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Patti Witten

Country of origin:


Type of music generally:

Acoustic folk


Most recent release, Tell the Wind (2006)

See also:

Patti Witten' home page


An older and tamed Michelle Shocked

Covers/own material:


General comments:

This is typical contemporary folk quite melancholic both lyrically and musically. Patti is 42, she has already lived through a lot of things and the songs reflect that. The closest comparison I can think of is Michelle Shocked but an older and tamer one: while Michelle still fights; Patti gives the impression that she is resigned to things. (

Recommended first album:

land of souvenirs is the only one we've heard


  • land of souvenirs (1999)
  • Prairie Doll (2000)
  • Sycamore Tryst (2003)
  • Tell the Wind (2006)

land of souvenirs

Release info:

1999—Patti Witten



Ecto priority:

Medium if you are into folk, low else

Group members:

Patti Witten—voice, acoustic guitar, kantele

Guest artists:

Rich DePaolo—bass, electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, tiple, harmonium, and more melodies per cubic inch
Bill King—drums, percussion, cicadas
The Burns Sisters, Jennie Stearns—other voices

Produced by:

Rich DePaolo


Folk music is mostly based on feelings, a good folksinger is thus one who can convey feelings with his/her music. A very good one can make you feel the same, that's what Ani Difranco does perfectly, for example. With this album I feel that Patti does only the first part. Her lyrics and music are good but she sounds to me a little too "classical"; she doesn't want to really go loose. This is frustrating because she has the potential for that, I think: some songs on the disc prove it, like the beautiful "Ask me about your dad", delicate and strong at the same time, or the rewarding "Walk a mile".
     It is not common to release a first album at the age of 42. With this album Patti shows some promise but she sounds too respectful of folk style in general to really push her ideas to the limit. I hope she will do it with her next album—I am certainly looking forward to it.
     The more I think about Michelle Shocked the more similarities I find between them: they are at a crossing point, Michelle going back to the roots of folk music while Patti is trying to escape from them. (

Further info:


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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2022-08-17 13:34:57.
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