It’s always special when a musician gets to play a show in the place they grew up. Old friends have a chance to come out and attendees have a chance to see one of their own in the spotlight.
On Aug. 17, Cranston native Pat Barone will bring his tunes back home as he plays a gig at Ted’s Stadium Pub. It promises to be an entertaining night of acoustic tunes as Barone prepares for a solo release happening later in the year.
Ahead of the show, Barone and I had a talk about his solo work, his upbringing, electric and acoustic guitars and more.
ROB DUGUAY: How would you describe your upbringing in Cranston?
PAT BARONE: I had a very normal, common, fun upbringing in Cranston and made many friends. I attended John W. Horton, Hugh B. Bain and Cranston East, then onto Full Sail University in Florida for a degree in sound engineering. I was very active in sports as a child and played baseball and soccer. I started to become interested in music during middle school as I met some friends that had guitars, drums sets and other instruments. I was partial towards the electric guitar and asked my parents to purchase one for me.
They were supportive of the idea and immediately got me an electric guitar. I was pretty bad at the time and jammed loud, but my parents were cool about it. They eventually enrolled me in guitar lessons.
RD: Did you go the route of learning covers before writing original songs, or vice versa?
PB: I actually wrote original songs prior to learning and working on covers. I was in a band in high school called Mirror Studies and we did all original music. We all had an input writing the lyrics and music. We did have success and played in venues throughout Rhode Island including The Met Café and the classic Lupo’s on Westminister Street in Providence, which I loved. Then after graduation the band members went their separate ways.
That is when I began to play acoustic guitar and practice vocals. Then I actually joined another band called Running Maid, which was also all original music. We played many venues in Rhode Island and I became lead singer and guitarist. The band all had their own ideas and differences and eventually broke up.
RD: What gravitated you to the acoustic guitar? Was it a specific musician?
PB: I started playing acoustic guitar due to the fact that it was a way I could practice late nights and early mornings without agitating my neighbors and family. Playing acoustic helped with dexterity and really strengthened my fingers. It became more of a tool when the “MTV Unplugged” series began with the grunge, alternative and blues sounds. Alice and Chains was a very influential band and one of my favorites.
RD: What are the pros and cons for you when it comes to playing acoustic guitar gigs?
PB: The pros are that it gives me a chance to showcase my talents and get people in a happy mood, with the crowd singing along. There’s also playing patrons’ favorite songs and requests, positive feedback, drawing a large crowd and satisfying the establishment’s owner. The cons are that I get a bit of anxiety when packing my equipment while ensuring that I don’t forget anything, and also that I will not have equipment failure when playing. Sometimes poor weather conditions or big sporting events happen simultaneously with my performance. There’s also the chance of a crowd that consuming too much alcohol and getting a bit too rowdy, I’m always worried about someone accidentally destroying my equipment.
RD: You are currently working on a record of original songs. When can we expect that to be completed?
PB: I am currently working on a six- to eight-song ensemble that is rock oriented with some acoustic pieces also. The acoustic will be multi-track utilizing Pro Tools. I will be doing all the tracks and layering myself.