Matt Patershuk: If Wishes Were Horses

review matt patershuk x1 cong

This is a warm and likable album that combines the blues, country and rock. Patershuk says of the album: “It’s a mixed bag, which is how I like my bags. You’ll hear country and western, folk, rock ‘n’ roll, singer songwriter and blues songs.” And you do.

Opener The Blues Don’t Bother Me is a pleasant but formulaic introduction to the album, with twanging guitar and a very nice organ solo.

Ernest Tubb Had Fuzzy Slippers is where Patershuk starts to mix his bags, a slow ballad about Ernest Tubb, the Texas Troubadour (a record store in Nashville still bears his name). In 1957 Tubbs, who likes a beer, walked into the lobby of the National Life Building in Nashville and fired a .357 magnum, intending to shoot music producer Jim Denny. He shot at the wrong man but missed anyway, and was charged with public drunkenness. (Only in the US could an inebriated man fire a big gun in public and only get charged with being drunk). This song tells that tale, slowly and with some Nashville-style twangs.

There are four horse-related instrumentals and the first, For Bravery And Good Fortune is where the album warms up, some lovely low twanging country guitar and tasty keyboard. (The others are For Lighter Loads, To Know the Future and For Fond Remembrance).

It’s all nice and comforting. There’s a good cover of The Grateful Dead’s Sugaree, one of the standouts. He’s doing nothing new but his warm voice and readiness to embrace different genres make this a pleasing listen.

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