Roy Patterson-Guitar, Burke Carrol-
Pedal Steel, Paul Donat-Bass
& Mike Billard-Drums
“Roy Patterson is undoubtedly one of Canada’s leading guitarists......glorious clarity of tone, sophisticated voicings and featherlight fingerwork.” -the Toronto Star
Jacobs Cattle is the name of the current project led by guitarist/tunesmith Roy Patterson. The band's hybrid instrumental form of Roots/Americana is highly evocative and reflects a level of artistry that is both sophisticated and emotionally compelling with no pretense.
The band's first CD, Songs From my Fathers House was inspired by the imprints of the music that Roy heard on the radio on a daily basis while growing up in rural Nova Scotia and the music of his teenage years; a steady stream of country music and a diverse hit parade of songs from Hank Williams and Buck Owens, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Petula Clarke, The Ventures and the gamut of artists who defined the popular music of the era.
Although Jacobs Cattle represents a new/old direction for the guitarist/band leader, it is definitely not his first time out. For roughly three decades Roy was part of the Canadian jazz scene and racked up an impressive list of credits. In 1996 his quartet won 1st prize at the Montreal International Jazz Festival (the first Toronto based band to do so) the Jazz Report's Guitarist of the Year award for 2000, performances in Europe, the U.S.A. and Asia. There were numerous Canadian tours in support of six CDs released under his own name and radio and TV appearances including a one hour special for Bravo. Ironically, at a time when he is moving away from the jazz world and returning to a roots-based style, Roy was recently profiled in the Hal Leonard book, The Great Jazz Guitarists The Ultimate Guide authored by Scott Yanow.
For those who might be worried that Jacobs Cattle is too jazzy one need not be concerned. Roy's earliest playing experiences at all-night blues jams in Nova Scotia as a teenager, dance band tours of Atlantic Canada during the 1970s and the six nighters on the Queen St. country & western circuit when he first moved to Toronto serve to ground his playing, and with three east coasters and a seasoned pedal steel player the band's roots run deep. Its all about carefully crafted tunes, depth and communication.
For guitarist Roy Patterson, growing up in rural Nova Scotia provided a strong sense of individuality rooted in the land that would play a large part in his music. But early musical influences of country, rock, blues, and R&B are what fostered Roy's interest and passion for the guitar. He performed with local groups touring Atlantic Canada and in 1978 the 24 year old made the move to Toronto bringing along an intense practice routine and a burning desire to play. Since then Roy has performed with many of Canada's elite, including Don Thompson, Terry Clarke, Doug Riley, The Bob Mover Quartet, Mike Murley, Bernie Senensky and many other highly accomplished artists. His style has drawn comparisons with some of the most respected guitarists in North America, and his playing has taken him to Finland, Istanbul, Italy, Taiwan and the U.S.A. In the spring of 2002 Roy was invited to take part in a series of concerts and a workshop for the Commission Project in Rochester, New York where he performed with a number of U.S. musicians including John Faddis, Keeter Betts, Jay Leonhart, Akira Tana and Fred Wesley.
Since the release of his first recording in 1989, Roy has built a body of original work that demonstrates a personal, evocative style drawn from early musical influences and eastern meditative practices. His fourth CD, Inland Passages, was released in 1997 and came about as a result of the Roy Patterson Quartet winning the coveted Prix de Jazz at Montreal's Festival International de Jazz, the first Toronto based band ever to win this competition. The award brought exposure through national radio, television, and a tour that concluded at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Inland Passages is a testament to Roy's own earthbound and spiritual journeys and his pursuit of adventure. To date, seven CDs have been released under his own name and one as co-leader with Brazilian singer/composer Maria Farinha called Uwattibi, released in 2012. Other credits include the Jazz Report magazine award for Guitarist of the Year for 2000 and a profile in a new book called, “The Great Jazz Guitarists: the Ultimate Guide” by Scott Yanow. (Backbeat Books, 2013)
Along the way, Roy earned a master of Music degree and has taught at McGill University, the University of Toronto, workshops in Poland and Italy and is currently an adjunct faculty member at York University. He also passes his experience on as a regular contributor to the US quarterly, “Just Jazz Guitar.”
Coming full circle, Roy’s current band, Jacob’s Cattle represents a return to his roots with a hybrid form of instrumental Roots/Americana featuring string bass, drums, pedal steel and guitar. The compositions are drawn from impressions of the music he heard on a daily basis on the radio growing up in rural Nova Scotia during the late 1950s, 60s and early 70s. The band’s current release, ”Songs From My father’s House” is currently available.