I mention that opinion is quite split about Winehouse, with some listeners decrying her Back to Black album as a "watered-down" version of soul.
Of the latter perspective Patterson says, "I could see how people who have that interpretation may feel that way. When you go back to [Winehouse's] Frank -- ain't nothing watered-down about that! At least I can." Even amidst all the tiring tabloid reports about Winehouse's weight loss, drug use, and erratic stage behavior, her music has connected with millions of listeners.
He stands about 40 blocks away from his grandparents' church in Harlem and a few lifetimes away from his childhood.
Ever since the arrival of his self-titled debut in 1997 on MCA Records, Rahsaan Patterson has been catching up to himself, especially with the young boy who moved to Los Angeles at an early age to pursue show business.
She, in my opinion, is one of the best artists to have come out in the last ten years. "There's always that level of consciousness that some people can get a sense of with certain artists," Patterson suggests, naming Chaka Khan and Billie Holiday as performers whose artistry transcended the perils of their addiction.
"There was something very ingenious about Billie Holiday doing 'Strange Fruit', very poignant in the midst of her haze or whatever you want to call it.
Joining him at the console is a handful of producers who help give each of the songs their distinct personality.
As the lyrics above allude, Patterson only recently resolved some of the personal hardship he endured as a child. ' Growing up Pentecostal, you automatically come equipped with this God theory and these demands of what is supposed to be based on this creator that you never really quite know is real". Reconnecting with that child, it's like also regaining that fearlessness that children come equipped with."Patterson works out a whole history of travails in his songs, though instead of bitterness or anger, he exudes sensitivity, awareness, and a playful spirit that balances the weight of the lyrics.
"I was a pretty sad individual," Patterson shares, "very emotional, and was like, 'What the fuck is this shit? I'm impressed and heartened by how comfortably he opens up:"Traumatic things happen in your life as kids and more traumatic shit happens as adults. In the midst of his romantic frustration Patterson still entertains his listeners.
If I had to sum him up in one word, I would call him 'uninhibited.'" Wines and Spirits is both a stunning example of the personal veracity in Patterson's music and a superior illustration of how soul music has evolved in the 21st Century.
Some listeners seem genuinely surprised by the range of styles Patterson employs on this album, even though he's never limited his modes of recording to one source.