Band members Related acts
- Patti Dahlstrom -- vocals
supporting musicians (1972)
- Ben Benay-- lead guitar
- Jack Conrad -- bass
- King Errison -- percussion
- Jim Horn -- sax
- Joel O'Brien -- drums
- Michael Omartian -- keybaords
- Gene Pello -- drums
- Jerry Peters -- keyboards
- Jerry Scheff -- bass
- none known
Rating: 2 stars **
Title: Patti Dahlstrom
Country/State: Houston, Texas
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve; split top seam; includes lyric insert
Catalog ID: 6264
Ah, the dreams of youth. So Patti Dahlstrom's life reads like a Hallmark movie of the week waiting to happen. Born in Houston, Texas she dreamed of a musical career and in 1967 dropped out of the University of Texas, heading for fame and fortune in Los Angeles. Once in California she paid her bills working a string of menial jobs including writing for Tiger Beat magazine and working as a receptionist for a doctors' office while shopping her songs to major labels. After a multitude of rejections she finally found a supporter in the form of Motown's Berry Gordy Jr. and Deke Richards (who'd recently relocated to from Detroit to Los Angeles along with the rest of the Motown empire). Signed to Motown's Jobete Publishing, where she found another mentor in songwriter partner Severin Browne (Jackson Browne's brother) who in turn helped her score a contract with Russ Regan's Uni Records (Regan was initially looking for material for Neil Diamond when he stumbled across some of Dahlstrom's demos.)
Given an opportunity to record on her own, 1972's "Patti Dahlstrom" teamed Dahlstrom with producer Toxey French. So the good news was that anyone looking at the attractive Ms. Dahlstrom was liable to be totally surprised by just how tough and rugged her voice was ... Dahlstrom clearly had a great voice; imagine a more powerful Stevie Nicks without the pseudo-mysticism, and you'd get a feel for her sound. Showcasing an all-original set, the downside was that way too many of these tracks sought to underscore Dahlstrom's sensitive singer/songwriter chops; surrounding her with heavy orchestration and unintentionally giving the album a sounds-the-same feel. Add to that, at least half of these songs sounded like well done demos that were being pitched to mid-1970s MOR artists looking for a radio hit. Shame she wasn't given an opportunity to cut lose and record a more rock-oriented album.
Lots of talent and an interesting voice, but not a particularly impressive debut.
Dalhstrom" track listing:
1.) Wait Like a Lady (Patti Dahlstrom) - 3:28 rating: **** stars
'Wait Like a Lady' opened the album with one of Dahlstrom's best performances. Kicked along by a lively keyboard-based melody, this one has always reminded me a bit of something off of Carole King's "Tapestry" album. That's not meant as a criticism since from a technical standpoint I think Dahlstrom's voice was actually better than King's. Easy to see why Uni tapped this as the lead-off single, though it did nothing commercially.
- 1972's 'Wait Like a Lady' b/w 'Comfortable' (Uni catalog number 55325)
2.) And I Never Did (Patti Dahlstrom) - 2:08 rating: ** stars
'And I Never Did' was a pretty acoustic ballad, but surrounded by an intricate string arrangement, simply didn't make a lasting impression.
3.) Get Along Handsome (Patti Dahlstrom - Severin Browne) - 3:49 rating: ** stars
A mid-tempo rocker, 'Get Along Handsome' was one of the more commercial numbers on the album.
4.) Comfortable (Patti Dahlstrom - Robbie Leff) - 3:44 rating: ** stars
A track that Dahlstrom wrote while in high school with buddy Robbie Leff, 'Comfortable' sounded like something Anne Murray, or Helen Reddy might have covered - a schlocky, MOR ballad that was clearly written for radio airplay, or as a life insurance commercial. Yech.
5.) This Isn't An Ordinary Love Song (Patti Dahlstrom) - 2:53 rating: *** stars
'This Isn't An Ordinary Love Song' was another mid-tempo ballad that served to showcase Dahlstrom's likeable voice. It would have been even better with a streamlined arrangement and a little more of a rock orientation.
One of the few songs to hint at her Southern heritage, 'Weddin'' had always reminded me of something Delaney and Bonnie might have recorded. At least it broke out of the ballads ...
2.) I'm Letting Go (Patti Dahlstrom - Severin Browne) - 2:59 rating: ** stars
Co-written with Severin Browne, 'I'm Letting Go' was another forgettable sensitive, singer/songwriter ballad
3.) What If (Patti Dahlstrom) - 2:58 rating: ** stars
'What If'' had a mild bluesy edge which framed Dalhstom's voice nicely.
4.) Ollabelle & Slim (Patti Dahlstrom) - 2:43 rating: *** stars
Apparently inspired by her grandparents, 'Ollabelle & Slim' was the album's highpoint. Nice inspirational lyrics and a bluesy performance that showcased Dahlstrom's tougher side. Wish there had been more stuff in this vein.
5.) Rider (Patti Dahlstrom) - 3:37 rating: ** stars
'Rider' was an odd way to close the album. With a slow, country-tinged feel, the song found Dahlstrom seemingly singing in an uncomfortable key - to my ears the the vocal sounded very forced and uncomfortable.
For anyone interested, Dahlstrom has a web presence at: http://www.pattidahlstrom.com/
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