Pat Wictor Bio

Pat Wictor Bio

Photo by John Mazlish

"...Pat Wictor walks onstage.  He places a Guild DV-52 flat across his lap and begins playing slide guitar.  The sounds are snaky and sizzling...."
 --Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live

Pat Wictor first burst on the folk and acoustic scene as an innovative slide guitarist known for fresh and memorable interpretations of traditional and contemporary songs.  Since then he has made his mark as a singer-songwriter penning lean and poetic songs that honor and extend rural blues and gospel traditions. For seven years he toured as one third of Brother Sun, the powerful harmonizing trio with Joe Jencks and Greg Greenway, garnering critical acclaim, two #1 CDs on the Folk DJ charts, and a continent-spanning tour schedule.  

Wictor’s newest recording, a concept album about political division in America titled FLARE, was called “brilliant” by WFUV’s John Platt, and reached #1 on the Folk-DJ charts in 2022.  His duo album titled Counterpoise was a collaboration with jazz vocalist and multi-media artist Deborah Latz.   The two first sang together at a vocal improvisation workshop led by Bobby McFerrin.  His previous solo release, This is Absolutely Real:  Visions and Versions of Phil Ochs, reached #2 on the Folk-DJ charts and was nominated for Best Tribute Album by the Independent Music Awards.  

An American by birth, Pat's early years were spent in Venezuela, the Netherlands, Norway, England, and East Texas. His time abroad gave him an outsider’s wide perspective, and set him on a journey to understanding America - and his own American-ness - through music.  His early experiences of living amidst different languages and cultures made him accustomed to charting his own course and being ready for the unexpected.

Pat took a convoluted path to folk music, winding his way through rock, heavy metal, jazz, and free improvisation. He started with guitar, shifted to bass, moved to saxophone, and then quit music entirely before returning to guitar, and teaching himself lap slide guitar.  He organized and ran a songwriters circle in New York City for 13 years, mentoring and influencing dozens of songwriters.  An adept improviser and accompanist, he is sought after as a collaborator, sideman and session musician, with over 60 recording credits to date, including releases by Sloan Wainwright, Jon Vezner, Joe Crookston, David LaMotte, and Reggie Harris.  

His monthly e-mail column, "A Few Choice Words," is read by thousands of subscribers. He is a music educator of note, teaching workshops on writing and interpreting songs, slide guitar and other guitar techniques, vocal and instrumental improvisation, body percussion, and various topics of music history.

Recognition and honors have followed Pat for years: he won the Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase, was nominated for Emerging Artist of the Year by the Folk Alliance, was nominated for Gospel Song of the Year by the Independent Music Awards, and was a finalist in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting contest. His current CD FLARE was #1 on the Folk-DJ chart, and "How Will They Tell It" was the #1 song.  His other CDs also received wide play on folk radio.  This Is Absolutely Real and Sunset Waltz both charted at #2, and Heaven is so High and Waiting for the Water both reached #4.

Pat’s national tour schedule includes solo engagements, duo collaborations, and teaching.  In a variety of settings, he has taught workshops on guitar and slide guitar, songwriting, vocal improvisation, and body percussion.  His solo shows are unique performances that mix distinctive originals with creative covers, elevated by instrumental and vocal prowess, and spiced with philosophy, humor, and social commentary.


Finalist, New Folk competition, Kerrville Folk Festival;
Most Wanted, Falcon Ridge Emerging Artist Showcase
Nominee, Emerging Artist of the Year, International Folk Alliance
Nominee, Best Gospel Song, "Love Is the Water," Independent Music Awards
Nominee, Best Tribute Album, “This is Absolutely Real,” Independent Music Awards

Quotes and Testimonials for Pat Wictor:

"He manages to infuse an almost playful, yet tasteful, improvisation while maintaining a beautiful sense of melody........While he can fingerpick like the best of them, he is an absolute madman on the lapsteel. Unquestionably, anyone who has ever heard a Wictor show will permanently place him in the company of the best in the genre- Harry Manx, Kelly Joe Phelps and Ed Gerhard."
          -Frank Matheis,

"...the clarity of his voice is an interesting juxtaposition to the glorious grit of his musicianship.....He manages to creatively absorb the work of others, leaving their musical intentions beautifully intact, while adding his own sonic signature to the mix."  
       -Ellen Geisel, Dirty Linen

"Pat’s Zen-like quality instantly puts the audience at ease, and I’m afraid it underestimates his skills. Like Joe Dimaggio could make a spectacular catch look rudimentary, Pat Wictor delights in sharing original and traditional songs in his unique style. His original songs are gaining a lot of attention and a number of artists are beginning to record him."    
     -Ron Olesko, WFDU Teaneck, NJ

“His performances are delicate, nearly evanescent—a daring and unusual approach for a blues singer who give listeners fresh perspectives on such familiar material as Son House’s “Death Letter” and Skip James’ “Hard Time Killing Floor.”  Wictor’s compositions…are especially memorable.”
       -Blues Revue

"If you can make it to only one concert this year, let it be a show by Brooklyn's own Pat Wictor, who plays heart-felt blues-based roots music like the only begotten son of Bonnie Raitt (same red hair!) and Chris Smither.  And unlike blues interpreters who have seen too many stormy Mondays with hellhounds on their trail, Pat is also an excellent songwriter whose new/old compositions will send you on a journey through the old Dock Boggs and Son House 78s.  But these aren't old songs, they're originals that, to paraphrase Mr. Smither, are "still flopping around on the deck."
    -Jim Motavalli, WPKN, Bridgeport, CT

"Soft-spoken and articulate, in the 1930's he could have been a dust bowl preacher.  The sermons, accompanied by the choir of his slide guitar, would have brought comfort to many a soul."
    -Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live

"He not only is a great guy and a great talent, but I believe he has, follicle for follicle, the best hair in folk music."
  -Rob Carlson, Modern Man