Pat Kearns has done it
all: produce, write, sing, play and he has been doing so out of Portland for
the last few decades. His debut solo release “So Long City” however found its
own sound outside of the city limits. This new album tells a story of leaving
his hometown without really leaving home. Kearns decided to split his time
evenly between Portland and his newfound love for the desert — a soul split in
two, yet finally found. A folksy acoustic sound with intimate lyrics, ‘So Long
City’ is an ode to his homes: both the potential in the future and the pleasant
fondness of his past.
His title track and
featured video starts with a harmonica that immediately brings the listener to
the oral tradition of folk. Kearns lyrics describe him leaving Portland after
its growth as a city — as well as his newfound disconnect from the change and
development, a feeling many fellow Portlanders can relate to.
He recently told us
he wrote the title track to his album, So Long City, after taking a walk
in SE Portland and becoming disoriented because the neighborhood he had lived
in for over 25 years had changed so much, and so quickly, that he no longer recognized
any of the buildings or people just a few blocks from his house. On the
video Pat said, "Joshua James Huff, my wife Susan Kearns and I came
up with the concept of filming our friends lip synching the song in front of
the many construction sites around Portland. And appropriately for Portland,
OR, any time Joshua started filming, it started raining."
The video features plenty of Portland royalty who are also very aware of the
current changes happening in their city; Hank Failing, The Cool Whips,
Sons of Huns, Miller and Sasser, Anna Hoone, Alex from In Music We Trust, The
Very Foundation, The Low Bones, Greg Odell, Pynnacles, and Cracker Bash.
It will be a sad day for
Portland when they realize they have pushed out everything and everyone that
made it what it is and the phrase So Long City becomes just as famous as Keep
Portland Weird. Kudos to Pat Kearns and this release for
something beautiful still there.