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Local Music Mondays is a weekly segment produced by WUKY's DeBraun Thomas. Check here for archived episodes, extended interviews, and extras.

Local Music Monday: Patrick McNeese

photo provided

This week DeBraun profiles Lexington native Patrick McNeese.

Like many from his generation, Patrick was inspired to become a musician after watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. He first started to learn to play drums and eventually moved into playing piano and guitar. McNeese has played many different venues, but he says performing in front of his first audiences allowed him to use multiple talents.

“I got a job at the psych unit at the UK hospital on the psych unit and they had a piano there and so I sort of drifted into, well I was never officially this, maybe I’ve never officially been anything, but I drifted into being like the music therapist, I would play piano, these people would seem to enjoy it and we had a little song book we’d sing, so it’s kind of funny that was my first audience were people that were admitted to the psychiatric unit, that’s a tough crowd, then I actually got a formal job at a nursing home in the recreational therapy department, that’s sort of how I began.”

McNeese moved on to having a residency for 9 years at Alfalfa before moving on to different musical endeavors. In addition to being a songwriter, McNeese is also known as a painter and filmmaker. For the last two years he has fronted his own the group, The Patrick McNeese Band. His musical style is rooted in Jazz, but his creative foundation is built from his beginnings as drummer.

“I started as a drummer, so I think my first strata, my first foundational level was percussion, but I picked up guitar along the way because I really like the percussive quality, I like using the big muscles, like a drummer, to create a rhythm, so once you get a straight rhythm going, it’s just a jazz aesthetic I think, where you fire the vocal off at the one and or at the two and or some place which drives anyone that tries to sing with me crazy because it just feels off beat and then the next time around, of course, I’ll do it a little different.”

The Patrick McNeese Band recently released their debut album Hallelu recorded at Shangri-la Productions in Lexington. The album is a culmination of the songs he’s written while fronting the band. Choosing the songs McNeese says was difficult, but he says what brought it together was the cohesiveness of the band.

“What did work was the material, this is in retrospect obvious, but it was the material that we had rehearsed the most and had played out the most and felt, uh, everybody felt like they could swing the cat on it, so the recording went very smoothly.

Patrick McNeese will be performing with the Patrick McNeese Band on March 20th at Willie’s Locally Known. More information about McNeese and the album Hallelu can be found here.

DeBraun Thomas fell in love with radio at a young age but only had interest in working in radio after learning Funk musician Sly Stone got his start in radio. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Thomas moved to Lexington in 2009 to attend the University of Kentucky and pursue a career in radio. Thomas joined WRFL in 2009 and through the UK school of Journalism, Thomas had 2 features air on WUKY. In October of 2012, Thomas began interning at WUKY and produced the Unghosting of Medgar Evers. In August of 2013 Thomas became a staff member at WUKY and since that time, Thomas regularly produces the weekly segment Local Music Mondays which highlights local musicians in Lexington. Thomas hosts the Crunkadelic Funk Show which airs Saturday nights at 9pm and also produced a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the March on Frankfort. In addition to producing and hosting a radio show, Thomas also explores his other passion as a musician in Lexington.
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