With all the madness going on in the world right now, we feel more than excited to host the exclusive premiere on Last Day Deaf of Southern Oregon based Diane Patterson‘s ‘Cookfire‘. This acoustic folk treasure is taken from the artist’s forthcoming album ‘Satchel of Songs‘, produced by Mike Napolitano (Ani DiFranco, Squirrel Nut Zippers), (Release date: March 8th, 2022), and Patterson’s silky vocals, its unbeatable groove, the mystic-acoustic-americana vibe, and the peaceful, revolutionary spirit, transform this song to the most ideal sedative. Thank you “folk Goddess”!
On Diane Patterson’s sixth solo recording Satchel of Songs (Release date: March 8th, 2022), Patterson’s trademark mystic-acoustic-Americana, music-as-activism, and love-as-revolution are ever-present, buoyed and inspired by years of touring in the US, Europe, and her beloved Scandinavia, where she has spent extensive heartfelt time. The embrace of Patterson’s musical path by the Swedes and Danes led to her recording the title track in Sweden in 2019. While she didn’t end up using that recording, it was the catalyst that sparked and flavored the collection of songs that comprise the album.
All tracks were produced by Mike Napolitano (Ani DiFranco, Squirrel Nut Zippers) in New Orleans, except for two songs: One Part Corn, by Pedro Vadhar in Mexico; and Turn Toward the Sun, produced by Roman Morykit (Gypsy Soul). Musicians include Diane Patterson (vocals, guitar, bass, drum) Terence Higgins (Ani DiFranco, Dirty Dozen Brass Band) drums, Joe Craven (Jerry Garcia and David Grisman) percussion and mandolin, Barbara Higbie (Bonnie Raitt) fiddle, Al Torre (Tina Malia) guitar, Rick Nelson (Rickie Lee Jones) upright bass, violin, viola and cello, Todd Sickafoose (bass, keys), Janelle Burdell (percussion), Mia Pixley (cello), Robert Comeaux (pedal steel), Alex Smith (bass) Elin Telius (vocals) from Sweden, Ani DiFranco (vocals), Alice DiMicele (vocals) and Gordon Hellegers (Simrit Kaur) Kora.
Dedicated to healing, to joy, and to life, the album kicks off with the reggae-tinged Roots Heart Rhythm, an invocation for the earth. Prayerful offerings are interwoven throughout with the native nuanced One Part Corn, and spirit moving groove and positivity of Cookfire. Silk and Honest Pay stems from an ancient Viking song from which one line remains “I dreamed a dream tonight of silk and honest pay.” The song slowly builds from the nostalgic to the bliss of the dance, with ethereal whispers on the intro and outro of the track by Bodil Jørgensen of Denmark, and Anna-Elvira Cederholm from Sweden. The title track Satchel of Songs was written and offered as an apology song for the unspeakable wrongs committed by the dominant culture on indigenous people, after meeting Elin Teilus, a Swedish woman whose father descends from the reindeer-herding Sami ethnic indigenous people of northern Scandinavia, Finland, and Russia. “Can the people stand back and pray?” is a plea for guidance amidst painful realities in the refrain of Steady the Hand, written about the child soldiers of Aleppo Syria, while Maybe Easy ponders how love and beauty exist side by side with grief and sorrow. The story of the water protectors at Standing Rock and their resiliency to stop the pipeline unfolds on Turn Towards The Sun. The album closes out with the joyous Somewhere There’s a Song Still Singing that celebrates the tradition of ancient migrating people who, when approaching a place would listen for the song, the ‘lay’, of the land, and Where Are We, a poem written by Coleman Barks, inspired by the 13thCentury mystic Persian poet Rumi, and arranged and sung by Patterson.
Satchel of Songs is music for the movement. These songs honor ancient people and the land, and speak of reconciliation and peace, while being ever hopeful for a bright future. In 2022, Diane Patterson plans to tour the US, Sweden, and Denmark and record a live album on the Big Island of Hawaii.