On Saturday June 11, 2022 “A Town South of Pasadena” held an album release concert at Jeweled Universe in South Pasadena. It was a celebration of music, musicians and their artistry and the community who loves, needs and appreciates them. The album is the brainchild of musicians and friends Pat Quinn and Ed Tree who are part of a community of musicians with far reaching and myriad experience that come together throughout the San Gabriel Valley to play live music. Here in South Pasadena, we have Brad Colerick’s “Wine and Song” Wednesdays, long a tradition which morphed into a weekly podcast during the pandemic and has recently begun to come back to live performances. Arcadia has an evening called Songwriter’s Serenade and Joe Normal hosts open mic nights in Sierra Madre.
Some say the amount of talent in our community is kind of a secret, but hopefully as live performances come back and projects like this album get out there, more and more people will discover this treasure we have right in our own backyard. Lisa Mystic, who makes up half of the duo “Wild Mountain Mystics” with her husband, Rick, says, “this is all about community – the musicians have formed a bond like family. And it goes beyond that to include all the people who come out regularly to hear the music – a lot of friendships have formed. When Pat was putting together the album, she wanted to gather people who were helping to promote the music and community.”
The evening featured several artists on the album and was kicked off by Joe Normal who performed his song off the album, “Don’t Hurt Me”. Each artist performed their track off the album along with a few other songs. Save for a couple of covers, the evening featured all original music. Pat Quinn then took to the stage with her spitfire brand of music including “Trouble in a Bottle” and “Yellow Moon”. Next up were the “Wild Mountain Mystics” with Lisa on mandolin, creating gorgeous harmonies with Rick on their song “May We All Meet Again”.
Next up was the inimitable Chauncey Bowers (featuring Lisa Turner) who brought the house down with his singular brand of humor and fantastic songwriting. As fellow musician Dave Plenn put it, “there is no one like Chauncey. You know what it is – he’s an actor. He just becomes whoever the character is in the song.”
There was an intermission and I caught up with Pat Quinn who said of the evening, “this is a lot of fun – I’m having a good time – I always have a great time on stage. Ed and I picked certain people to be on the album and it’s really come together nicely. Greg Krueger (who played guitar for several of the artists during the show) mastered the album and it was a lot of work. He had to take all these different songs and make them sound good together. I’m just really happy with the way it all turned out.” I’ve been listening to the album in its entirety and yes, hats off to Krueger because these artists each have their own distinct artistic style and yet the album really does flow beautifully as a musical journey.
Dale LaDuke brought his soothing vocals to the room with a beautiful rendition of “My Great Fall” and Corrina Carter’s buttery voice gave us “Solar System”. Dave Plenn, who always brings his smoking guitar skills, struck a contemplative tone with his song about loss “Memorial Day” and his song, “Things We Leave Behind” had me feeling some kind of way. Cynthia Brando closed the night with her stirring voice singing her timely song “Keep It Together” (while falling apart).
Thank you Pat and Ed for producing this very special album and thank you Ed, who performed his songs earlier in the evening, for this lyric that felt like a salve on the open wound of our collective trauma – “There is no crisis – That’s just how life is – and the trick is remembering how to breathe.”
“A Town South of Pasadena” is available now on streaming platforms, however the best way to support the album and musicians is by purchasing the CD which you can do by visiting Fair Oaks Pharmacy or The Dinosaur Farm in South Pasadena or emailing producer Pat Quinn at firstname.lastname@example.org. The album is usually also available for sale at Wine & Song evenings.