Good Humour Man
Patrick Eckart is a Twin Cities-based singer/songwriter who is no stranger to the stages of rock clubs throughout the Midwest. Playing bass in The Lovejoys, National Dynamite, Dylan Hicks' band and successful show bands, Patrick has nearly two decades of live performances to his credit. His first solo release, Good Humour Man, is the work of a veteran supporting player who has taken his time and great care in crafting warm and infectious "Brit-pop" style originals. The polished ease of his first recording as top man makes him a welcome refugee from the shadows. Patrick's vocals and guitar are supported by equally seasoned (and inspired) players including producer John Woodland (guitars, percussion), Jayhawks members Tim O'Reagan (drums, backing vocals) and Marc Perlman (bass, mandolin), multi-instrumentalist Andy Dee, Pete Sands (keyboards) and Marc Anderson (percussion). The many guest performers include Jessy Greene, Dan Murphy of Soul Asylum, Wendy Lewis, Joe Savage and others. On Good Humour Man, Patrick Eckart's nine original songs cover matters of the heart and complications of the mind (not that one can separate the two). The British pop influences are obvious; the execution of the music is anything but. The Kink-y title track, the pastoral folk-rock of "Piggy With a Fiddle" (reminiscent of early-70s Rod Stewart), the ethereal tension of "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" - bits and pieces can be traced to a source. Listen all the way through and it's hard to conclude that Good Humour Man comes from anywhere but the soul of Patrick Eckart. The band of assorted Twin Cities rock standard-bearers has the cohesiveness of a long-standing tour band. The guests each take their place at the table to cleverly spice up the conversation. Producer John Woodland, who was Patrick's band mate in the Lovejoys, co-produced Tim O'Reagan's self-titled 2006 Lost Highway release. (Eckart plays bass on one of those tracks.) Woodland helped put the Good Humour Man group together. One of the first of many adventurous choices made by bass player Eckart and producer Woodland was to bring in Marc Perlman to play bass on the CD. According to Eckart, "I really wanted to stretch out and play some guitar on this project. By having Marc take over on bass, I was able to shed some of my own preconceived notions and take a fresh approach to the recording." Good Humour Man was recorded and engineered by Brent Sigmeth at top-notch spots including Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls and The Terrarium studio in Minneapolis. (Additional recording by Tommy Vee at Rock House Production in St. Joseph.) Sigmeth has twisted the knobs for everyone from Kelley Deal to Golden Smog to Ramblin' Jack Elliott to Brian Setzer.