SXSW Live Shot: Bobby Patterson

Jiving soul vet arrives long overdue for his closeup

Although he never scored the mainstream crossover hit that would’ve made him a household name, Dallas soul survivor Bobby Patterson’s Sixties and Seventies releases are some of the era’s smartest and funkiest R&B.


by Sandy Carson

His work remains best known to white audiences through covers of his compositions by bands like Austin’s Fabulous Thunderbirds (“How Do You Spell Love?”). Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy recorded Patterson’s “She Don’t Have to See You” with alt-country supergroup Golden Smog.

With an impressive comeback album in the can and an ace backup band in Austin’s funky-beyond-their-years Disciples, Patterson’s ripe for some overdue recognition, which he more than earned in his 512 Rooftop set. Look for his non-SXSW gig Thursday at new South Congress speakeasy C-Boy’s Heart and Soul.

Punctuating his between-song patter with the sort of jive rhymes that he perfected during his years as morning soul jock on Dallas’ KKDA, Patterson tore into a set of old favorites that peaked with the sly soul anthem “T.C.B. or T.Y.A.” Climax then occurred when the singer strapped on guitarist Zach Ernst’s axe and executed a funky extended solo during Louis Jordan’s “Let the Good Times Roll.”

Both tunes underlined Bobby Patterson’s status as an unsung soul genius.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Bobby Patterson, SXSW Music 2014, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Wilco, Jeff Tweedy, Golden Smog, Louis Jordan, Zach Ernst, C-Boy’s Heart & Soul

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