curious about what he does for a band while touring.
And speaking of touring, Patrick is on the road quite often in the Midwest and South. In looking up his schedule, I noticed he has an upcoming show in Eaton, Ohio. While it’s been 30 years since I’ve been to the seat of Preble County – it was usually the last town I went through on my way to college down U.S. 127, and seemed to be a respectable little place – I have to say that if this guy can play in Eaton he can definitely play in Salisbury and I would look forward to it.
Don’t believe me? Listen for yourself and enjoy.