Pat Hull performs at The Barn at Meriam Park


Pat Hull performing at The Barn at Meriam Park on Friday, Nov. 6. Photo credit: Kelsey Ogle

On Friday, Nov. 6, local musician Pat Hull played a concert at The Barn at Meriam Park, a new venue in the Meriam Park planned community. Meriam Park is a new self-contained community with apartments, businesses, a drive-in movie theater and The Barn, which is used for concerts and other events.

Hull’s ninth album, “St. Clare,” is due to be released in the new year. Hull has only been playing solo live shows since March, but he has a band that consists of guitarist, producer and engineer Dorian Rohlfes; percussionist Sean Raeside; bassist and vocalist Michael Bone and guitarist and vocalist Evin Wolverton. Ethan Swett also played bass on the new record.

While none of the songs on “St. Clare” were inspired by the pandemic and most of the songs were already recorded once the pandemic hit, the recording process was different because everyone had to record separately due to the pandemic and then Rohlfes put it all together.

Hull performed at The Barn seated on a metal folding chair, with his amp and merchandise on folding chairs next to him since the venue lacks a stage.

Hull said he’s only played a few shows since the pandemic began and the fact that concerts can only be held outdoors has limited the opportunities for musicians to play live.

“There’s only a few safe spots to play — Secret Trail, The Commons and The Barn — and musicians are kind of circling in those three venues since March,” Hull said. “The Barn is a newer venue and talking to the owner, Dan, he’s going to get a stage and a PA set up. But in the meantime, just like everything else in the pandemic, everyone’s adapting.” 

Hull has lived in California for 10 years since he came to Chico for the master’s program in communication studies at Chico State, but he is originally from Connecticut. At the concert, he dedicated several songs to his family, namely his young son and his brother. He also shared the story of his wedding being postponed because of the pandemic and that his dad wanted to sing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley at his wedding. Hull proceeded to cover the song himself.

Along with the Presley cover, Hull’s set included songs from his previous albums and a few songs from the upcoming “St. Clare.”

Hull has one son and another on the way. He also hopes to foster children in the future.

“There’s a distressing (statistic) of 500,000 kids in foster care in this country,” Hull said. “And I think that’s really concerning, you know, in terms of the next generation not having their basic needs of belonging met, is really troubling. Everyone in my family — my cousins who live in town, my parents back east and myself — are all teachers. So we see the various kids coming into classes in elementary ed — college, even — that are coming out of foster care units, and the foster care system can be an erratic, unreliable system for kids.”

“St. Clare” will be available on vinyl and digitally on Bandcamp and Spotify. Updates can be found on Hull’s website. He also has a YouTube channel.

Kelsey Ogle can be reached at [email protected]