Courtney Patton’s upcoming album, “What It’s LIke to Fly Alone”, unfolds like a collection of stories, rather than an album. While filled with lyrics centralized around every-day life, the subtle classic-country instrumentation and honest songwriting do not just offer the listener songs, but experiences. Each track gives you characters you can see, places you can envision, and emotions you can feel. The listener can’t help but become immersed in the world Patton paints.
The 12-track project offers a host of impressive musicians. Chip Bricker, piano player with Gene Watson’s highly acclaimed Farewell Party Band, is on piano. Austin City Limits Hall Of Fame member Lloyd Maines is on pedal steel, lap steel, dobro, mandolin, baritone guitar, electric guitar and acoustic lead guitar. Giovanni “Nooch” Carnuccio and Jerry Abrams, the touring rhythm section in husband Jason Eady’s band, are on drums and bass, respectively. The sensational Heather Stalling is on the fiddle and the impeccable Jamie Lin Wilson (The Trishas), Dan Tyminski (Alison Krauss & Union Station) and newcomer Kensie Coppin are on harmony vocals.
Throughout the entire album, Patton has the uncanny ability to make each track feel personal and intimate, as if the song is only meant for you to hear. The accounts of struggle, loss, and love, offer the listener stories of how different people deal with different situations. Sometimes it’s coping with complex emotions, sometimes it’s confronting one’s mistakes, sometimes it’s just handling day-to-day life, but regardless of the circumstances, Patton navigates us through the character’s journey of ultimately choosing their path and owning their decisions. Even in the tracks with the most vulnerable and trying conditions, like “Round Mountain” and “The Devil’s Hand”, the song still manages to shed some opportunity for courage, or at least resolution; even if it’s just a glimpse.
Tracks likes “14 Years” and “Open Flame” cut right to the soul with hard-hitting emotions, while “This Road to You” and “Gold Standard” are filled with warmth and affection. “Shove” and “I’ve Got One Waiting” speak of pulling yourself up and focusing on the future, rather than the past.
Our *PICK* of the album is title track, “What It’s Like to Fly Alone”. The breezy instrumentation, striking imagery, and vivid lyrics combine to make one hell of a song. The message shows the strength of individualism, yet how powerful empathy and the ability to relate to others can be. The bold delivery and rhythmic cadence take it over the top, and make this one you’ll play over and over.
There are no gimmicks, no frills, nothing over-the-top, nothing cheap on the album; and there’s no need for it. If it’s a good cut of meat, it only needs oil, salt, and pepper for it to become a great steak.
The album drops tomorrow (2/16). Get it, turn it up, and dive in!
In the meantime, enjoy an early listen to one of our favorite tracks, “Round Mountain”, below!
What It’s Like To Fly Alone track listing:
- “Shove” (Courtney Patton)
- “What It’s Like to Fly Alone (Hawk Song)” (Courtney Patton)
- “Round Mountain” (Courtney Patton, Larry Hooper)
- “Open Flame” (Courtney Patton, Larry Hooper)
- “I’ve Got One Waiting” (Courtney Patton, Matt Hillyer)
- “This Road to You” (Courtney Patton, Micky Braun)
- “Words to My Favorite Memory” (Courtney Patton, Larry Hooper)
- “Sometimes She Flies” (Courtney Patton)
- “Gold Standard” (Kelley Mickwee, Owen Temple)
- “Devil’s Hand” (Courtney Patton, Larry Hooper)
- “Red Bandana Blue (Kent’s Song)” (Courtney Patton)
- “Fourteen Years” (Courtney Patton)
Music addict, a sucker for heartbreak songs, and avid Houston sports fan! I’am also the Editor-in-Chief of Texas Music Pickers.