The Tillman County Food Bank hosted a concert by Barry and Michelle Patterson on July 25. The entrance fee to the concert was dry or canned goods.
Julane Whitworth started the evening by welcoming everyone who was able to come support the Tillman County Food Bank.
“We thank you all for coming tonight,” Whitworth said. “We’re going to have a joyful time, a relaxing time. Welcome to the new event center. We’ve already begun getting calls for family reunions, weddings, birthday parties, so that’s how we’re going to pay for things, is through the rental of our event center.
“We have Michelle and Barry Patterson here all the way from Canada. They wanted to do a benefit concert to help us out and we just appreciate you being here.”
Barry Patterson was born in Alabama and began playing guitar when he was 15-years-old. Michelle Patterson was born in Alberta, Canada and has been writing music since she was 10-years-old.
All but one song they sang were original numbers. The first song they sang was an original number called “Younger,” that Barry Patterson dedicated to anyone who used to be younger.
The Pattersons have been traveling and playing music together for over 20 years, and both had stories to tell that they intertwined with their music.
Michelle Patterson told a story of setting hard boundaries with a family member before singing an original song called “Can’t Love You Enough.”
After the song, Michelle explained that the person she spoke about is now living a life with Jesus by his side.
Barry introduced his family before the next song.
“We have four kids, and our oldest two are both in the Dallas, Ft. Worth area. Our son is actually going to the University of Arkansas but he’s working in Dallas this summer. These are our two youngest sons,” Barry said, as they joined their parents on stage.
Sam Patterson played percussion and Elliot Patterson played bass guitar. Both boys are accomplished musicians and played well.
“It’s nice raising your own band,” Barry joked, “because you can threaten to withhold food if they don’t practice or do well.”
When the laughter died down, Barry said they would never do that.
“It’s really fun for us to get to play music with our kids. It’s my favorite thing to get to hear them play, so to have them play with us is pretty special.”
The next songs they played included “7,000 Miles,” “Waiting” and “Long Line of Peace,” all original numbers.
Barry and Michelle’s story telling was incorporated into their playing and singing so well that it was just part of the performance. They got the audience laughing and clapping along with them but were also able to get them to feel the sadness in the stories that weren’t as happy. Michelle and Barry don’t hold back when it comes to their performances which is the mark of great performers.
“I love the place that we’re celebrating tonight,” Michelle said. “When the subject came up of would we be able to do something for the Tillman County Food Bank, well, you had me at food bank. I’ve been the recipient of a food bank in my young pregnant life and I am so grateful. I’m grateful that you are doing this work. Thank you for letting us be a part and we bless what you’re doing and we just hope it continues to serve so many people in this county.”
Reach Kathleen Guill at 580-379-0588, ext. 2602.