Patch & Rita (Skin ‘N Bones)

Patch & Rita Perform at Last Year's Dude of the Dead

Patch & Rita Perform at Last Year’s Dude of the Dead

Born on a tailgate in a parking lot somewhere in the barren oil fields of West Texas, Patch & Rita (aka Skin ‘n’ Bones) consists of a couple of starry-eyed young engineers who like to spend their down time picking out tunes drawn from the last hundred years of musical history. Drawing inspiration from sources ranging from early 20th century Jazz and Swing to contemporary Red Dirt music, the variety present in their repetoire is surprising and refreshing. Equally at home on a back porch as on stage at local bars and county fairs, this musical duo is apt to break out musical instruments at a moment’s notice in even the most unexpected places. With a love of out-of-the-way places and an aversion to taking their music too seriously, Patrick and Laura embark on adventure almost constantly, all the while toting their instruments in preparation for their frequent musical interludes.

Skin ‘n’ Bones’ musical style ranges from intensely serious, tear-jerking murder ballads to goofy ragtime tunes about jellyrolls, but don’t be surprised to hear a couple of classic country tunes thrown in the mix for good measure. In a style that would make Bob Wills holler with delight, Laura pours her talent into foot-stompin’ fiddle solos that would delight even the most hardened hillbilly, while Patrick’s percussive acoustic guitar style alternates with dulcet arpeggios and fingerpicking to wring out emotion from every song. Patrick’s vocals are at times gritty, often drawling, but velvety when necessary, while Laura’s lead vocals are offered in a frank, matter-of-fact sweetness and her harmonies add just the right touch. The dynamic between these two “just works”, and if you look hard enough you might catch them looking deep into the eyes of one another as their talents swirl together in a sonorous dust devil that floats happily along across the desert.