Pat Smillie Band
Pat Smillie has, for many years, scoured the clubs of the south side and the west side of Chicago alongside the greatest, like Vance Kelly, Otis Clay, Willie White, Lil ‘Bobby Reynolds and many others. . Having seen him many times at Gene’s Playmate, his performances were always exemplary. Originally from Detroit, he decided to return to his roots in 2015 to settle again in the city where he grew up. This new session, recorded during the pandemic, was produced by guitarist Motor City Josh; it once again puts forward, on the eight original compositions proposed, all the talent of the singer who made his classes by listening to Joe Cocker, Delbert McClinton, Otis Redding but also all the legends of the west side of the Windy City. With the title “Heart In A Headlock”, the album starts off with a sound that reminds us of the heyday of Motown, thanks in particular to a very good brass section led by Walter White on the trumpet and Keith Kaminski on the saxophone, this the latter having notably worked alongside the illustrious Bob Seger. The very successful composition “Something On My Heart” pays homage to the late Otis Clay, when the singer of “I Die A Little Each Day” was recording with Willie Mitchell for his famous label HI Records. “Nae Nae (Month Of Sundays)” is overtly soulful with a strong nod to Wilson Pickett’s work, while the excellent composition “All The Way In My Corner” will quickly become a classic in the singer’s repertoire, as it is accomplished. Let’s not forget “Broke Down Chevy # 2” with the participation on the guitar of one of the glories of Motor City, Jim McCarty. “Last Chance” shakes up the compass by heading south with its New Orleans groove. This new album magnificently highlights all the class but also the musical palette of the artist, Blues, Soul and Rock have no more secrets for this singer after all these years spent in clubs. Pat Smillie delivers today the best of his production with an important CD that will satisfy the most demanding. A great success.