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CD REVIEW: Patti Witten – “Sycamore Tryst”
By Stacey Board - 01/18/2003 - 12:49 AM EST

Artist: Patti Witten
Album: “Sycamore Tryst”
CD Review: If Aimee Mann and Chris Isaac had a love child, she might make a record that sounds like Patti Witten’s “Sycamore Tryst”.

On hearing the first cut, I smile and think….this is Austin style country. Mesquite, scrub pine, shadows, no sweet sticky sauce here, just meaty and satisfying with a bit of longing in the spice.

But it’s a mistake to pin her in Austin. The next song has some lingering longing on the palate, but it is more of a pop jazzy feel with some slow turns into intriguing melodic changes. Each song continues to stir in a little more of the different spices in the kitchen.

“Black Butterfly” is one of my favorites on the CD. Lyrically its sketch of images but it manages to still give you a whole story. We all know this story but Patti tells it so well with just the suggestions and the clues. The mood created by the players is spot on. It is sweet to bitter; both at the same time.

The musicianship from every player is top notch. They know when to play and when to not play. They aren’t out to blow you away with all the guns blazing, just to drop you with that one perfect shot.

Patti’s voice is pleasingly smoky smooth and distinctive. She avoids the currently all too prevalent vocal histronics and gymnastics that seem to be all over the radio. “Sycamore Tryst” is just consistently strong songwriting arranged and put down in excellent performances.

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