Patrick Carrico: Deep in the Heart of California Country
In a part of California where musical talent seems to grow like wildflowers, it would be easy to be overshadowed. But Patrick Carrico has distinguished himself with an authentic country sound, well-crafted songs and an engaging stage presence. He is now taking one of his songs out for ride in the desert for a video shoot he’s hoping to fund through an IndieGoGo campaign in support of his new EP, Going to Town. He’s walking a path in the footsteps of a half-century of talent and success in folk, country and rock music.
Indeed, the legends of Southern California’s Inland Empire abound. If you head out from Los Angeles via Interstate 10, the road will eventually lead you to the edge of the desert, where coyotes dodge stray tumbleweeds the wind regularly blows across the boulevard. If you travel far enough east south of Palm Springs, you will come to the mystic high desert land of Joshua Tree National Monument, where Gram Parsons lived, died and is now forever memorialized in the ancient rocks and stones. But, before that, in Claremont, if you go south of Route 66, you’ll find the folk music store where Ben Harper was raised and learned the guitar trade from his parents and grandparents the way other kids learn to walk. It was here, in the northern foothills, where Sam Shepherd once lived. It became the setting for his play True West. If you talk to area musicians long enough, you’re likely to hear stories of Leonard Cohen coming down from his Zen Mt. Baldy hideaway during the 1990s. It’s enough to convince a person there’s something in the water that brings on so much talent and great music.
Charismatic singer-songwriter and Inland Empire resident Patrick Carrico is no exception to the flow of talent from the area surrounding Claremont, CA. He’s a country rocker — one of the southland’s most promising independent country artists. Leaning strongly toward Memphis-style rockabilly and an indie rock influence, he combines it all to create a landscape of classic country sounds in the tradition of Dwight Yoakum.
Carrico’s solo career began four years ago, but he’s been absorbing influences all of his life. It’s easy to recognize traces of Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, and Gene Vincent. His more contemporary mentor, Chris Isaak is also present in his music. Beneath the influences there is a great soul reaching out from the country songs he writes so well. It’s as though he’s made his way out to the Inland highway to travel the same road as those who have come before him.
Through his original songs and his skills as a multi-instrumentalist, Carrico is a reminder of just how good a country artist can be when he carries his own vision and holds strong to the roots of American music. He is a three-time nominee for the 2014 L.A. Music Awards, including Best Country Single of the Year, Best Musical Group of the Year, and Social Media Artist of the Year.
Now with two EPs under his belt, including Going to Town (due for release June 23), he is working on completing a video for the title song. The tune is a slice of country pie that lingers long after the first hearing, with strong rockabilly and Piedmont blues leanings. The video will take advantage of the natural desert locations familiar to the Inland Empire, shooting in Twenty-Nine Palms, near Joshua Tree and Pioneertown, where the finest in Americana artists convene at Pappy and Harriet’s.