Patrice Pike :: http://www.patricepike.com
Over the last ten years, she has been the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the Austin based Rock Band: Sister Seven. Patrice Pike has performed onstage with the likes of Dave Matthews, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, and the Allman Brothers to name a few.
She sang the National anthem to a worldwide audience for the JFK memorial in Dallas as well as for the homecoming celebration for Lance Armstrong after his first victory at the Tour de France.
There’s an excellent description in the Chicago Free Press about Patrice’s beginnings in the music world. Jen Earls writes, “Pike grew up a musical child, influenced early by [artists] such as Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, and Elton John, before getting into Motown.” “I listened to Stevie Wonder every day,” Pike says. She also played vilolin, French horn, and sang. In her teen years Pike sang and studied jazz, opera and traditional African-American spirituals at Booker T. Washington High school for the performing and visual Arts in Dallas. “Back then, we were just a bunch of kids trying to stay out of trouble and surviving by being in that godsend of a place. It was my saving grace, I mean, there were people in my class that I was hanging with like Roy Hargrove [Grammy award winning Jazz trumpet player] and younger kids like Peaches [Erykah Badu] just being creative and getting exposed to all these amazing things. I remember getting to watch Gregory Hines teach a class of dance students, and sitting down one on one with Winton Marsaillis telling me…
…that it was all right if I didn’t want to be a jazz singer. He said, “It’s really just about being soulful, Patrice. Just do what you love.” Patrice comments, “ We were all so lucky to have that place. It forever solidified my conviction that I am a musician.”
Earls continues, “ In college she wanted to study jazz, but at the time, the famed University of North Texas music program didn’t offer a full curriculum for vocalists. By then Pike was learning more playing with the band Little Sister [later named Sister Seven] than she was in college classrooms.”
“She traded her textbooks for smoky bars.” “The school of Hard Knocks, that’s it,” Pike says. “The stuff I’ve learned [since I was 15] I wouldn’t trade it for any piece of paper.”
Patrice’s new band, Patrice Pike and the Black Box Rebellion was invited to play their industry debut in March 2001 at the annual South By South West music conference in Austin. The band includes Wayne Sutton on guitar, Michael Hale on drums and Danny Beltran on Bass. Wayne and Patrice were the founding members of Sister Seven and have been a songwriting team since before Sister Seven was formed. Wayne and Patrice wrote the two Billboard hits “Know What You Mean” and “Only Thing That’s Real”, both of which propelled Sister Seven into the strange and fickle world of Pop Radio.
The two along with their bandmates in the Black Box Rebellion and some guest musicians will release an EP, Flat 13, this summer followed by their full-length album, Fencing Under Fire, in the spring of 2002. “We are really excited about the record we are making, because these are songs we have been writing over the last few years that did not fit the Sister Seven spectrum. We formed this band based on what musicianship was best for these songs we have been writing. It all stems from the songwriting, where as Sister Seven stemmed mostly from the wellspring of musicianship and grew into songwriting. One of the coolest things is we chose the engineer we wanted without the input of any other opinions. Jim Watt’s was my first choice and his work as the engineer on the most recent Emmy Lou Harris record Red Dirt Girl is so sonically fine; I had to call him right away. I can’t wait to put this record out!”