I’ve been listening to Pat Donaldson’s bass playing for years.
He played on my favourite Richard Thompson album, ‘Pour Down Like Silver’ as well as accompanying the wonderful Sandy Denny as part of the band, Fotheringay in the 70’s. Pat has a gloriously minimal way of playing the bass, his timing, taste and and groove are impeccable and he has a fantastic way of sliding up or down to the note with impeccable smoothness. His is a style honed over the years, it sounds simple but believe me, that level of control and command of his sound is no easy feat!
I had no idea that Pat lived a twenty minute drive from me in the Cevennes until we met via a mutual friend. Pat, like me is something of a wanderer, he moved from London to Montreal in the 80’s and then about twenty years ago settled in the south of France and we’ve since become good friends. When I wrote the song “Comets” for the new album, I knew that it would suit Pat’s style of playing perfectly and sure enough, the day he came over to the studio to record, it seemed like the song was made for him. This wasn’t the first time Pat has appeared on a Beating Drum record, I recorded a session with him on bass for Jenny Lysander’s album, Northern Folk.
Have a listen to his wonderful bass playing on this version of Banks Of The Nile by Fotheringay:
Having discovered their version of this song, I recorded a version in 2009 with Camille and Dom La Nena on cello, filmed by Jeremiah: