Roy Patterson-Guitar, Burke Carrol-Pedal Steel, Paul Donat-Bass
& Mike Billard-Drums
‘Roy Patterson is undoubtedly one of Canada’s leadingguitarists……glorious clarity of tone, sophisticated voicings andfeatherlight 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 reflectsa 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 themusic that Roy heard on the radio on a daily basis while growing up in rural Nova Scotiaand the music of his teenage years; a steady stream of country music and a diverse hitparade 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 ofthe era.
Although Jacobs Cattle represents a new/old direction for the guitarist/band leader, it isdefinitely not his first time out. For roughly three decades Roy was part of the Canadianjazz scene and racked up an impressive list of credits. In 1996 his quartet won 1st prize atthe Montreal International Jazz Festival (the first Toronto based band to do so) the JazzReport’s Guitarist of the Year award for 2000, performances in Europe, the U.S.A. andAsia. There were numerous Canadian tours in support of six CDs released under his ownname and radio and TV appearances including a one hour special for Bravo. Ironically, ata 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 TheUltimate Guide authored by Scott Yanow.
For those who might be worried that Jacobs Cattle is too jazzy one need not beconcerned. Roy’s earliest playing experiences at all-night blues jams in Nova Scotia as ateenager, dance band tours of Atlantic Canada during the 1970s and the six nighters onthe Queen St. country & western circuit when he first moved to Toronto serve to groundhis playing, and with three east coasters and a seasoned pedal steel player the band’s rootsrun deep. Its all about carefully crafted tunes, depth and communication.
For guitarist Roy Patterson, growing up in rural Nova Scotia provided a strongsense 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 fosteredRoy’s interest and passion for the guitar. He performed with local groups touringAtlantic Canada and in 1978 the 24 year old made the move to Toronto bringingalong an intense practice routine and a burning desire to play. Since then Royhas performed with many of Canada’s elite, including Don Thompson, TerryClarke, Doug Riley, The Bob Mover Quartet, Mike Murley, Bernie Senensky andmany other highly accomplished artists. His style has drawn comparisons withsome of the most respected guitarists in North America, and his playing hastaken him to Finland, Istanbul, Italy, Taiwan and the U.S.A. In the spring of 2002Roy was invited to take part in a series of concerts and a workshop for theCommission Project in Rochester, New York where he performed with a numberof U.S. musicians including John Faddis, Keeter Betts, Jay Leonhart, Akira Tanaand Fred Wesley.
Since the release of his first recording in 1989, Roy has built a body of originalwork that demonstrates a personal, evocative style drawn from early musicalinfluences and eastern meditative practices. His fourth CD, Inland Passages,was released in 1997 and came about as a result of the Roy Patterson Quartetwinning the coveted Prix de Jazz at Montreal’s Festival International de Jazz, thefirst Toronto based band ever to win this competition. The award broughtexposure through national radio, television, and a tour that concluded at theCanadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. Inland Passages is a testament to Roy’sown 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 withBrazilian singer/composer Maria Farinha called Uwattibi, released in 2012. Othercredits include the Jazz Report magazine award for Guitarist of the Year for 2000and a profile in a new book called, ‘The Great Jazz Guitarists: the UltimateGuide’ by Scott Yanow. (Backbeat Books, 2013)
Along the way, Roy earned a master of Music degree and has taught at McGillUniversity, the University of Toronto, workshops in Poland and Italy and iscurrently an adjunct faculty member at York University. He also passes hisexperience 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 hisroots with a hybrid form of instrumental Roots/Americana featuring string bass,drums, pedal steel and guitar. The compositions are drawn from impressions ofthe music he heard on a daily basis on the radio growing up in rural Nova Scotiaduring the late 1950s, 60s and early 70s. The band’s current release, ‘SongsFrom My father’s House’ is currently available.