Tag Archives: Stephen Patterson

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Hamilton Leithauser’s Remarkable Friday Night in Williamsburg

February 27th, 2017

Hamilton Leithauser – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 24, 2017

Hamilton Leithauser – Music Hall of Williamsburg – February 24, 2017
Call it New York City’s other sold-out Hamilton show, although this one showcases not a rapping founding father but one of the best voices in rock right now, the strained high range of Hamilton Leithauser’s, which will catch you off guard with its sheer power. “I use the same voice I always had,” he belted out in the closing lines of “Sick as a Dog,” the opener on Friday at Music Hall of Williamsburg. It was the first display of his voice in full force, firing off like the starting pistol for a remarkable night of music, the second of three local sold-out shows. Multi-instrumentalist and collaborator Rostam Batmanglij, Eric Harvey of Spoon, Greg Roberts and Stephen Patterson of White Rabbits—whom Leithauser had met touring over the years with his previous band, the Walkmen—joined the frontman.

They sounded like they’ve been playing together forever, a band perfectly suited for Leithauser and Batmanglij’s bluesy rock songs that fit perfectly well within the American songwriting canon. “If the man that you need honestly wasn’t me, tell me honey who could that be?” sang Leithauser in a desperate pleading voice over a wavering organ. With its lush sound, his 12-string took the slow-building “In a Black Out” from simmer to a boil and back to a simmer. He told the audience a story about attending a wedding where the father of the bride made a toast and broke out into “Wild Mountain Thyme.” Apparently an awkward affair for everyone else at the wedding, Leithauser fell for the guy in the moment, writing the tender song “The Bride’s Dad” from the father’s perspective. Knowing the song’s background set an incredibly vivid scene of the affair.

The catchy “1,000 Times” followed with hundreds of voices joining in for the chorus. Free-jazz saxophone and Batmanglij’s piano rambling like a rolling river closed out the set with “Rough Going (I Won’t Let Up).” Leithauser’s wife, Anna Stumpf, and the opener, Lucy Dacus, came out for an encore performance of the dreamy “1959.” If the Walkmen were the first act of Leithauser’s career, this collaboration is a hell of a second act, one that shouldn’t see a curtain call anytime soon. —Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks

Photos courtesy of Charles Steinberg | charlesosteinberg.com

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See White Rabbits at Webster Hall on Thursday

April 10th, 2012


Stephen Patterson (vocals, piano and guitar) began playing drums with much older jazz musicians in Columbia, Mo., which helped him learn to play other instruments. “It was always a struggle for me early on to learn how to play instruments that had notes. Once I started viewing the keyboards as 88 drums, it really opened up the way I can play.” In the meantime, Greg Roberts (guitar and vocals), a coworker at Streetside Records, was in a punk band with Alex Even (guitar) and Matt Clark (drums), and they asked Patterson to join. Things didn’t really begin to take off until Roberts bumped the original singer. After that, White Rabbits began making music and touring. But the next thing to shape the band was moving to Brooklyn and having Patterson’s childhood neighbor Jamie Levinson (also drums) round out the sound. The rest, as they say, is history. They soon became known for the high-energy live shows, switching instruments onstage and notable covers. With Rustine Bragaw as the new bassist, White Rabbits (above, doing “Temporary” on Late Show with David Letterman) released the well-received Milk Famous last month and they play Webster Hall on Thursday night.