Sink or swim

Jas Patrick’s one-man show at Taffy’s

By Katie Christoff

It’s difficult to browse the Internet for too long without encountering some criticism of the modern-day music industry. Frustrated commenters yearn for the days of vinyl, or when bands went on tour every year (with new music to show off each time).

Nashville-based rocker Jas Patrick begs to differ—he thinks musicians are churning out content that’s high on quality and low on fluff, and he explained why in a recent phone interview with DCP.

“Prolific songwriters churn it out, and people who can’t keep up drown,” Patrick says. “So you really get substance.”

Patrick recently released Inky Ovine, his third album (technically an EP) that precedes the release of his larger album Self-Help, slated for early 2017.

“That’s how the game goes, you want to keep out content,” he explains. “I always think of it as how it was in the ’60s. The Rolling Stones would go on tour, go back for a week and record an album, and be back on the road. I feel like it’s gotten back to that. Those guys were legit, if they couldn’t play, they wouldn’t survive. It’s really sink or swim.”

Patrick says this system works well for him as a songwriter, because once he gets started the words begin to flow.

“As you can tell, I talk a lot—I’m always going on about something or other,” Patrick says. “Talk to me long enough, and I’ll get into a tirade about particle physics or whatever. Words just seem to come. And that’s how I do it, I start out with riff or groove or something and just kind of hammer it out.”

And it’s safe to say he’s had plenty of practice—Patrick has been writing his own music since he was 14, and playing music for even longer. He picked up the guitar as a teenager, and started playing the drums at four years old.

Coming from a musical family helped. Patrick’s father played for Clint Black for 20 years while Patrick was growing up.

“Clint Black inspired me to be a songwriter,” he says. “Back in the day, he wrote songs I felt were substantial, and had a message, not those fluffy ‘let’s party’ songs you hear today.  I thought ‘wow, that’s pretty cool,’ so I tried to become a good lyricist and modeled myself after him.”

Being around influential musicians at a young age inspired Patrick to become a musician as well.

“I was always around it,” he says. “I started playing drums when I was four and went on my first pro tour when I was 18. I toured with Noel Haggard, Merle’s son, who was on Atlantic Records at the time.”

“It was pretty badass for a freshman in college,” he continues, in a way that doesn’t come off arrogantly at all.

That’s the thing about Jas Patrick—he displays the good kind of pride, the kind that indicates just how passionate he is about the work he does.

When asked what piece of music he’s most proud of writing, the answer comes easily: “I’ve gotta say this whole EP,” he says, referring to Inky Ovine. “This EP that we just came out with is right up there. There’s not a song on there that I don’t like. I did a really good job. And that’s not arrogance, I’m just really proud of what I’ve done.

“The lead vocals aren’t auto tuned, and there were no other writers—just old school pick up and play ’til you get it right,” he continues. “That can be really cool, or it can shred friendships and kill marriages. But we made through it.”

After some hesitation, Patrick attempts to describe his music: “To me, I’m playing rock. But, with a qualifier: to me, its British-inspired rock. My absolute favorite stuff would be old British blues guys, Britpop.

“I think of my music as rock,” he continues. “Everyone else calls it Americana country, but I think it’s rock and roll.”

Patrick also remarks on the so-called “Nashville sound,” a term he says people often use to describe his music, yet he doesn’t understand.

“Nashville is a stew,” he says. “There’s this hip-hop scene, and the Broadway scene [of indie rock, country, etc.]” Though he can’t pin down one specific Nashville sound, Patrick says the city’s music culture has helped him grow as a musician.

He plays roughly every six weeks in Nashville, but Patrick is currently touring to promote Inky Ovine. His tour will take him to—you guessed it—Dayton, Ohio. He’s played South Park Tavern before, and is excited to return to the Gem City.

“I like Ohio,” Patrick says. “They start kind of quiet and by the end of the night they’re the rowdiest bunch I’ll play for.”

Jas Patrick will play at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13 at Taffy’s, 123 E. Main St. in Eaton. For more information, please visit Patrick’s music is available on Soundcloud and Spotify.

Reach DCP freelance writer Katie Christoff at


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