Music » Critics' Picks

Patrice Pike

Friday, January 16; Off Broadway


There is no record of Patrice Pike having to lift up a boiling cauldron of water and hot coals with her forearms, branding the symbol of an ancient musical order on her wrists as she earned her chops. Other than that, Pike's path to music pretty much resembled the training of a Shaolin monk: From birth she was surrounded by talent and people fostering her skills. From being raised in smoky Dallas bars by her musician stepfather to matriculating at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where she had Erykah Badu as a classmate and a one-on-one lesson with Wynton Marsalis, Pike was as well trained as any bald-headed David Carradine look-alike.

You can hear it in her voice. It isn't the over-trained perfection of a vibrato-obsessed diva, but the supple-yet-strong twang of a country gal who has mastered her instrument. When she barks, when she pleads, when she seduces, it is with intent, and you feel what she wants you to feel. Pike is a veteran, having traveled with the famed Austin jam band Sister Seven, whose members eventually focused and polished themselves out of the noodling genre and into respectability -- and then of course broke up just as they were hitting their artistic peak.

Pike is still up there on the peak, crafting solid country rock and ballads for her own label, ZainWayne Records (founded with former Sister Seven member and longtime collaborator Wayne Sutton), and polishing and pumicing that stressed and gorgeous voice. She's not a grasshopper anymore.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.