(Noble Steed Music)
Virginia-based singer/songwriter Pat McGee isn’t exactly breaking new ground with this, his ninth or tenth record, but he doesn’t exactly need to as he has steadily been building up a loyal fan base for the past two decades. Like many in this genre, going back to James Taylor and Jackson Browne, you either dig him or you don’t. This eponymous record is not going to pull anyone off the fence, but is bound to be greeted with praise from those who have been following him and a weak “meh” from those who haven’t.
More subdued then his acoustic jam band tendencies on the earlier Pat McGee Band efforts, this is much more of a summer night porch record. Always a strong lyricist, McGee is joined by folks like John Popper, Little Feat’s Paul Barrere and Punch Brothers’ Gabe Witcher on the 13 tracks. The songs here range from so-so to the strikingly beautiful.
A must have for anyone who knows their James Taylor from Livingston Taylor; for all others, maybe not.
(John B. Moore)