It's a rare thing when the debut album by a group and its follow-up effort are separated by decades rather than by months or even a few years — but even rarer still when that second effort turns out to be just as enjoyable as the first. Thus the case with Time and Place, the engaging release by the reunited Patron Saints that appeared in 2005, 36 years after their cult classic Fohhoh Bohob. Wisely, the group — centered around the stalwart Eric Bergman but featuring many fellow veterans of both the original Patron Saints and its follow-up group Garrison, all of whom appear in the liner notes in then-and-now photo sets — don't aim to recreate Fohhoh and its air of rushed, precocious joy and reflection. This isn't the music of young teens with dreams, but of older musicians confident in their own style and content to do just what they want to, and like that first effort released by themselves, do-it-yourself to the end, though now with a much fuller sound thanks to studio recording rather than an informal home setup. So much for the circumstances of its creation but the music itself? It's downright engaging to hear the band surge confidently from the start with the glistening charge of "Don't Turn Away," as engagingly inventive a pop-rock creation as any with its sweet spiral of guitar and John Doerschuk's keyboards, Bergman's steady delivery and the final drum break from A. Jeffrey Alfaro. From there the quintet kicks up a gently inspired storm, from the garagey sass of "You're Dangerous" to the beautiful meditations of "Fly Away" and the epic scope of "In the Mourning" (though perhaps the echo on the vocals is a bit melodramatic!). Bergman's songs themselves date from 1970 to the present, making the album feel like a time capsule that deftly encompasses multiple experiences and approaches. One track deserves particular mention — "Home," featuring original Patron Saints bandmate and songwriter Jon Tuttle, who also took the striking cover photo. Recorded circa 1971 as a demo, his dreamlike performance gets a deft, elegant backing from the reunited band — allowing him a rightful spot on an album he never had the chance to hear, having sadly passed on in 1994. It's a fitting acknowledgement of his role in this band's remarkable story, one that hopefully has not yet concluded.
Patron Saints “Time and Place” (Maxfield Multimedia)
This band self-released a vanity LP in 1969 that, due in part to it’s ultra-low run (reportedly 100 copies), now fetches a few grand. Listening to new material by the band, I can’t figure out if they were garage or psyche or free folk or what, because the new material doesn’t sound anything but modern. While this may be too slick to appeal to the 60s heads who shell out big bucks for collectables, I think a lot of folks will dig this. Recorded over the course of a few years by vintage Saints, few of which played in the same lineup in the old days (this was an act that was around for a while), this is a rock 'n' roll album with some country rock and some jam band vibes and some bar band rock and some blues. What holds it together is the Neil Young-like vocals and the sincerity.
The Patron Saints, "Time And Place" (Patron Saint Records)
This band is celebrating their fortieth anniversary together. How many bands other than the Stones can boast that? Their sound today is quite a bit more polished than their garage rock beginnings, but they still have that enthusiasm they brought to the table four decades ago. They remind me of the Hoodoo Gurus, especially on tracks like “You’re Dangerous” and “You Have No Heart”. All the best influences are still there, like the Yardbirds, Stones, Beatles, Bo Diddley and so on. This is the shit. The real shit! Highly recommended.
Review by J.R. Oliver, Ear Candy Magazine
There's a time and a place for everything and The Patron Saints have made a timely return with Time and Place, a fantastic 11-song collection of psychedelic folk rock that is arguably their best offering yet! The Patron Saints are the brainchild of leader Eric Bergman, who founded the garage band in the 60's as a trend-setting recording project. After 40 years of honing their craft, the outfit has matured nicely with several radio-friendly tracks. Don't miss the Saints' secret weapon, Roy Ellingsen, on guitar who adds smoking leads and a nuanced touch to the oft-complex arrangements that are the trademark of Bergman's intriguing songwriting.
by Rich Lynch, Kweevak.com Music Magazine
THE PATRON SAINTS – TIME AND PLACE:
In 1966, The Patron Saints started out as a garage band, and played gigs in the Westchester County region of New York State. They went through a number of member changes before the 1969 release of their limited edition Fohhoh Bohob record. The Patron Saints continued to transform before becoming the group Garrison sometime in the mid 70's.
In 2000, Eric Bergman, founder of The Patron Saints, organized a successful reunion concert, which inspired the various incarnations of the band, now living in different parts of the country to make a studio album. Time and Place is the eleven-track epic, featuring new songs and a few old favorites that were recorded over the course of a few years. The end result was well worth the wait! The CD is expertly produced, blending classic textures and tones in contemporary settings. Eric, who penned the majority of the songs, writes intelligent and thought-provoking lyrics.
All five of the Patron Saints are passionate players who bring color and depth to songs that explore a diverse range of musical styles and structures. 'You're Dangerous' features daring guitar leads layered over bold rhythms. The song has an old style rock attitude with modern appeal. Time and Place is also a rock history lesson, with at least two original tracks that pay homage to classic 60's bands. 'She Loves To Be In Love' has the sound and even the vocal inflections and harmonies of a Byrds' song. Funky rhythms, snappy guitars and creative breaks add to the song's dynamic. 'You Have No Heart' pays tribute to The Yardbirds with its deep, bluesy bass lines dueling with determined drumming. The vocals are serious as the guitars sizzle.
'When You Met Your Maker' relies on sparser instrumentation. The guitar is subtle as Bergman softly asks reflective questions. The Patron Saints celebrate their 40th Anniversary with an impressive new release that captures the power of the past and the musical maturity of the present!
• Recommended Tracks: (2,3,8,10) [USA/NY 2005]
(2006 review by Laura Turner Lynch for Kweevak.com)