Good things to come out of Edinburgh? To tell the truth, there's a few and one of them is singer songwriter Lee Patterson. Finding a new album by him in a record shop in the aforementioned city was therefore the cause of much excitement.
As a live performer, Lee Patterson is dynamic and entrancing, behaving as if he is exorcising his demons using only his voice and guitar. Conversely, this album finds him in a more reflective, almost melancholy, mood. Oddly enough, this is not in the least depressing as he finds grace, honour and beauty in the subjects of his songs. Looking at life as a man who understands that for happiness to exist there must also be pain, he uses a paintbrush full of sentimentality to illustrate that journey through life. Love, redemption and death may be common themes for a songwriter but rarely are they dealt with as well as they are here with "Mary Queen of Scotch" having a particular resonance for me.
The thing I found most interesting about this album was how well it held up to repeated listening. There is little in the way of complexity in the arrangements or indeed the performance but with each listen I got more from it and perhaps even understood our Mr Patterson's intentions a bit better. "Stella Maris" is an album of maturity but, due that underlying sentimentality, it is also a very human album and that's an increasingly rare thing. I raise my glass to Lee Patterson. Thank you.
"Stella Maris" was Bluesbunny's Album of the Year for 2009.