Patty Mattson

Personal Biography

Personal Biography

Some of you may be listening to my music and wondering, who I am, where I came from and what my story is….well

I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the second daughter of Ronald & Catherine Mattson. My dad was the middle of three boys raised in Duluth MN. He was an amazing self-taught guitar player whom played in a band called The Vibrations, at one point they warmed up for the Beach Boys and he got to jam with Bob Dylan over at my dad’s buddies house before Bob Dylan got successful. People have said my dad, “could just play unbelievably without ever having had a single real lesson” & “that he had a superstar pitching arm”.

His father Cal had that same musical gift on the piano. He majored in music and was second chair playing French Horn in the Duluth Symphony. All three Mattson boys are creative and the youngest Mattson brother is an amazing guitarist, playing in several bands in Duluth MN to this day. My dad’s mom studied and loved dance. She made a record as a girl called, “The Woodpecker Song” which played on local radio in Virginia MN. Adorable stuff!

My Mom is the oldest of 10! She also grew up in Duluth MN, and was the beautiful, popular cheerleading captain, class secretary, in the choir, who loved school, music, and most of all family. She danced on Duluth’s American Bandstand and made a record when she was 7, “I don’t want her you can have her”. Her mother, Patricia, my namesake, tap danced and wrote poetry as well as a couple songs in her 20’s. These songs she submitted to Hollywood in 1947. Grandma loved great music and all four of my mom’s sisters can sing, actually a couple of the five boys can too! But it was the girls that were always doing funny songs in perfect harmony. All of them were, and still are, always joking.

My mom’s dad played violin and sang. He fought in WWII in the submarines. The whole family always found something to laugh about, and those with us, which are almost everyone, still do to this day! RIP Grandpa.

My mom is a real music lover; she had hip music on all the time when my sister and I were growing up. She played everything from great old R&B like The Spinners, Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, Parliament, and The Brothers Johnson, to Rock and Roll like The Beatles, Creedence, Bread, Carly Simon, The Doobie Brothers, her favorite band, Journey and so many more. That was a big influence. Not to mention my own loves like Heart, Led Zeppelin, (my sisters fav too), Aerosmith, Earth, Wind , & Fire, Prince, Bob Segar, Aretha, Van Halen, Bonnie Raitt, Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Ohio Players, Teddy Pendergrass and so many more really.

Suffice it to say, the apple didn’t fall far from the family tree. I have been performing since I was 6 years old when I did my first talent show at Lennox Elementary School in St Louis Park, MN. I did a monologue of Lilly Tomlin’s, “Edith Anne” that I had seen as a baby on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. I loved comedy and seemed to have a nack for imitation.

I’ll never forget, I did “Edith Anne” for the 1st and 2nd grade talent shows to standing ovations, but in the 3rd grade I decided to do something different, one of Lilly Tomlin’s other characters “Ernestine”, and well…. I got stage fright. I never made it out there, instead I ran out to the car to go to Duluth with Mom and Tina, I guess it suddenly dawned on me that I might look foolish (?) I struggled with that from time to time and probably still do to this day. I’m always worrying it won’t be good enough or I’ll forget the lyrics.

Writing about those years and that school brings up a pivotal turning point in my life. When I was 6, my Aunt Carol, moms sister, (who was and is always involved in theatre and music and used to play her acoustic guitar and sing Carly Simon Songs with my sister and I), came with her husband, my Uncle Steve, to get us at that school around 10 am. This was highly unusual. They came to get us because my father had committed suicide and we had to go stay with them while my mom went to take care of the preparations. Mom had taken out the garbage and noticed the windows of the garage were black. She called my dads oldest brother to see if what she feared was right. Sadly, it was. When you’re that young a situation like this is hard to digest. My father had some issues, not the smallest of which was domestic violence, which my sister and I witnessed on an occasion… or two. Not a happy day no matter how old you are or what you saw.

RIP Ronald Gene Mattson.

Women didn’t always speak on those kinds of things like they do now, and in that day when people, especially men, were depressed like my dad was when he lost his father, or had resulting issues with coping and drugs, they didn’t talk about it much either.

I’ve forgiven him and always hope he’s found peace. I do wonder sometimes what things would have been like if he lived. Would we have played together or had a family band or ?….

Well, I guess we will never know.

I remember I did try at one point in my early 20’s to convince my sister, who was modeling and also had a good voice, to do a duo thing with me, I had the big idea that we could be the next “Heart”, (I loved Anne Wilson, she can really sing. I’d listen to Anne & Nancy Wilson for hours. Anne Wilson was really fun and challenging to learn from).

In late grade school, I also fell in love with Barbra Streisand’s work on the “Star Is Born” soundtrack. I loved her version of the movie “A Star Is Born” with Kris Kristofferson as well. I copied every lick Barbara Streisand sang and my sisters friends used to come listen to me sing “Watch Closely Now” and “Woman in the Moon” in our little living room. Funny!

I continued singing in talent shows doing Heart and Barbra Streisand songs, then The Blues. In the 6th grade my mom had me audition with hundreds of kids at The Children’s Theatre Company & School in downtown Minneapolis. I got in, being one of three out of 300, woo hoo! I went to school there for 7th to 9th grade. What a great experience! I probably should have stayed in the theatre but I insisted I wanted to play in a rock band instead. The school was quite expensive for a single mom, even the greatest most hard working one ever born. In the 9th grade my mom let me go back to regular high school. I never did feel I quite fit in, and honestly, took a bit of a wrong turn for 10th and 11th grade.

I ended up playing in a couple bands with a group of guys 6 years or so older than I, which as you can imagine my mom loved…HA! First it was Blamo. We played at the Senior prom at my High School when I was a Junior. That morphed into the next band, Little Louie and The Units. We played around Minneapolis a bit at the Uptown Bar, Riverfest, and in Brainerd MN at a place called Section 6, a huge camping spot out in the woods. Those gigs were crazy! At one point we got on the KQRS Homegrown Album, one of the big rock stations in Minneapolis.

Thankfully, I made it through those years, I feel really lucky I pulled myself out because I could have easily been another statistic. I know several people who overdosed from that group of friends, and fans of the band. I didn’t leave that time behind unscathed either. Certain decisions we make we pay the price for, forever. (I think that might be another story though).

So upon correcting my path, I went on to study voice with the ever amazing Oksana Bryn, as well as Jazz theory, at “Mac Phial Center for the Arts” in Minneapolis. I was losing my voice singing in the band so I studied with Oksana Bryn for 3 years. She gave me the tools to be able to still sing today. I’ve shared them with a few select students that producers referred to me along the way. I believe Oksana Bryn’s technique is invaluable. I sure hope someone is sharing that set of vocal tools with Adele. Adele would really benefit from them, I’d hate for her to loose that amazing, beautiful gift she has!

I digress…anyway at one point I met the drummer from a band called Maserati at a bar on Highway 12 that all the big players in the Minneapolis music scene used to play at. He was there jamming with Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis, Jellybean Johnson, Marc Brown, and several other major players. (They’d all come sit in on different nights). I ended up doing a couple recordings with him and a friend of his. They were hysterical. One of the songs “Body Talk” I even had a crazy little video done for. I should have saved it for the song “Do You Love Me”. That one was actually an ok little song, I was just not in touch with who I was as an artist….I was trying to find myself.

Around the same time I met a super talented drummer named Stokley Williams who was putting together a band called Mint Condition with his buddies Roger Troutman Jr, Homer O’Dell, Larry Waddell & Keri Lewis. Later Rick Kinchen took Keri’s place and, Jeffrey Allen joined. Man, Stokley and I wrote some funny, funny songs! Stokley is a dear friend to this day.

I also did demos for Mark Brown/Brown Mark whom formed Maserati, played with Prince and The Revolution, and worked with Chico Debarge.

My first real Producer was Dez Dickerson, whom at the time was recently out of “Prince and the Revolution” and developing his own projects. Dez Dickerson is such an amazingly kind, talented, and spirit filled guy!

During that year, while we were working on those demo’s I was invited to Los Angeles to sing on a record for “The Boys Club”, a duo including Gene Hunt of The Jets. Well, I ended up staying in Los Angeles for 17 years. I wonder sometimes what might have come of the Dez Dickerson Project had we gotten that completed… if my path would have been dramatically different?? Again….I guess I’ll never know. They say everything for a reason. Perhaps that’s true.

I stayed in Los Angeles, worked with several notable producer/musicians like Tom Saviano, David Boruff, Craig Stewart Garfinkle, and Emilio Kauderer, as well as writers, including Jimmy George and Randy Waldman. I was shopped by 2 of those production teams briefly as a solo artist. It looked like we had a deal developing with BMG Records on the first go round, but our A&R contact left the label and the production Duo parted.

I went from that to a girl group called Women of the World, did a bunch of demo’s, and then decided to record my own stuff, but with limited financial resources it seemed my dream of having a record was going out the window.

Along the way I worked a variety of jobs while I sang on demos and Jingles, wrote, got on a couple TV shows, and sang on records for “American Idol Showstoppers 5”, “Nona Gaye”, “Holly Robinson” & “Lisa Wong” in the UK, for the amazing producer Derek Bramble. I placed a couple songs, worked and performed in Atlantic City & Las Vegas with Anita Mann of Solid Gold fame, and with a few bands, one in particular, LA Beat, also known as The Leonard Neil Orchestra. 1 of the many gigs we did was Katherine McPhee’s wedding, where David Foster and Katherine McPhee did a beautiful song, and others sat in like, Mandesa, Kelly Pickler, and Kara DiGuardi to name a few. I also went to Puerto Rico and sang with Minneapolis based Rupert’s Orchestra, also known as Synergy, in front of The Temptations, Louise Mandrell, and Sheena Easton. There were some amazing Minneapolis musicians from Prince and the Revolution that played in Synergy along with Debbie Duncan, Gwen Matthews, and Jenny Sanford who are all amazing.

I kept doing session work, including many Parodies for Premiere Radio Los Angeles, Clear Channel, that I still do today, funny stuff!! One of them, the theme for “The Titanic” by Celine Dion, was featured on “The Howard Stern Show”. At the time, Howard Stern and Robin Quivers went on the show and were commenting on how much it sounded like Celine Dion, I was of course thrilled to hear that! Suffice it to say, that’s where all those parodies on my website come from.

In the studio, I was always doing crazy silly voices, so it wasn’t too big a jump before I was getting work in voice over & animation.

I have since developed a long resume of Session & Voice Over work and love comedy and animation! Click for my resume, Voice Over Demo’s, and Professional Bio.

One of the super talented people I’ve had the good fortune of working for and with, was a guitarist, writer, producer and photographer named Michael Becker, whom is currently the photographer for American Idol.

I did a lot of session work for Michael over the years and in 2009 he invited me to come do a gig in the Marina that he said was “just a bunch of great players having fun”. He called the group “The Painkillers”, an ode to his favorite cocktail, (it was really a 5 piece of amazing cats getting together to just get out, jam and play songs they liked). The Bassist was Rob Chiarelli, a dear friend of Michael Beckers with a serious resume. I recalled seeing his name on some huge records, and when I saw it thinking, how great it would be to have someone like him to do a record with. Weird, here we were, years later doing a gig together. How crazy is that, small world.

Rob Chiarelli, Michael Becker, and Derek Nakamoto, a monster keyboardist with a resume of his own, got talking one night about what we all wanted to do going forward, and I said, “1 thing I wished I’d have done that I never did was make a world class record of my material “, and they said “Hey if you want to do a record, you gotta do a record”!

So, off I went to write my debut record, now called “The Road”.

From there things just fell into place. At the same time, I met a songwriter and guitarist named Marc Platt of “Marc and the Plattitudes” who played beautifully, and had a song he had written that wasn’t quite completed. So we sat down and finished it. It’s called “My Heart Needs Something New”, which ended up being the closing cut on my debut, as well as on Marc and The Plattitudes 2011 release, “Bitter and Sweet” in its full form. Marc Platt is an inspirational guitarist, writer, super encouraging guy and is always saying, “tell your story”. Love that!

So, after writing a bunch of songs on my own, and with Marc, I was directed again by Michael Becker to another monster guitarist producer, Simone Sello whom helped me get all the demos done. He also had some key writing input on the pre-chorus to “Forgiveness” and played on much of the record. (Michael Becker and Rob Chiarelli also had writing input as well, Michael on “Startin Somethin” and Rob on “Startin Somethin” and the pre chorus to “The Road”, key input, not to mention their awesome playing on the record and of course Rob Chiarelli’s production and mixing.

Wow, such a blessing, my own record completed with a world class producer/mixer and the amazing group of musicians who participated. You can check out everyone’s contributions on my CD Label. (Which, if you download the record you can see online). Derek Organ, one of the industries most amazing drummers, who has toured with Janet Jackson among many others, was omitted on the original CD musician credits, AHHHHH! That is of course, corrected online and will be corrected in print on the next pressing. So sorry D! Rob Chiarelli warned me that I’d likely miss something with so much to do on the project. He was correct in that. Whew!

Now, I am writing this story for all of you! How cool is that really? My lifelong dream come true to have this record done! I guess things come together when they are supposed to, even if it is later than you expected in your journey.

I feel so lucky and blessed to have the opportunity to do this at this juncture.

To have had all these intrinsic pieces come together.

Honestly, I thought this window had closed. It makes me all the more grateful that it didn’t, and it gives me all the more history to write songs with.

So there it is… the abbreviated version of what could be an even longer story! Yikes… !!!

HAHAHA! Guess some things really do take 20 years!

Can’t wait for you all to hear the next record, I’m working on that now!

“Never say never” as my sweet angel guide, very best friend my mom….. always says!

Share