Interviews and Articles

Dirty Linen (Feb/March 2008):  "The Sense and Spirit of Pat Wictor," by Ellen Geisel

........Each one of Pat Wictor's releases contains a stunner of a song. 2003's Temporary Stay has Fred Neil's "The Dolphins." Once done by Tim Buckley as an ethereal wonder, the song is given an easy grounding in Wictor's hands, his transcendent lap slide guitar weaving a warm tapestry behind his elegant vocals. Waiting for the Water boasts his own nearly a cappella tent-revival-like gem "Love Is the Water," while the recent Heaven Is So High, and I'm So Far Down virtually shines due to his emotional rendition of the late Dave Carter's "When I Go." Throughout, the clarity of his voice is an interesting juxtaposition to the glorious grit of his musicianship. And there is an undeniable feeling that Wictor has mastered that necessary but often elusive balancing act of combining the practicality of being a working musician with the expression of sheer artistry. He manages to creatively absorb the work of others, leaving their musical intentions beautifully intact, while adding his own sonic signature to the mix. Some songs in his repertoire are presented straightforwardly and seemingly "as-written," such as Marvin Baumgardner's hymn "Gathering Flowers for the Master's Bouquet." Others, like his own "I Will Walk With You," are less-clear explorations that can be interpreted in ways both spiritual and worldly. Said Wictor, "I certainly hope that my songs have a universal appeal; I've worked consciously at that. I've tried to write and select songs that don't polarize the listener squarely into -- or away from -- a particular spiritual camp. I'm trying to do an end run around that, and perhaps provide food for thought and conversation. I hope people share enough common values that we can enjoy the same songs without having to share all of each others' assumptions."

Just how Wictor arrived at this enviable place in his career where he easily churns out recordings imbued with both spirituality and twang may be traced to his interesting early years. He was an American by birth living in Venezuela, the Netherlands, and England. (His father was an oil-industry worker). Wictor remembered, "Well, these early experiences had an impact in some roundabout and unexpected ways. Don't forget that I also lived in east Texas for a few years, and those years [1972-1976] were some important ones. Glen Campbell, John Denver, and Johnny Cash were all over TV, as well as Roy Clark on 'Hee-Haw.'  Hearing and seeing all those musicians on TV as a kid stimulated my interest in music, and specifically in playing the guitar. I only learned later that they all had a great sense of melody and a grounding in 'roots' music.".......

This is an excerpt from the print edition of Dirty Linen #134 (February/March 2008).
The full article is in the magazine, available on newsstands, by subscription, and at the Dirty Linen webstore.
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updated: 9 years ago