By DeAnn Lubell
I discovered singer, songwriter, and recording engineer Pat Kearns at the Roost in Yucca Valley when I went there for dinner a few weeks ago. He was performing with his stylish wife, Susan, a local artist, and hairdresser, who accompanies him playing an upright electric bass while he sings and plays the guitar. The words and music of most of the songs they performed that night were Pat’s originals. I enjoyed listening to the couple’s melodic acoustic sounds and Pat’s soulful back country melodies.
Pat and Susan live in Landers in a Goat Mountain homestead cabin. Adjacent to the cabin, they built an off-grid solar powered workspace where Pat has a recording studio and Susan styles hair and creates works of art. I will spotlight Susan in a future column, but for now, the focus is on Pat.
Originally from Portland, Oregon and formerly the leader of the power pop ensemble Blue Skies for Black Hearts, Pat refocused on “roots” music with his move to the desert. His three solo albums reflect this shift with more spartan arrangements, mostly acoustic instruments and a hint of country twang beginning with his goodbye to Portland entitled “So Long City.” Pat’s second album “Down in the Wash” was recorded in his high-desert homestead cabin. His latest album “Getting Lost” was the first album to be recorded in his newly built private recording studio.
I was honored to be the first person to receive a signed copy of his latest album. It opens with a cover of Pat singing Gene Autry’s “Riding Down the Canyon.” He then takes us on a musical journey through self-destruction with his original words and music called “If Living Don’t Kill Us.” Another Kearns original allows the listener to experience the joys of radio music with his song “Music on the Radio.” Then we go on a melodic ride to the fringes of civilization with his “Way Out on the Edge of Town.”
“The quiet and solitude of my home in Landers is very inspiring,” said Pat. “I find it to be a little easier to hear and write down the songs inside my head without the distraction of all the noise in a city.”
When he is not performing or in the recording studio, Pat can be heard hosting the Z107.7 Local Music Showcase which broadcasts from Joshua Tree, California, also available as a podcast. Since opening in November of 2020, Goat Mountain studios has hosted recording sessions with Jimbo Mathus, Roly Salley, This Lonesome Paradise, Terry Six, Jack Van Cleaf, the late Leslie Jordan, and many others. The remastering of the 2003 power pop classic “Guitar Romantic” by the Exploding Hearts was performed by Pat at Goat Mountain and will be released by Third Man Records this month.
To contact Pat Kearns please write to him at goatmountainrecording@gmail.
PHOTO CREDITS: Joshua James Huff ART COVERS: Susan Kearns