Crooner Tim Patrick took an unconventional route to the stage

Published 11:30 am Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tim Patrick and the Blue Eyes Band will play will play at the Paramount Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20. Photo provided

Tim Patrick and the Blue Eyes Band will play will play at the Paramount Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20. Photo provided

As of 10 years ago Tim Patrick wasn’t a public singer. He wasn’t much of a private singer either, aside from turning his car into a concert venue on various drives.

“I never even sang in the shower,” Patrick quipped. “You know that guy you look over at and he’s singing in his car? That was me, in my car alone.”

All that changed though on one night about 10 years ago in a packed piano bar when he gave his voice its public debut.

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“I thought I had a good voice, but I didn’t know for sure,” he said.

Now Patrick is bringing that golden voice to Austin and bringing with him all those crooner hits people will recognize: Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darrin, Dean Martin and a host of others.

He will perform with his Blue Eyes Band at the Paramount Theatre at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20.


A humble start

Patrick’s journey to the stage began at Nye’s Piano Bar in Minneapolis.

“It’s the oldest piano bar in the United States,” Patrick remembered. “It was packed. You had to walk in sideways to get in.”

Patrick remembers walking over to bar and taking stock of the room when he spied a small piano bar that would serve as the perfect setting — a piano and a small audience.

“The only people listening were those around the piano,” Patrick said. “I thought, ‘This should be safe.’

That would soon change. Patrick’s first song was “San Francisco,” but it wasn’t easy.

Patrick said he was so nervous the microphone was visibly shaking, but he moved ahead with his song. People took notice.

“The whole place started applauding,” he said. “ It scared me so much I went over and hid in the corner.”

However, he gave it one more go later in the evening with the song, “Unforgettable.”

This time the whole bar took notice and again the fear took hold and ultimately drove him from the bar, but the last song would prove to prophetic. His performance, at least for Patrick, proved to be unforgettable.

Patrick returned to Nyes over and over again, honing his voice so when he finally revealed his secret to his wife, Roxanne, he was ready.

“She didn’t even know I was out of the house,” Patrick said. “My wife is a nurse and works nights.”

And she was surprised.

“I told her I was just going to go up there and try it,” he said. “Her mouth just drops.”

Patrick began getting gigs with a local band, singing a song or two and then began getting gigs of his own, which led to the formation of the Blue Eyes Band.


Not an impersonator

Patrick is quick to point out that he isn’t a Sinatra impersonator. Instead he points out that he sings the songs the way he thinks they should be sung.

Patrick once got the opportunity to sing with a pianist for Andy Williams, and she told him he was one of the best voices she had heard.

“She said, ‘You sing the song from the inside out,’” Patrick said. “I really get into the songs.”

While Patrick puts more power into his songs, he points out that he’s more of a tribute singer.

“Without them I don’t know if I would be famous,“ Tim said. “I’m sure glad they paved the way.”

While Patrick and his band perform songs by the old crooners, they do perform originals, but he understands his audience is there for Sinatra and Martin.

“ I try to throw in at least one song,” Patrick said. “But people aren’t there to hear my songs.”

Ultimately, it’s about the music and giving people something to tap their foot to and enjoy.

“I’m just going to try and put on the best Sinantra-style show that I can for people and hopefully sing a lot of the old favorites,” Patrick said. “They should know every one of the songs I’m singing.”