The Tale of Patches

by: Dickey Lee

Dickey Lee's first album, The Tale of Patches, is interesting in that it zeroes in on the narrative aspect of his hit song "Patches" rather than the tragedy angle. True, half of the songs are tragic tales, but the other half are straightforward story-songs or, in the case of "Travelin' Man," regular pop songs. "Patches" is one of the grittier teen tragedy hits with its intimation of a double suicide and description of a girl's corpse "lying face down in that dirty old river," and gave Lee his biggest pop hit. The Tale of Patches has renditions of other artists' tragic hits like "Tell Laura I Love Her," "Teen Angel," and "Ebony Eyes," as well as pop remakes of story-songs from the country field ("Wolverton Mountain," "Miller's Cave"). Lee's performances of these well-known songs are different enough to be interesting, particularly with the country material, and the storytelling theme is a crowd-pleaser. It's hard to say whether the album would have been improved by sticking exclusively to songs of tragedy, but there are enough tragic tunes to please enthusiasts of that particular pop culture craze. ~ Greg Adams

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