Making a Scene Presents an interview with Jim Patton and Sheri Brokus
Berkalin Records is pleased to announce the Summer 2022 release of “Going the Distance” from Austin’s folk-rock duo Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus. Over the first two years of the pandemic, Patton joined his longtime producer Ron Flynt in Jumping Dog Studio to record twenty songs they later narrowed to the eleven (plus a coda) on the album. Patton’s new songs, while not directly addressing the pandemic, explore relevant themes of loneliness and dreams gone bad, and plans gone wrong, and how hard it is for two people to get along even when they love each other and have each other’s best interest at heart.
“Going the Distance” utilizes the same core band as their previous albums: Rich Brotherton (Robert Earl Keen), Warren Hood (the Waybacks), John Bush (the New Bohemians), and producer Flynt (20/20), and adds Bill Kirchen’s Telecaster (Nick Lowe), and BettySoo’s joyous harmonies (James McMurtry) to the mix. Patton met Brokus at a bar in Arnold, MD, when she approached him on a break and asked if she could sing a song with his band. Despite strict rules against strangers sitting in, Patton asked her to sing Neil Young’s “Cowgirl in the Sand” with them. She and Patton have sung together ever since.
They listened to a lot of Richard & Linda Thompson, the Byrds, the Airplane, the Everly Brothers, and Emmy Lou Harris singing with Bob Dylan when they started, but from the beginning they developed their own style. Patton cites 20th century American fiction (“from Fitzgerald and Hemingway and Faulkner to Kerouac and Salinger and Raymond Chandler”) and the various lives of the friends he grew up (“I knew doctors and lawyers and waitresses and teachers and water rats and gravediggers and the guy who drove the truck that emptied the port-o-pots all over the state”) as the main source of his lyrical inspiration. Musically, Patton says he learned to play acoustic guitar playing Dylan songs, and electric in a band playing Rolling Stones songs.