Artist: Patrick Fiore
CD: Small Wooden Room
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Singer/Songwriter, Folk, Pop, Americana, Jazzy-Funk
Sounds Like: Dave Mathews Band, Paul Simon, John Maher, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Ray Lamontagne, Tim Reynolds,
Best Songs: Bless the Man, Wait For You, Hidden From My Head
Weakness: More Instrumentation, Cover Art Concept, A few winded songs
Patrick Fiore’s debut album, Small Wooden Room, is a mix of stories, love, memories, and imagination. Every song on the album represents Patrick’s growth as an artist, and as an individual. Small Wooden Room could be considered a biography of Patrick’s musical discovery. The album’s honesty, dynamic approach, and bold nature craft the foundation of Patrick as an artist, and gives the listener a basis for what they can expect to hear in the future. CD was released in 2015.
The CD kicks things off with the melodic ditty “Soul Sister” a methodical and impassioned acoustic guitar driven intro groove with methodical musical build, hooky chorus and emotionally charged vocal delivery via well placed melody and impressive falsetto. Track 2 “Time Stand Still” serves up another hooky groove, with melodic musical flow coupled with driving acoustic guitar rhythm against a flowing American guitar ambience. Track 3 “Wait for You”” shifts gears with its methodical musical build, bluesy guitar, lending itself into an infectious melody with thought provoking lyrical and impassioned vocal persona that flows and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. As the CD unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of Dave Mathews Band, Paul Simon, John Maher, Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson, Ray Lamontagne. Right from the start you will notice Fiore feels quite comfortable just letting it all hang out musically, not holding anything back. It’s amazing how entertain9i ng Fiore is with just a guitar and a voice at the focal point of it all. The overall musical vibe has a nice Americana feel to it, but is also Funky-Jazzy and easy to groove to. Music is at times genuine, gripping, melodic, poppy and hooky with pockets of hope shining through. The American fretwork is world class across the board as Fiore and company dish out impressive guitar licks. Fiore’s got solid vocal timber and is full of passion and recklessness abandon. He’s got good vocal instincts within each movement he displays an impressive falsetto, vibrato, power, control, finesse and inviting timber throughout. His vocal style reminds me of a cross between Dave Mathews Band and Jason Mraz. Fiore is a gifted guitarist, songwriter, storyteller and vocalist. The songwriting is brilliant and provides a lot of musical variety and emotion. His vocal emotions really seal the deal for me as he makes a strong emotional connection with the listener. He really handles all the pin drop moments extremely well – this is a critical component of Singer/Songwriter often taken for granted. Fiore is a very capable acoustic guitar player displaying solid rhythmic pacing, impeccable timing and a rather expensive Jazzy-Blues chord vocabulary. All engineering aspects check out. EP possess thick low end frequency and crystal clear high end clarity. The songs themselves are consistent musical experiences, each one possessing unique personality, flair and signature groove. From grooving “Bless the Man” to hypnotic “Don’t You” and “Away” to dynamic “Hidden From My Head” to melodic “Sand and the Sea” to invigorating “Search and Seek” this 12 track CD has something for just about everyone.
All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I wish there were conservative touches of instrumentation to go with the acoustic guitar/voice tandems. This can be done without compromising the unplugged feel of the production. Things like brush-stroke drumming (Snare/Kick), Stand-up Bass, Cello, Violin, more solo guitar segments and even a few vocal harmonies. I also with Fiore pushed the envelope more emotionally with raw power especially during the finale moments of his music. I don’t care how Track 2 ends. I don’t get the cover art concept and how it relates to the name of the catalog at all.
In close “Small Wooden Room” by Patrick Fiore delivers an impressive, passionate, impassioned, hooky-conservative 12 song release that upholds gifted songwriting with the highest standards in good Funky-Americana Pop. If he has an impressive (unplugged) live presentation then that would be a deadly combination no doubt. Once again it’s impressive what Fiore can do with just a guitar and a voice at the focal point of it all. The songs are extremely melodic, passionate and highly entertaining – and clearly prove Fiore is on to something special going down this path. At the end of the day Patrick Fiore is a world-class talent from Pennsylvania possessing an infectious musical personality clearly worthy of worldwide recognition. One would be wise to keep a watchful on him over the years to come.