By Sanjeev Selvarajah
Patrick Coman’s new EP Let it Ring will be featured in his performance with the Low-FI Angels at this week’s ArtBeat Festival on July 21, outdoors at Davis Square, 12:30 and 3:15 p.m. The folk and country of his previous album, Southern Storms is present with a new blues and rock influence. At a strikingly short five songs, the work here preserves his rich handle on American geography, a picture of Boston and city life against the grain and salt of country life.
The best way to portray the resilience of his music is the documentary Crumb, by Terry Zwigoff. Just as the main figure, underground cartoonist Robert Crumb and his vinyl collectors sought after blues hits from the early 20th Century, Let It Ring will be sought after in years to come because of its service to nostalgia and the origins of rock out of blues and folk.
“The joys of getting older, hey once you cross that track, you’re always looking back,” sings Patrick Coman and his backup singer Michelle Vanas in Boston City Blues. Let it Ring, the song in the work of the same name is like two lovers taking an afternoon nap amidst heat, ignoring all else except the comfort of each other’s arms and choice of ventilation, fan or A.C. If air conditioning sounds too broad a reach for these throwback hits, it’s a reference to a love affair ignoring all others hounds and castrated couplings with coincidental partners; oddly enough, the affair, whether it bares fruit like a favorable dalliance, or Tolstoy level cuckoldry, is portrayed as the innocence and penchant for inclusiveness which people discover with America’s less urban spots.
Home captures the idyllic south, from the evergreen in the lush landscape up till the cultural hospitality. The South and country are portrayed like the arms of women folk that embrace and welcome with a kiss on the cheek. Home, as most of the songs, features the fiddler Aaron Cross in addition to backup singer, Michelle Vanas.
The departure for a lyricism and broadness from the majority of Coman’s previous work, Southern Storms, is evident. Coman is a portrait painter that covers the heart of the idle man. One song in the previous work, Fortune Cookie, shares kinship with Let it Ring a whole. The narrator with Fortune is basically asking, do you see me in your future, in that crystal ball or tarot deck of your heart? Coman is not talking shop with a gypsy from a country carnival but with a consort via first impressions.
“My responsibilities with the band include being the chauffer, cat herder, gear packer, and trip organizer. That being said, I’m still the lucky one to get to play with such great musicians,” says Coman. “What I notice about our fans is that they are so diverse. Old hippies, college kids, Rockabilly dudes, folkies, and even young kids, so its fun to play music that can reach so many different types.” Patrick will be playing Sherpa to his fans and Somerville this Saturday in Davis Square. Check out his music at http://patrickcoman.bandcamp.com/.