Patrick Ames, the guy who actually writes technical books while sipping some wine from the Napa Valley, where he resides, has already announced recently with his “Rubber & Glue” single that he might be coming with some serious ’70s vibes, with his new album The Virtualistics.
First of all, why The Virtualistics? Well, actually, as Ames explains himself, it is a band that never met. “Remote collaboration is common but we never met during a difficult pandemic year. The four of us never practiced together. We didn’t sing together nor did we pre-plan the final sound. We were virtual entities, duly recording our tracks on various home devices and sending tndie musicihem in for assembly. Those famous photographs of The Virtualistics, studious musicians playing on stage, hard-working in the studio, those tired looks of a fifth take, none of that happened. We never sang or played together.”
It really doesn’t seem to matter. Backed by producer and multi-instrumentalist Jon Ireson, and vocalists Chana and Mikaela Matthews have seemed to have sussed out the essence of the late ’60s/early ’70s soul/funk, where the influence of the likes of Sly Stone looms large (“Help People Up,” “Second Wave”).
But Ames wouldn’t be a California artist who doesn’t mix it up a bit with a bit of a Bluesy Tom Waits vibe (“Rubber and Glue”) or some true California singer/songwriter fare (“Great Bunch of Molecules”).
The latter track actually seems to be perfect stuff to hum along with a glass of a good Zinfandel, and it has some good lyrics to boot.
Not that the rest of the album lags behind in quality in any way, even though one of the tracks here goes under the title of “Songwriter’s Block.” What does Ames come up with when he doesn’t have one and when he has all the musicians in the studio at the same time?
Patrick Ames – ‘The Virtualistics’ Reaction
On 'The Virtualistics', Patrick Ames has perfectly sussed out the essence of the late '60s/early '70s soul/funk, where the influence of the likes of Sly Stone looms large.