Pat Upton

Then and Now

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Pat Upton waited almost 25 years after the demise of his band the Spiral Starecase to cut another record, but it was well worth the wait. With his clear-as-a-bell tenor voice still as marvelous as ever, he surrounds himself with brand-name pickers and comes up with a ten-song collection of great originals and favorites from his stage show. After kicking off with a modern update of his big hit "More Today Than Yesterday," Upton's new originals are all firmly in the modern country-rock mode, with "Live Like a Saint," "Heaven Sent-Hell Bent," "What Do I Do" and the atmospheric "Slow Rain" all being notable standouts. Cover versions of classics are usually ill advised, but his takes on Rick Nelson's "Garden Party" and Roy Orbison's "Crying" are particularly fine, as Upton's voice is a musical wonder to experience. The man still has it and then some, and it's all here to hear on this wonderful little record.