The album cover for singer-songwriter Patrick Ames’ rock-blues-soul album, ‘The Virtualistics.’

Artist: Patrick Ames: rhythm guitars and vocals; Jon Ireson: producer, bass, lead guitars, keyboards and Mix and Master; Chana Matthews: vocals; and Mikaela Matthews: vocals

Album: ‘The Virtualistics;’ Released: June 16, 2021

Supporting the diverse components that make up the world’s fight for universal equality is one of the most important things musicians can use their public platforms for in modern society. Singer-instrumentalist, Patrick Ames is highlighting his belief that people should embrace a positive transformation in how the public socially views other cultures and societies on his newly release record, ‘The Virtualistics.’ The album, which takes its name from the band Ames brought together virtually during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, crafted eight breakthrough blues-rock-soul tracks that highlight the composer-songwriter’s resilient hope that people can repair the damage they have caused to society.

Ames and his fellow musicians display their tenacious spirit throughout ‘The Virtualistics,’ which was recorded remotely entirely during the pandemic. Struggling to maintain high spirits and optimism during the onset of the virus and the tumultuous presidential campaign, the group was able to create stellar melodies and beats that drive the lyrically potent tunes.

The Napa Valley-based artist, who has taken inspiration from such musicians and bands as Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan, created philosophical rock-n-roll songs that won’t be soon forgotten. Focusing on such powerful topics as spirituality, meaningful connection and community activism in his complex set of inspirational lyrics, the fiercely raw and eclectic tracks aren’t afraid to challenge socially acceptable issues that actually only end up oppressing people.

‘The Virtualistics’ starts with the funk-rock driven entry, ‘Help People Up,’ which serves as the album’s lead single.’ Driven by pulsating guitars riffs, high-tuned percussion, and dashes of the sax, a bluesy melody and gospel-infused soul vocals, the tune gives off a smoldering energy. Ames stunningly emphasizes his message that everyone should help each other every day and give other people hope.

Another inspirational, harmonious and catchy entry on the singer’s latest record is its third song, ‘Rubber and Glue.’ The acoustic R&B-soul track offers a raw, affectionate insight into how people become willing to change some of their set ways when they’re determined to form a meaningful, lasting relationship with someone they care about.

The twangy tune proves Ames‘ ability to adapt to any circumstance and environment as a musician. ‘Rubber & Glue,’ which is driven by funky, Motown-inspired guitar riffs, features the artist’s cheerful rock-inspired vocals. While the singer croons his lyrics in a light-hearted manner, they still feature the important message that if people want to make their relationships work, they have to compromise in certain areas of their routines to accommodate the other person’s emotions and needs.

‘The Virtualistics’ begins to wind down with its penultimate entry, ‘You Make Me Scream,’ which is unique in the fact that it features a rock beat, but also feels like it was inspired by ’80s dance music. Along with intriguingly funk, soul and blues notes on the guitar, Ames croons in stellar howling vocals that give the lyrics a striking relatability as he ponders how people lasting effects on the other people in their lives.

The musician’s latest album ends with enthralling blues-inspired entry, ‘Reawakened 2020,’ which features stylish vocal harmonies. Driven by distinguished, heavy bass beats and high percussion, Ames warns his listeners not to be fooled by the lies told by politicians on television and social media. He advises them that they should instead believe in themselves and stand up for their equality, as the force of good it has is being reawakened.

Ames is highlighting his belief that people should embrace a positive transformation in how the public socially views other cultures and societies on his newly release record, ‘The Virtualistics.’ The album’s eight breakthrough blues-rock-soul songs perfectly highlight the composer-songwriter’s resilient hope that people can repair the damage they have caused to society.

‘The Virtualistics’ is a stellar record that showcases Ames and his fellow musicians’ resolute conviction to maintain their high spirits and optimism during the trying times of COVID-19 and the tumultuous current state of politics. The group crafted enthralling melodies and beats that drive the lyrically potent songs. Focusing on such powerful topics as spirituality, meaningful connection and community activism in his complex set of inspirational lyrics, Ames’ fiercely raw and eclectic tunes aren’t afraid to challenge socially acceptable issues that actually only end up oppressing people.

For more information Ames, visit his official website, as well as his Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, SoundCloud, YouTube, Bandcamp and Spotify pages.

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By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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