Fortis – Patrick McAvinue

It’s been four years since we’ve had a solo release from renowned fiddler, Patrick McAvinue. His newest project, Fortisis filled with creativity and deftness, both of which sum up McAvinue’s style of fiddling.

Fortis is an EP containing six songs, half of which were written by Patrick. The title track kicks the project off at a driving pace with stellar twin fiddling from McAvinue and Billy Contreras. This track also introduces the listener to the supporting cast on this recording which consists of Scott Vestal on banjo, Seth Taylor on mandolin, Shaun Richardson on guitar, Gaven Largent on resonator guitar, and Ethan Jodziewicz on bass.

Two of the songs, Station Blues and I Kept On Walking were written by Cris Jacobs who sings lead vocals on both. The former is centered around trains and features John Cowan on tenor vocals and McAvinue on baritone vocals. The latter track is a gospel quartet which features rumbling bass vocals from Aaron McCune. Both of these tracks give the recording good variety.

What? No! is a piece that captures McAvinue’s ability to play within the swing and jazz idioms. All of the musicians bring the best of their abilities to this track. The performances featured here are stellar.

The EP closes with Patrick’s rendition of the Kenny Baker tune First Day In Town. It highlights McAvinue’s ability to put his own stamp on a really great instrumental. No doubt Kenny would be proud.

Patrick McAvinue is a musician that’s well regarded by those who know and understand the art of fiddling. Fortis demonstrates why Patrick has remained such a powerhouse within bluegrass music.

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About the Author

Braeden Paul

Braeden Paul has been involved in various capacities of bluegrass music. A Texas native, Paul has been part of several Dallas-based bands as a mandolinist. He also serves on the board of directors of the Southwest Bluegrass Club in Grapevine, TX. As a writer, Braeden has also contributed numerous music reviews to the Bluegrass Society of America Facebook page, and is the co-author of Texas Bluegrass History: High Lonesome on the High Plains.