Patterson & Pults

Grand Tetons

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The Texas duo of Kevin Patterson and Bob Pults were bearded, acoustic guitar-strumming balladeers of the sort prevalent in the ‘70s. But where the likes of America, Bread, James Taylor, et al., sailed atop the charts with big-budget recordings full of high production values, Patterson & Pults were D.I.Y. underdogs, who released their 1977 debut album, Grand Tetons, on their own dime, with a low-key, lo-fi feel. The Riverman reissue of cult-appeal collector's item Grand Tetons is a deluxe package that also contains half of the duo's second album, Second Time Around, as well as several previously unreleased bonus tracks of the duo's demos. Though neither the liner notes nor the credits are specific about who handled the lead vocal duties, it seems as though it was Pults, and his mellow, back-porch approach to singing is right in line with the easygoing, folky feel of the tunes. Though about half of the songs from Grand Tetons feature a rhythm section, the rest are stripped down to just Patterson & Pults' vocals and gentle acoustic guitar picking. It all adds up to an earthy, organic atmosphere that keys into the nature themes running through the album's lyrics. The tracks from the duo's follow-up album are a bit more produced-sounding, with fuller arrangements utilizing an expanded sonic palette, but the overall approach is the same, and it still feels like the sort of thing that would be the ideal soundtrack for a drive beside the mountains that gave this disc its name.

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