As she was learning to play the song "Loretta" by Townes Van Zandt recently, Esme Patterson had a revelation. That moment has turned into a solo project for the Paper Bird band member, an album coming out in April called "Woman to Woman."
"I got kind of angry about the lyrics of ['Loretta']," Patterson said. "And then I got kind of angry at myself for never realizing how unfair the lyrics are to Loretta."
The subject of Van Zandt's song is a woman who, according to the lyrics, "loves me like I want her to." Patterson found herself asking, "Well, what does Loretta think about that characterization?"
Patterson decided to write a song from Loretta's point of view. The result is a song called "Tumbleweed," which can be heard at the "listen" link at the top of this page.
Since then, Patterson has written six more songs from the perspectives of famous female subjects like Jolene (from the Dolly Parton song) and Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles).
"Woman to Woman" comes out April 15. An album release party is scheduled in Denver on March 27. Patterson said that she's enlisting friends Mike Marchant, Reverend Dead Eye and others to play the original songs for the release party, to be followed by her performance of the songs from "Woman to Woman."