Greetings. My name is Bruce Reaves. With my trusty sidekick pat mAcdonald's uneasy blessing, I'VE CREATED THIS WEBSITE (with some tremendous technical help and creativity from Troy Therrien and Dana Hooton) and have also accepted the position of Sole (soul?) Ringmaster. 


pat mAcdonald

Sooo, you think you know pat mAcdonald? I'm willing to bet not as well as you might presume. Well, click away, enter patworld and be prepared to be amazed, amused and to occasionally scratch your head and go WHAT ???


In the interstellar desert there is a milky way bone man navigating a highway that does not exist. He speaks with a searing harmonica, setting the guitar lines on fire like the yellow breaks separating the highway at dusk as they pass in a rhythm of 33 and a 3rd, boot heels on the floorboards of a haunted car.


pat on pat' -

My "official" recording career began in 1980 with the first Pat MacDonald & The Essentials album, Lowdown, released on 12" vinyl by Mountain Railroad Records, a regional indie headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The closing song featured a cameo vocal by my girlfriend at the time, Barbara Kooyman, who also co-wrote the music. It was the album’s only co-written song, ironically titled "Makin’ It On My Own."

A couple years later, with a growing musicality and greatly reduced surname, Barbara K joined The Essentials, playing fiddle and singing backup.
In the next two years, we married, had a child, and recorded the EP, Essentialist Propaganda before splitting off to form the duo Timbuk3
and moving to Austin, Texas. Our live rhythm section consisted of homemade drum and bass tracks played on a boom box.  That’s when my "official" recording career took off.
Our debut, Greetings From Timbuk3, contained a crowd-pleasing carryover from The Essentials days called "
The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades."
It went to Billboard’s top 20 and our little duo became an "overnight" success.

From 1987 through 1995, Timbuk3 made lots more albums but never followed up the hit. During that time, my main job (which I absolutely loved) was to keep
cranking out songs to make albums to fulfill recording contracts. We might have sustained the initial success longer if we’d toured more, but we enjoyed home life and home recording, investing the recording advances into equipment for our backyard studio. And that follow-up hit was always just a hook-laden chorus away.

But I wasn’t trying to write hits. And I wasn’t trying to write a hit when I wrote the hit. I was just trying to write songs. Well, I knew I could write songs, but now I was trying to write albums, and enjoying my work, my "official" recording career.

After Timbuk3’s breakup I moved to Spain and was provided the means to produce several more "official" projects for the German label,
Ulftone. Many European critics said they were my best, most cohesive work yet. Troubadour of Stomp, my first U.S. label release in ten years (and perhaps my last label release ever) (I’m hating labels at the moment) has been getting similar reactions. No longer judged on "hit potential," I’ve been accepted as an "album oriented" artist. My job and my passion is making albums and this raises a need for certain songs at certain times.


pat on the "Lockbox Babies" project.

Some songs are compliant, they just appear when and where you need them. But some arrive like unplanned pregnancies, not totally unwelcome, but not fitting with the "official" program either. They're the "difficult" ones, the black sheep that get left home alone when the family goes on vacation because the Chrysler only fits five (or the album only fits fourteen).

Some songs are little embarrassments when first written, too revealing of certain weaknesses you're trying to hide, or their style isn't fashionable at the time. I've always mostly played in bars, and some songs, like some children, you just don't take into a bar. So they're set aside and forgotten.

Chancing upon them years later when you're less insecure or the fashion has come around, they're like long lost children appearing at your door. At first you're thinking, "He looks just like me! This has got to be some mistake!" But you invite the child in and before too long you're showing baby pictures to all your friends, saying, "Look what I made!"

That's how I feel about this upcoming collection. It's my brood of "unofficial" offspring, my LOCKBOX BABIES back to haunt me, the misfits of the litter who were abandoned on doorsteps, lost in the woods, hidden away in closets, misplaced in car trunks and all, through divine mischief or providence, somehow managing to survive!

And I'm glad they did, because they weren't bad kids, just "different." And what's shocking (though it shouldn't be such a surprise I guess) is that all these misfits seem to play pretty well together!

So here they are, for better or worse, unearthed from the oxides of unlabeled or mislabeled tapes resurrected from a rented storage locker in Austin: little lost LOCKBOX BABIES revealing the crazy quilted underbelly of my "official" life's work.

Please look after these poor foundlings as if they were your own." xo,pat

“Songwriting serves as the prescription of the day for me,” says pat. “It comes from a place of need. When I begin, I ask myself, ‘What do I require at this moment? Do I need to relax, feel compassionate, be silly, or express heartbreak or anger?’ If it’s the latter, I try to achieve an alchemy in which those feelings are turned into beauty or humor. My preference is to emerge unbruised.”


Special to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Jan. 17, 2008

Current Location: Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

Alter ego: Purgatory Hill, who plays the "Purgatory Hill harp," a cigar-box guitar.

Most recent album: "Troubadour of Stomp," 2006

Sounds like: "A trashy little band."

Describe your look: "Standard jaded rocker."

Sell yourself in 20 words or less: "I'm pretty honest in real life and in music, although that shouldn't be all that special. I don't care about money."

Favorite food on the road: "Salmon and asparagus."

Unofficial beverage: "Whiskey would be one. . . . And I drink Vitamin Water pretty regularly."

First gig: "I was 13, just out of eighth grade, and I had started a band with two brothers, Mike and Pat Smith, and it was the Rogues. We played a barbecue."

Worst gig: "There was a bar in Houston, when Timbuk3 was living there, around '85, and in this beer garden with Nazi graffiti in the restroom. We played the whole night to an empty room. We had fun with it, but it was the most ridiculous gig."

Biggest achievement: "Surviving this long and this far."

Where do you want to be in five years? "In a world that's not at war. In lieu of that, I want to still be in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and I want it to be a great creative center in northeastern Wisconsin. . . . And of course to keep evolving my own music and sound."

What's the greatest song ever written? " 'Rollin' and Tumblin' seems to be one of the songs at the heart of rock 'n' roll and blues."


My life in your stolen minutes - by Ben Sand

so,... i's ridin the wave of life back then and found out about this Zimmerman guy, and started buy'n all them classic records, and then i was think'n they don't write songs like those anymore, and was think'n they sure know how to add all them blips and things to these here records, ta hell with the lyrics. why can't anyone make some meaningful songs. songs from the heart that make ya use your noggin, say somethin, - PROTEST SONGS!, somethin you'll play again and again, that will never grow old and years later it's still relevent - TIMELESS SONGS!

so,... one day i's listen'n to the radio and somebody's playin the harmonica and singin the future's bright and ya gotta wear shades!, while i's lookin for some light in the dark tunnel they call growin up. so i buys this here Greetings from the "shades duo" and find they's a whole lot more than that song they gots on the radio. they's singin bout real things, things i been thinkin about and livin through. and the follow up albums kick buk 2!

so,... i thinks they might be huge in this era of new technology and videa mumble-jumble, cause they's real, they aint no company cutout pushed to the masses, but then i gets to thinkin "sight has stolen the sound", and if you gonna be big in this here videa age, ya gotta have yer boobs hangin out and all fancy clothes and stuff, and focus on makin them there videas.

so,... i's disgusted with why "most peoples" aint gettin it and they aint huge like Zimmy, but then i think - this is OK, the heck with most peoples, maybe most peoples aren't real smart and are too busy sittin on their arse watch them fancy videas and aint really listenin to the songs. and this makes me feel real special, like i's on to somethin and nobody else got a clue, cept maybe some of those peoples who's diggin the "voice of my generation". yeah! that's what they is! nobody else writin that stuff! man, we are in a shit load of trouble if most peoples aint listenin to the voice of our generation though.

so,... then i moves far away from home and leaves all my music behind and forgets about them voices (outta site-outta mind, ya know), and get's sidetracked in tryin to find my way off the wave and to the shore.

so,... years and years later i gathers up all my music from my growin up home, and rediscover all the great stuff i's playin way back then. makin the walls rattle again with Rev. Jack cranked way up! and then i gets on this new fangled internets and look up the voices from long ago and finds the main man from the voices has transformed into a one man band, a "Troubadour of Stomp"! and band is no exaggeration, you'd think there was three people playin!

...and then i find ole stompy aint been idle over the last bunch a years, he's told "the man" that he can't buy him and he's been livin hard, travellin, stompin, savin bridges and puttin together more "songs from the heart" that not too many in any generation got the tools to put together. and with all this internets info i find his favorite food is "mac and cheese" - just like me!

so,... now i finds myself a little ashamed that i's kinda left the building long ago, but gettin inspired and lovin a whole catalogue of tunes i missed out on, and thinks i might find my way to wisconsin someday so i can say thanks to the troubadour - thanks for being pat.


by R. Ruleau III

pat mAcdonald...yes, that's how he wants it perhaps the most inviting and friendly person you would ever chance upon. That's exactly what happened to me this spring and I've got to say, what a gifted and genius man he is! The talent that flows so effortlessly from pat is truly unique in this otherwise patsy world. That he isn't one of the great "known" talents is a joke...but I think maybe he wants it that way? Consider yourself very lucky to see him's rare and beautiful! -

mAcdonald cites Bob Dylan, Tom Waits and Ricky Nelson as some of his major influences. After listening through his library of music, it’s safe to say that his sound is created from equal parts of admiration for those before him, and originality that will no doubt be emulated by those who will come after him.




(return to the top)