Patrick Woods, an Indiana native, has done more than his share of paying his dues as a musician. Ever since the age of 16, he has been playing just about every single type of gig imagineable – coffeehouses, bars, clubs, restaurants, colleges, theaters, churches, street fairs, record stores, house parties, weddings, and everything in between. He could be playing a local bar one night, and a theater full of 500 people the next night in another state. For the past ten years, the road has been an endless grind for Patrick’s ambitious touring savy.
He spent three and a half years gigging in Columbus, Ohio, often times taking three days out of a weekend to play Cleveland on a Friday, Pittsburgh on a Saturday, and Charleston, WV on Sunday. He often thinks nothing about driving to an out-of-state gig that’s six hours away and coming back in the same day. He also knows that this is nothing compared to what a lot of musicians have done and are currently doing. But the point is, that to be successful playing fingerstyle- acoustic- guitar- music, you have to tour nonstop for years if you want a chance at the music industry giving you even the slightest bit of attention.
The contrapuntal elements of Patrick’s music have long been loved and revered by many fans of acoustic solo guitar. He cites his main influences as Joe Satriani, Alex Lifeson(of Rush), and Preston Reed. Michael Hedges, Will Ackerman, Wayne Krantz, and Alex DeGrassi are among some of his favorites as well. But Patrick was mainly an electric rock player until he was about 20 years old and heard Preston Reed for the first time. “It was quite a revelation to me”, he notes. “Preston Reed made one guitar sound like a whole rock band, and it totally blew me away. You listen to it and you’re like – he can’t be getting away with this!” After that, it didn’t take Patrick long to develop a sound of his own. He totally threw away any ideas of continuing with a band or becoming a rock star. He stripped everything down to just one guitar and let the music take it’s own route. Being influenced more by progressive metal bands than acoustic music, Patrick has carved out his unique brand of up-tempo driving instrumentals that are complex enough for advanced musicians, but melodic enough for the simple music lover.
Patrick divides his setlist between two guitars. His acoustic Wechter six string, and his Santucci treblebass. The Wechter Pathmaker acoustic was made by Abe Wechter in Paw Paw, Michigan. His Treblebass, is a ten-string electric, with four bass strings, and six guitar strings, giving the player the advantage of playing both parts at the same time. This unique instrument was made by Sergio Santucci in New York city. Patrick often employs the two-handed –tapping technique on his treblebass, giving meaning to influences such as Stanly Jordan and Victor Wooten. Even though one guitar is electric ten-string, and the other acoustic, he plays both instruments the same way, they just have different sounds. One can take pleasure of hearing a lush acoustic piece, and an all out bass-slap-funk assault in the same evening if you ever attend a Patrick Woods concert.
In the past six years, Patrick has recorded two albums – NIGHTLANDS and POWER FIELDS. Nightlands, being his first effort was recorded in 2000. This featured his acoustic and treblebass ten-string with no overdubs. Although Nightlands got good reviews and was a good first debut, his second album Power Fields is far more mature, with better production and better composition. By the time he recorded that record, Patrick felt as though his constant hard years of touring had paid off. “Playing your songs live for about two years before you record them makes a world of difference.” He quotes. “You go into the studio feeling much more confident about what you’re doing, and you’re over all playing is pretty solid.” Soon after recording Power Fields, he moved back to Indiana.
Even though Patrick is for the most part, a regional touring artist, he has played with and shared the stage with all kinds of acts, including, Michael Kelsey, Pete Huttlinger, Brian Henke, Katie Ryder Band, Ryan Anderson, Eric Loy, Bill Dutcher, Andy McKee, Blues Legend Guy Davis, and many more. He has participated in National guitar competitions such as Winfield, and the Canadian Guitar fest. But the highlight of his career has been in September of 2006 when Patrick was selected out of 4000 entries world wide to be a top ten finalist in Guitar Player Magazine’s “Guitar Hero” competition. Playing in front of a packed house at San Francisco’s Great American Music Hall, he took second place. The main high of the evening was when he got to play for guitar legends Joe Satriani, and SteveLukather. “It was surreal.” He says of the event. “Getting to play for Satriani was unbelievable. I mean, here is a guy that I have listened to since I was fourteen and now I am on a stage playing for him!” Oh yeah, and winning second place was okay too.