If a singer/songwriter is something of a Jack or Jill of all trades, singer, writer, and musician, Patterson Barrett takes this fact to a logical conclusion, performing--with a few exceptions--most of the instrumental and vocal work on I Must Be Dreaming himself. The songs, then, are an extensive labor of love, requiring Barrett to lay down acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, lap and pedal steel, keyboards, accordion, bass, and percussion. The handful of exceptions on I Must Be Dreaming deserve mention, however, because they're important ones. On the gentle, easy flowing "Concrete & Steel," Barrett's light-toned vocal is matched by the warm tones of Julie Miller's harmony; and Buddy Miller adds his vocals and guitar work to "Take the Stage" and vocals to "Concrete & Steel" and "Leap of Faith." Barrett also borrows a few songs from other writers including Bill Browder's "I Can't Have You," Gurf Morlix and Rod Picott's "Leap of Faith," and Richard Manuel and Robbie Robertson's "Sleeping." While Barrett brings little new to the well-worn genre of the singer/songwriter, he does deliver a solid set list with likable arrangements and good performances. Best of all, he manages to do most of this all by himself.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.