Bonnie Raitt's keyboardist a 'fierce defender and fan of Winnipeg'
Music has taken a Winnipeg-born keyboardist on a path stretching from New Orleans to New York and onto the stage with Grammy Award-winning artist Bonnie Raitt, but he has never forgotten his roots.
A proud Winnipegger – that is how Glenn Patscha describes himself while thinking back to his early memories in the city.
"I'm so proud that I came from Winnipeg, and I'm a fierce defender and fan of Winnipeg," he told CTV News.
Patscha's career started when he was a kid learning piano and playing in cover bands in Winnipeg where he was born and raised. In 1989 when he was 18, Patscha moved to New Orleans to study jazz on a scholarship with Ellis Marsalis.
From New Orleans to New York and eventually to Nova Scotia where he now lives, Patscha has been performing and recording with his own bands along with dozens of artists including The Holmes Brothers, Roger Waters, Willie Nelson and Rosanne Cash.
He can now add Bonnie Raitt to the list.
While playing with Marc Cohn (whom he still tours with), Patscha said they opened for the American blues icon and got along with her very well. In 2018, Raitt gave him a call and he has been working with her ever since, joining her band as a vocalist and keyboardist.
"I've always been a fan, so it was just kind of a natural fit," Patscha said. "(Raitt) has had some of the greatest keyboardists there are playing with her, so it's an honour to kind of be in that chair."
Regardless of where his musical path has taken him, Patscha has kept his Winnipeg roots close.
"My earliest life was in Winnipeg. That all seems like a long time ago, but I still call it home," he said.
It is a hometown pride bolstered by Raitt's win at the Grammys on Sunday for Best Americana Performance with 'Made Up Mind' – a cover originally written and released by Winnipeg's own Dave and Joey Landreth of The Bros. Landreth.
"I remember the first time I heard those guys as well and it just knocked me out," Patscha said. "They're not just a great band from Winnipeg, they're one of the greatest bands there is."
Patscha said the song has since become a regular show opener for Raitt and the rest of the band, and has quickly become a recognizable part of her repertoire.
'Made Up Mind' is included on her twenty-first album 'Just Like That' – the title track of which also netted her the Grammys songwriter's award for Song of the Year and Best American Roots Song.
To see Raitt's work recognized at the Grammys over the weekend was an exciting moment for Patscha.
"I'm very kind of careful about the work that I choose, and I'm proud of most of it – I'm particularly proud of the work with Bonnie," he said.
"She's such a giant figure in the history of so many genres and has had such a long career, and to be even a small part of that is, as a fan, is an honour."
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