Almost four years after the concert, I can still clearly recall the overall impression I walked away with from McCabe's, but there's not much I remember about any of Patty's songs. I went to the show without knowing much about her music, hoping to discover a new source of musical pleasures from an artist not known by the masses. Well, Patty wasn't bad, but she did not deliver the knock-out punch I was ready to absorb. The problem was probably me - I was expecting to be hit hard - and that punch never came.
Patty's set was quite similar to that of your typical singer-songwriter - she sang mostly her own songs, played the guitar and told stories. Yes, she definitely belongs on the national scene, but there wasn't anything out-of-the-ordinary to these ears, nor do I recall any numbers of high vocal or instrumental virtuosity.
The surprise of the evening turned out to be Peter Mulvey, whose opening set was unexpectedly good. Funny thing - that was the same Peter Mulvey who failed to impress me the first time I saw him, in 2005, when he appeared alongside Kris Delmhorst and Jeffrey Foucault in Redbird.