Jamie Lin Wilson and Courtney Patton
“It’s a weird road we’re on right now––I guess it always has been,” Jamie Lin Wilson says. She’s sitting on her porch in D’Hanis, a tiny town on the Seco Creek in South Texas, not far from San Antonio. She laughs a little, then adds, “But nobody’s life is the same. There is no blueprint.” Jamie didn’t pick up a guitar until she was 19. Casual remarks she dropped to her mom and cousin led to a gifting of an acoustic that Christmas. She started attending open mics in College Station, and was immediately welcomed into what was primarily a boys’ club of aspiring pickers and writers that included future fellow Gouger Shayne Walker. “By the end of the summer, I was playing gigs in a band, the Gougers,” she says. “I learned how to play guitar on stage.” Opening with plaintive strings, “If I Told You” mulls over a painful thought: what if the other person doesn’t really want to know how you feel about them? Smiling through defeat, “Eyes for You” explores the vulnerability love brings. “In a Wink” kicks off with a poignant question: “Did you enjoy the clouds as much as Maggie did this morning? / I don’t know that anybody could,” before cataloguing the gorgeous moments we rush through instead of savor. When asked how she hopes listeners react to Jumping Over Rocks, Jamie brings up a hero: John Prine. “On his new album, there is a song that always gets me––‘Summer’s End,’” she says. “Every time I listen to it, I start crying, and I think, ‘I don’t know why I’m crying!’” She laughs her big laugh, which comes often and easily. “I hope something I create can get to somebody in that way. That’s what gets us through––finding common ground with someone else, whether it’s in songs or friendship. It makes you feel better about your own life.” Courtney Patton is a storyteller. She’s also a mother, a wife, a producer, a singer, a songwriter, a tour-van driver and a musician- as well as a world-traveler when she’s out on tour throughout the continental U.S., Canada and Europe. But to anyone lucky enough to be sitting in the audience while listening to her expansive Texas twang belt out her version of deep and soulful country music, she’s a storyteller. In a musical era in which clichés and bravado are mistaken for bold noteworthiness, there is something far more brave in peeling back highly personal and emotional open-book songs and delivering them with sensitivity and sentiment. Patton does just that. She is the consummate storyteller in her music. Heartache isn’t just described, it is tangibly felt. That makes the fact that What It’s Like To Fly Alone debuted as high at #4 on the i-Tunes country chart and made a mark across four different Billboard album charts (including a Top 20 mark on their Americana Albums Sales chart) all the more remarkable. But then again, Patton is a storyteller. It only makes sense.