“Patton has improbably deepened and broadened his art. For his new album with his wife and longtime musical partner Sherry Brokus, The Great Unknown, Patton has crafted 10 new songs that do more than explain himself to his listeners; these songs explain those listeners to themselves.” Geoffrey Himes, Washington Post music writer.
“Patton & Brokus’ new all-acoustic CD puts the spotlight on Jim Patton's lovingly crafted tales of working class heroes and losers, life's simple pleasures and the longing for something more. We know the characters in these songs, and we're pulling for them." – Jeff Talmadge
Berkalin Records is proud to announce the July 2016 release of The Hard Part of Flying, a new album from the Austin folk/Americana duo Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus. Building on the momentum of their last album, The Great Unknown, named one of 2013’s top 100 CDs by Geoffrey Himes in Paste Magazine, the duo has teamed up with producer Ron Flynt for the fourth straight time to deliver their strongest writing and singing yet. Once the album is released, Patton & Brokus will support it with live shows not only in their home state of Texas but also in cities across North America.
Patton’s new songs not only provide a back and forth with Brokus on vocals, with Brokus taking a larger role than usual, but the songs create a back and forth between Austin, their home for over twenty years, and their Maryland home before that. John Conquest said in Third Coast Music: “the Baltimore rootedness gives their latest real strength.”
Producer Flynt has crafted ingenious acoustic/electric arrangements that keep Patton’s acoustic guitar, Brokus’s hand percussion and the duo’s voices out front, while subtly reinforcing them with bass and keyboards. The result is a sound that closely resembles the duo’s live shows, where the lanky, silver-haired Patton sits next to the petite, dark-haired Brokus and showcase the lyrics that are the key to the act’s appeal. Even at house concerts and folk clubs, however, the duo often brings along an extra musician to embellish the songs, and that's the feel of the record as well. Providing that enhancement on The Hard Part of Flying are bassist/keyboardist Ron Flynt, acoustic guitarist/ multi-instrumentalist Rich Brotherton, fiddler Warren Hood, and acoustic guitarist/mandolinist Marvin Dykhuis, with guest appearances from lead guitarist Mary Cutrufello, cellist Julie Carter, guitarist Scrappy Jud Newcomb, and percussionist John Bush.