New CD Release for 2016 and beyond . . .


Go here to find the lyrics for “Teach • Inspire • Be Real”

Upcoming Shows

Dian P 6_14 -3834

November 4th. Plano, TX  Mystic Mandala Yoga Center,
3131 Custer Rd. 6pm $20
November 20th. Madrid, New Mexico
Studio 14 7pm All proceeds to Standing Rock Protectors!
Dec 3rd  Incline Village, NV — Tahoe!
Alibi Brewing Co. 6-9pm show
January 20-21 Pahoa, Big Island of Hawaii
MAna Fest at Hawaiian Sanctuary
And more in the Hawaiian Islands, TBA


Photo by Alana Cin

Teach • Inspire • Be Real!

Folkgoddess Diane Patterson sings the world awake with strong voice, rocking guitar, sweet ukulele, and revolutionary lyrics.

Her sincere spirit and wild heart joyfully plant seeds of love and light in every listener.

Diane’s been performing at festivals and venues since 1991, beginning with co-fronting a world beat band in Davis. She started in 1993, with Joe Kojima Gray and Dave Theno, the award-winning Diane Patterson Sextet, with three songwriters and two percussionists. Following The Sextet have been 20 years of solo, duo, and trio work, often with Al Torre on guitar.

Currently Diane is touring her fabulous new CD, Teach, Inspire, Be Real!!  This album is a powerful collection of producers, songs, & healing vibrations!!  Patterson has also published three other full length CDs: Build a Bridge (2013), World Awake (2010) and Hip the Hip (2005). In the works is an album with producer Mike Napolitano in New Orleans!

“Joni Mitchell meets Ani DiFranco. Patterson is a modern day folk goddess.”
“Diane is a young Pete Seeger.” —Percussionist & Composer, Geoffrey Gordon
“FANTASTIC. Diane, you are a great musician.” — Paul Emery Music, Nevada City, Ca. Oct. 2015
“She’s good!” — Ani DiFranco


Since 1990, wordsmith Patterson weaves spirit and unifying social commentary, now around the world, on festival stages, at folk music and conscious music gatherings, healing gatherings and in concert venues of Southern Oregon and Northern California, in Hawaii every winter for the last nine years, in Europe summers of 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2016, and December 2012 in Mexico for Synthesis Festival! Based in Southern Oregon, independent and supported by her community, Diane considers herself a micro magical munition of manifesting: nature consciousness, cleanest food for body and mind, best balance and highest integrity of relations between all Beings. We are grateful an amazing year of three major tours for Teach, Inspire, Be Real: the 2016 Album Release and Adventures on the High Frequen~Seas!


Diane occasionally writes long stories from her adventures. Check ‘em out here.

Listen here or on Soundcloud!

For more information check out stories and herstory

Recent Posts

Spring Tour 2016, New Orleans

Version 2

May 15th, 2016

Oh goodness gracious, there’s a story I really must tell, before it busts out of me like a bouquet of spring blossoms just crazy to spill their colors and pollen all over this hungry, sweet earth. My heart drips gratitude and sadness and elation.

Sheba and I spent three days with Ani DiFranco and her very cool and talented husband Mike Napolitano and their cute kiddies, all just mellow and steady, growing family heart connections. If you don’t know, Ani helped Sheba have a much much shorter prison term years and years ago, in 1992, by writing a letter on Sheba’s behalf, along with a bunch of other friends mostly from Southern Oregon. When Sheba got out of prison she went to thank all those whose letters really saved her life, and in the mean time, Ani had gotten famous and was a little trickier to thank. Now they have a long-time, tiny enormous friendship. So I think both their hearts blossomed like those very same spring crazys, just to be able to spend some time together and be family. We walked around New Orleans and had breakfast and played in the back yard under the epic tree who’s been there longer and knows more tears and laughter than any of us kids will ever understand. . . though we might catch tiny glimpses when we swap stories of our far reaches for realness. . . like this. . .

Sheba noticed letters from Spoon Jackson lying on the table in Ani’s high-ceilinged, light, airy Louisiana kitchen. She mentioned it to Ani. Sheba recognized the letters because she’s seen letters from that very same poet in my hands, that very same big-hearted man, who happens to be a prisoner in California, serving an infinite, painful, life-without-parole sentence, already approaching forty years long. I met Spoon briefly when I performed in New Folsom Prison, along with Michael Franti and Spearhead, Melissa Mitchell, and Kimberly Bass, in a 2005 concert in the little cider block chapel in Facility C. And I corresponded with Spoon starting earlier in the same year, up until about a year ago, when he moved to Lancaster prison. I have written a song for Spoon, who is also beloved in Sweden, where I have met some fans of his poetry there. The song I wrote for Spoon is on my latest release, Teach, Inspire, Be Real, and it’s called At Night You Fly — in response to his poem, At Night I Fly. (You can hear my song in its entirety on my cdbaby page for Teach, Inspire, Be Real.)

Ani’s been corresponding with Spoon for some years also, and has recorded a song she created by putting a poem of Spoon’s to music. That song will be released soon on an entire album of songs written by prisoners. More on that soon, I am sure. Meantime, Ani cried as she told me more about Spoon’s case than I knew and even told me that Spoon, unlike in the story I paint in my song, actually killed a woman, where I had assumed he had killed a man. Ah, the pain of this world moves through us, like it or not. And being a teenager, black and poor in Barstow, Spoon hadn’t the support nor the skills to express his deep deep pain. No excuses. Just saying and just seeing, this life is all more complex than we can know. And in Her complexity, She teaches us to look deeper, listen harder, be slower to jump to conclusions, perhaps never sit on hard conclusions, and instead keep singing and loving and wondering and praying and praising with our grief. Such grief, such pain, such longing for justice, we feel and we speak and we sing. Ani and I spoke of restorative justice and we spoke of Spoon Jackson’s sentencing, knowing justice was not done on that day so long ago by an all white jury in an all white court, judging with blinded inability to reach outside this system of black and white, victim and perpetrator, guilty, not guilty, alive, dead, locked up for life.


Later that afternoon, grateful for our freedom to travel and experience this amazing life, Sheba and I rented bikes in the French Quarter and ripped down Magazine Street, my guitar on my back, to Crepe DeVille, the cafe of Sheba’s old friends from Mendo times. After hungrily loving up some super delicious buckwheat crepes and coffees, we sat out on the busy sidewalk in that deep southern town and visited with Kendra and Jim and their little year-and-a-half-old baby boy. I played guitar songs the whole time as people strolled by and drove by on Cinco de Mayo, 2016. We never tried to find the infamous party that we heard went viral on Facebook that day, Sinkhole de Mayo! But i’m sure it was fun, and I hope the people didn’t sink too deep into the Louisiana swamp!


See, my mama was born and raised in Northern Louisiana, in a little paper mill town, where her dad had a machine shop next door to her family home. Sandy Lou and her five siblings grew up laughing and trying to practice for their music lessons, steeped in Catholicism and values of family and togetherness, playing cards and having fun. So my trip through Louisiana was tinged with that little song of longing for the parallel me that grew up in that southern state, in the muggy summers and lush landscapes dripping in Spanish moss. My mama still speaks with a bit of drawl, and certain words betray her southern roots. Her dad was from Vicksburg, Mississippi, where he left his mean ole dad. He missed his mama, and got real good on the banjo as he rode the freights around the Pacific Northwest, hanging out in Seattle and parts nearby. My mom’s mom was born in Canada to a couple that traveled with his work as a carpenter, and she met her future husband when she took banjo lessons from him. Aunt Kathy says my grandma would sit in her bedroom some days and cry because of what might have been. She’d listen to records from a banjo player, contemporary of her husband’s, who had stayed with the music rather than raising 6 kids. Grammy cried because she knew her husband was just as talented, if not more so, but hadn’t any records to show for it, or so she told my Aunt.

Mom's parents, Dick and Wilma Jolissaint

Jump forward and land back in New Orleans, I’m soaking up the experience of being in the South, and meanwhile doing a lot of deep breathing because I’m not used to being in the presence of such an infinite heroine of mine, that unforgettable Righteous Babe, the one who doesn’t like to wear anything she can’t wipe her hands on. That line stayed with me. 1990, maybe. She played The Palms Playhouse back in Davis, CA, probably when I was in my second band, The Heat, and going to University there. She was so mighty. And so righteous. That night she admitted to the small, rapt audience that she seemed to be dealing with a hairball (!). Dang. So young and already so seasoned and so precocious and so so so Ani D.

There weren’t role models like Ani when I was growing up. Almost all of the music on the radio was made by men. In Red Bluff, my home town, all three radio stations were country stations, and I never even gave it a chance. But now I asked Ani, “What do you say to girls to let them know they can do it?”  “I think they know,” she answered. When I was growing up, I didn’t have anyone letting me know that I had some natural talent and would benefit from developing it to serve the people. But I do know, music came easy and I stayed with it. And now, we have Ani, and many more.

I thanked Ani for honoring our folk elders, our storyteller elders, U Utah Phillips, Pete Seeger. And we lamented the loss of Prince, with whom Ani had done a little recording trade on each other’s song. Sheba says this:  Ani powerfully inspired Prince in the way she managed her own musical career, and literally told the record labels off. Of course, Prince had such massive trouble with his Warner Brothers relations. Ani made it on her own. Can you get that? She played Carnegie Hall, twice!, 2001&2, we think. Dang!

During our visit, we asked the amazing 4’10” woman and her brilliant producer husband if they are totally booked up in the studio, and indeed they are. “But,” Mike said, “we could record a song today.” And they listened to me play a couple of my songs. We settled on Come on Rain. We recorded Come on Rain in Ani and Mike’s home studio. Yep, it really happened. I have the rough mix to prove it . . . to myself. We started with my slide guitar and voice. Mike ran my guitar through a Leslie speaker, you know the kind that makes that signature Hammond B3 organ sound – a kind of dark, juicy whirring. They call it a rotary speaker.

We set the click to 132 beats per minute, which is the tempo where I practice the song, and I played with that click in my headphones. If you don’t know, the steady tempo allows other players to more easily track other instruments to my recording without having to focus on matching my time, but instead being able to tend to each note and chord. Ah. That’s how we like it. Then the royal duo set me up to play, with my hands, a foot bass pedal, which would normally be used by a keyboard player. That gave the track a simple, warm bass line. From there, Mike and Ani started suggesting that I pick up one of their amazing old guitars and see if I could come up with another guitar part for Come on Rain. Then suddenly Ani picked up the resonator guitar, sat at the fat studio microphone, and worked on learning the song and creating a melodic rhythm track that sings with my voice and cries with my prayer for rain and forgiveness.

Come on rain, come on down
Come on dance upon this ground
Come on rain, come on down
Come on make that holy sound
Come on rain, liquid life
Come on, kiss your earthly wife
Let your love sink through her skin
Come on, quench her thirst again

So many days and nights out praying,
Down on my knees in the desert like a child
Alone, running wild
All of those days and nights in the desert
Looking for rain and forgiveness for a child
Alone, running wild
What have I done, I asked of my mother
What have I done, I cried of my father
I’m just a child, alone, running wild

Come on rain, come on down
Come on dance upon this ground
Come on rain, come on down
Come on make that holy sound
Come on rain, liquid life
Come on, kiss your earthly wife
Let your love sink through her skin
Come on, quench her thirst again

I’m a child of earth alive in a body
Gazing into the embers of a fire
Singing, I’m not alone
I’m a child of earth, awake in a body
Gazing into the loving eyes of Gaia
Singing, I’m not alone
We are children of earth, awakened in body
Gazing into this circle made of love
Singing, we’re not alone

Come on rain, come on down
Come on dance upon this ground
Come on rain, come on down
Come on make that holy sound


“So, what happened to you?” my friend Dosha in Boise said when we spoke for the first time ever, on the phone. He had received a recording of my ballad, High Sierra Morning, on a mix cd and listened to it, crying, every morning for two years before contacting me through my website. I’m pretty sure he meant, what happened to you that made you able to write such a song? What cut you to the quick and then dropped slow, steady grains of salt until your tears fell, many and hot. I answered with my story of coming out as a lesbian when I was so young, but already in college, and just so very full of love and naiveté. I didn’t know my dad’s heart would break and he would blame his disappointment on me. I didn’t really think that one out. But I don’t imagine I’d change anything about it. I just learned the hard way that sometimes we have to let people down just to be ourselves in a true, good way. And then I learned that if I wanted my parents to accept me as I am, I have to accept them, completely, with love and delight. And we are getting closer and closer every year, I’d say for about 9 years. That story wraps Come on Rain in realness. In the song I’m asking my parents for forgiveness, not because I’ve done something bad, but because this world lied to them and lied to me and left us crying alone.

Ani’s busy this week, but soon she will send the tracks we made on May 6th to my dear friend and extraordinary drummer, Udugirl, Janelle Burdell. Janelle is from Pittsburg, PA, and we visited her there on our way through a couple weeks ago. Then the following night she played the whole show with me and Al Torre at Wheeling Brewing Company, the most progressive place in those parts of West Virginia, and proud of it. Janelle will record some djembe, which is what Ani and Mike thought would sound good, and maybe also some metal drum kit, cause that’s what my ear wants to hear, on Come on Rain.

Life is good. We are grateful. The new CD went live for sale online today on CDBaby, who will soon put it along with my other releases on iTunes and Amazon and Napster and Spotify and all that good stuff. Monday night I play in Crestone, Colorado. Presently we drive across the northern piece of Texas, after a super fun and sweet time with my brother’s family in Dallas, uptown. We caught a glimpse of that infamous Grassy Knoll on our way out of Dallas. And the Sixth Floor Museum. Lots of deep history. And here we are making our own stories. As my dad titled his own little book of stories from his life, You can’t make this stuff up!

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