SF Bay Folk Singer Songwriter Patrick Ames Releases Politically Charged "Reawakened 2020" Single


Independent Music Promotions

SF Bay Folk Singer Songwriter Patrick Ames is releasing his new single "Reawakened 2020" on June 19, 2020. Hot off the heels of his "Liveness" EP, Patrick brings us a song for the times with "Reawakened 2020". Patrick will also be donating his Bandcamp proceeds from this weekend to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

New energy and new mastering is given to the classic political song of the Trump era. Jon Ireson has taken Ames' rockhouse gospel and amped it up, just a little bit, for the upcoming 2020 elections. TURN this one up and see if your heart isn't beating a little faster by the ending salvo. It's a reminder to vote! #AreYouReawoke?

"I wrote "Reawakened" in January 2017 during Trump's Inaguration Day ceremonies in Wash.D.C.  I couldn't watch the proceedings so I went into the music studio and locked myself in. Wrote the song, wrote the lyrics, and recorded about a third of the tracks.  It appeared on my EP "Four Faces", released March 2017.  

"Rockhouse gospel is part of my music memory (which goes way back). Jon has given the track even more of a that big rock band sound. Something Joe Cocker should have sung. My vocalists, Chana Matthews and Mikaela Matthews (mother and daughter), had a lot of fun with it once we got the various melodies going and brought them into the studio for vocals. There's a YouTube video about this.

Three years later, and the country is still fighting good against evil, love against hate.

At the height of the pandemic, April 2020, I made over 14 studio recordings of the best of Patrick Ames, https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLgDm6fSQ19THMIg-II-ZN7W5WZ-J-bF6R.

The last one I was never able to record, "Reawakened."  It's a tough song to belt out by one's self in quarantine while the recording camera is on. I tried a couple of acoustic versions and then realized that what I needed was someone else going the exact other way, to Produce a remixed and remastered version of the classic song.  I turned to Jon Ireson, who had done the M&M for my last EP, "Liveness".

He asked what I wanted, and I said I wanted it modernized and to amp up the crescendo even more in the last minute and a half. I wanted to make it a "2020" version, and get those reawoken lyrics back out there with a successful and creative producer.

Jon Ireson's "Reawakened 2020" hits every brain dopamine receptor there is! Jon Ireson kept the core song exactly as it was recorded, including myself and Chana and Mikaela's voices, and the parts of the score such as the piano (which is actually my MIDI guitar synth). But Jon did the bass and some other instruments and wove them together on this new track. He remixed the whole thing to make it and then remastered it all into the new "Reawakened 2020".

FYI: Just before the 2:00 minute mark, you can hear Finnegan, the cat, shakes his collar bell. And Jon amped that up, too!)

Finally, the U.S. has a theme song for the year 2020, the year of the great Pandemic, the year of hate and violence, the year of the grim reaper. The song is the antidote to Trump and to his hate and hate-filled politics. Its time for the "good in us all" to simply out-weigh the fear and hate and greed and ignorance.

AreYouReawoke?" - Patrick Ames

"At the beginning of May, Patrick approached me to rework this track he had originally written and recorded around the time of the changing of the guard in 2017. Inspired by all the positive reactions to this unfortunate president, he wrote an anthem to hail and support the small acts of good that woven together, will ultimately see this administration defeated and removed. Obviously, I'm very happy to help support that cause.

I cleaned up the track, gave the verses some good punch and the choruses some drive. Tossed in a little organ for that gospel flavour. Ultimately, I wanted to pave the way for Patrick's message to get through, flanked by his great backup singers, Mikaila and Chana Matthews.

America is once again in turbulent times, still reeling from the pandemic and the protests over racist police brutality and murder, but the force of good has been reawakened."

- Jon Ireson (Producer, Bass, additional Guitar)

The social commentary isn't new to Patrick. His "Liveness" EP opened with a song called "Bang Bang Bang", a spoken-word blues number paying tribute to the message and music of Gil Scott-Heron.

"Reawakened 2020" is out now on all platforms. Patrick Ames will be donating all his Bandcamp proceeds from this weekend to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.


Patrick Ames Bio

In the heart of wine country in California, you may encounter the proper wordsmith and storyteller, Patrick Ames. Patrick is a man who plays to his own inner muse, revealing a complex set of inspirations and incantations from the eclectic songwriter. One can expect more than a dash of the raw, dark, and mournful, along with hopeless romance, artistic conviction, and a fiercely in-the-moment, DIY approach where the recording style is both instrument and live-ness detector.

And what you soon learn is that Patrick Ames is passionate. Writing/literature is a passion. Lyrics and poetry are passions. Melody/guitar/music writing is a passion. Nature and wine country are passions. Spirituality and inner connection, passion. Psychological pursuits, passion. Anything activist or community-related are passions. Knowledge, education, are passions.Ames smiles, "Wine makes you passionate."

Ames discusses growing up in a household full of music and how that became a part of his musical consciousness:

"My mother sang opera and also in the church choir (I'm a choir brat). My very older brothers listened to 1960s hits and bands, and my father to Pop radio. We were close to Detroit, so it was Motown, Motown, Motown, or Puccini. And for some reason I knew who the songwriters were, like Holland, Dozer, Holland. Then Glen Campbell broke through and I remember adoring him. He had a TV show. He had a guitar and he wrote songs! I still think his Wichita Lineman is extraordinary."

Ames started writing songs in 1968 when he was 14 years old. He inherited a guitar and dozens of classic albums from his older brothers who went off to college. An avid songwriter and performer during his own college tenure, he went into book publishing after attempting the music circuit in 1976. It would be 25 years before he would play seriously again. "I bought my son a cheap Fender and amp. He didn't like it. I loved it. I cranked it up and played with abandon. And then it all came back, in spades."

Much of Ames's professional life has been in technical book publishing, which for him carries several parallels to what he's doing now.

"Book publishing is exactly like being a music producer. The end product is a finished work of communication, and the path from early inspiration to finish is a drug. And you keep doing it to get the drug. Writing songs is like writing poems, only with more tools at your disposal: you have melody, rhythm, human voices, syncopation, and on and on. Songs can become these extraordinary 3D poems. And I think a good LP/EP is just like a book, with songs like chapters, and all these themes criss-crossing."

Now, in his early 60's, Ames has returned to songwriting armed with decades of word-smithing, book publishing, and decades of practice. Through a series of experimental EP and LP releases, including "Four Faces," "Like Family," "Affettuosos," "Standard Candles," and "All I Do Is Bleed," he has established his personal signature with a gravelly, heart-on-the-sleeve voice box and carefully considered lyrics. Critics are sitting up.

"I tell stories, so lyrics and music come hand in hand. It usually starts with a musical riff and then I match that riff with some kind of striking lyric. So I have a musical riff and a lyrical riff. Then, as a story, I let those two fly together and piece the story together." For example, his last EP release came with a doozie of a title - "All I Do Is Bleed". When asked about the meaning, Ames smiles, "Passions can overwhelm you."

All I Do Is Bleed crossed an artistic boundary for Ames. During the EP project, Ames visited Buenos Aires and brought back mucho Latin inspiration. You can hear it in the tracks, acoustic guitar work and percussion, just like the streets of San Telmo in Buenos Aires. From R&B Downtempo, to American Top 40, to Classical Crossover, to Latin Folk/Pop, the EP confirmed his propensity to travel through music with his stories and emotions. And he shares the stage with his two vocalists, mother and daughter, Chana and Mikaela Matthews, and add an Argentinian guitarist, Paulo Augustin Rzeszut.

Much like in Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen's writing, Patrick's lyrics reveal at times a wry black humor and matter-of-fact delivery. Lines like "While you were making babies I sat on the sofa all by myself. While you were making babies I decided to go down and visit Hell." illustrate this knack perfectly.

Remember wine country? Ames lives in a Napa vineyard where he writes, records, and plays for the grapes at practice time.

"Lots of people love wine and the world of wine (tasting, collecting, etc) but few people get to live in the vineyard. I live in one, and it is hauntingly beautiful. It's not like a cornfield...the vineyards are pampered and coaxed to produce, and the way they are watered, pruned, and picked is special. The land can be remotely wild, filled with animals and critters, and it can be very rural living there. The music that I write, and play, is not so much Americana as it is what I call Wine Country music: it's a mix of heady folk, basic rock, classic Motown, and choral music with an artistic and intellectual bent. Best heard with a glass of wine."

So far, Ames has stuck to DIY production approaches, experimenting with studio live-ness and recording. It's unusual in folk/acoustic music for such experimentation but his latest 6-track release, Liveness (April, 2020), showcases his banshee wail and devoted disposition.

Ames is married to Elizabeth Ames, a woman's rights advocate, with one son. He performs at small venues around the SF Bay Area and Napa preferring intimate settings with the audience.

June 19, 2020 2:43pm ET by Independent Music Promotions  

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