Patchwork Blue is a collaborative album between Rosalie Robison, who is a Milwaukee musician and songwriter, and Wendy Kheiry, who is a singer/songwriter/musician soon to move from the Milwaukee area.
Rosalie and Wendy met at musical improvisation workshops hosted at the Jazz Gallery Center for the Arts before the pandemic temporarily closed the Center. These improvisation workshops encouraged each musician to actively resist falling into the usual patterns of rhythm and melody, and encouraged each musician to explore using instruments outside of their usual parameters. During the pandemic, Rosalie and Wendy took some of their songs through the recording, mixing, and mastering process to produce this original works Experimental Blues album.
Rosalie’s smoky vocals and jazz background color her songs in vivid telling of life as a musician, and tales of love and angst. Wendy’s sings languidly through songs backed by guitar, piano, and harmonica to bring to evoke feelings of isolation and connection.
Listen now on Spotify:
The album is also available on:
Scroll down for stories about each song. The Spotify and Apple Music song links are as follows:
“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Is a saying which means that merely thinking about something doesn’t get the job accomplished, and was used as a sort of rebuke to the poor, but that’s doesn’t have to be the whole story.
I thought about how dreams are motivation to attempt the extraordinary. With opportunity and self-discipline, people can change their lives, accomplish amazing goals, and reach their dreams. Wishes are hopes defined, and dreams make life worth living.
I wanted this song to celebrate the creative process, the risk taking, and the determination it takes to get new ventures off the ground, or to solve particularly tricky problems. I wanted the feeling of it to be relaxed, and dreamy as solutions and vision come to us when we are in a receptive state of mind. And I wrote it further along in the story, with the beggars on the way to the goal, doing the impossible in a more equitable world for everyone.
When beggars ride, they can change the world.
The blues surround us. We cannot escape. We listen to ease our souls, to laugh off our troubles, to relate to the story. We need the blues to get through. In this song, I’m having a bit of fun playing around with the blues. Call it what you want, it’s the blues right or wrong.Rosalie Robison
I wrote this song thinking of the line from Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know that goes “You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness,” and how even so, we seek out love and connection with others.
“Like resignation to the end, always the end”
Gotye’s song is, of course, beautiful and sad, and poignant, about endings and final words to lovers beyond our reach.
As Rosalie once said of Bottle of the Blues, “This is a kind of mood.”
Perhaps the addiction is to a darker shade of sadness, one with brittle cracks, and jagged edges.
It’s about beginnings, and connection even in the midst of pain and suffering.
This is a kind of mood, and not everyone will understand.
For those who do, I’m sorry.Wendy Kheiry
“Can’t Sing My Song Blues”, evolved from a music improvisation class I took. The story song is laid out as to how I felt when another singer borrowed a song I’d brought for a music ensemble class. Even though it is a standard ballad, the song felt like my song as a band leader in a group I’d been singing in presented it to me as a good fit for my voice and delivery. Thus a bluesy feeling seemed appropriate for this number.Rosalie Robison
Turning it around
10 Cent Angel is about leaving – not the nostalgic adventure, but the one where staying would mean the death of spirit, destruction. This is the song for those who walked, or ran away, and who maybe looked back once or twice and kept going.
This is for those who want to go, who need to go,or who have considered it. If you understood the fuel behind the leaving, you might understand how it wouldn’t be as true if it had been done differently.
This song is also for those met along the path, who shared a part of the journey. Good company. Angels taking care of angels.
And this is for the gossips left behind – the petty speculation and mean spirited focus are part of the whole problem with humanity. Turn your mind to helping yourself and others. And lastly this song for those who take advantage of others’ youth, innocence, and naivete – you never win, nor will you ever win.Wendy Kheiry
“‘It Don’t Matter To Me’ was originally written as a poem, yet the music behind it stayed lodged in my head for years. I believe the words in this song were the first song lyrics I put to music. However, composing the piano accompaniment didn’t happen until recently when we recorded for the album “Patchwork Blue”. Oddly, when I retrieved this poem from an old notebook, I found other poems that also spoke song and will use these poems to create new songs.Rosalie Robison
The theme, obviously love won/lost, is universal and would appeal to that mindset. It is a song tribute to how we lose love, then find it, then lose it again, and find it again…a love song, a blues song, a heart breaker, a plea breaker. We can deny it doesn’t matter one way or another, but it does.”
“Blue Night came from a small snippet of poetry that I had jotted down or maybe posted on Twitter and then printed out as possible lyrics. Rosalie said it sounded like a lullaby, which I initially rejected (that’s just a knee-jerk reaction for me), but then later thought, well, why not? It does sound a little like a lullaby. We had discussed it several times, and then I fleshed out the words some. We recorded the background for this song at my apartment with Rosalie at the keyboards, and me in front of my desk with my guitar. One of the things I love about this song is the synergy and the improvisation. We played around with a couple of different piano settings before Rosalie settled on the more organ-like sound, and I had found an interesting riff to explore, and then we just played with no heed to what the melody might be, or how much time we needed.
During this kind of improvisation, I sink into the music and stop hearing it so much as seeing it due to the fact that I have a form of synesthesia which makes reading music (visual) extremely challenging for me. When I improvise, I can see the shapes of music, and the movement, and I can see how what I’m doing fits into it geometrically, but there’s no easy translation for what I see with what is written as typical musical notations. So we played and when we got to the end, I say, “Okay,” which I left in the track. That was the take.
I worked on the vocals a few days later, struggling to find the sound that would go with the background, working by ear, and growing increasingly frustrated until, with a slight adjustment in how I was seeing my vocals, I tuned into where and how I wanted the melody to go into the shape of the music Rosalie and I had created together. The background vocals took more redoing, and fussing with the mixing and whatnot, but the main body of this song was put together swiftly.
Emotionally, this song is a testament to how even close, soulmate relationships don’t completely expunge the feelings of sadness and isolation people can experience. Sometimes all we can do is sit with someone through those times in a comfortable companionship that you wish would always be there, even if it includes the ever-present Blues.”
This song is a culmination and tribute to the many years I tried to play and study musicRosalie Robison
that continually got lost in life’s struggles. In the past five years, I have steadily and concertedly
stuck to playing piano, singing and studying music. And although it seems like all my efforts
have been in vain, this ending song on the album spells a small measure of
happiness. From my heart to head, the lyrics and music flowed.
Rosalie Robison email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy Kheiry email: email@example.com
© 2021 Wendy Kheiry Music
Producer: Wendy Kheiry