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Patrick Sky

Posted May 27, 2021

Patrick Sky was an American singer songwriter, folk musician, guitarist, producer, and accomplished builder and player of the Irish uilleann pipes. Patrick was of Irish and Creek Indian descent- a seminal figure, along with Eric Anderson and Buffy Sainte-Marie, in the folk music revival in the mid-1960s. Notably, Patrick produced recordings by the legendary blues guitarist and singer Mississippi John Hurt for Vanguard Records.

Joni and Patrick were on the same billing at least twice, once on the Let's Sing Out program in October of 1965, and again at a Syracuse University gig in December of 1969. Patrick was the inspiration for song The Last Time I Saw Richard, as revealed in Michelle Mercer's 2009 book Will You Take Me As I Am: "...this is where that song came from,” [Joni] said. “Patrick Sky, a fellow folksinger, said to me one night in a bar in New York, 'Oh, Joni, you're a hopeless romantic. There's only one way for you to go. Hopeless cynicism. That one little nugget became the song."

Patrick died this morning in Ashville, North Carolina, surrounded by family. He was 77 years old. [Photo by David Gahr, 1965]