Patchouli Live at the Green Bay Botanical Gardens as reviewed in The Phantom TollboothPatchouli, in a summer setting or any season for that matter, creates memories.



Patchouli - Live At Green Bay Botanical Gardens
Green Bay Botanical Gardens
Green Bay, Wisconsin
August 8, 2013

The Green Bay Botanical Gardens is 27 acres of paradise on the far western border of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Beyond God’s great art we refer to as nature, the Botanical Gardens holds garden and art fairs, classes of all kinds, weddings, children’s and member’s outings, and concerts. Among them, a perennial favorite, Patchouli.

Patchouli is a touring folk / Spanish guitar duo made up of Julie Patchouli and Bruce Hecksel. With 16 albums to their credit, a favorite of folk festivals, and a loyal following in the Midwest and Southeast they are one busy couple. On this day they are performing their second of two concerts. Following an early afternoon gig to kick-off the first Mile of Music Festival in Appleton, Wisconsin, Patchouli settled into play in the garden for a standing room only crowd.

Under few clouds and a light west wind an amber sunlight washed the lawn-chaired crowd on the grassy area just above a large water fountain, serving as a backdrop for the band. Patchouli performs their brand of folk, and under the name Terra Guitarra (‘landscape of guitars’), performs Spanish guitar like no other. Julie, with a large pink flower in her hair, and Bruce, donning his fedora hat perched high played, sang, and mixed in stories of songs and their history to provide a bit of comedic spice between offerings.

Opening with an instrumental from their latest Terra Guitarra album, Dragon Fly, Patchouli immediately grasped the audience’s attention with Bruce’s guitar brilliance. Julie’s deep, passionate vocals graced songs from Patchouli’s latest Album, Anything Is Possible, including “After, After All”, the album’s namesake, and “Hobo’s Lullaby”. Terra Guitarra instrumentals included “Flamaluna” and “Amorantha”.  A sampling of Patchouli favorites included “The Labyrinth”, “Where The Water and The Sky Meet”, and “The Woods”. Following a brief break, their art brought brilliance to the evening with great tempo changes in “The Puzzle”, Julie playing congas to Bruce’s guitar as both sang a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sounds Of Silence”, and Bruce playing a raunchy acoustic guitar in “Elements”. As a final memory, various percussion instruments were given to members of the audience (all others clapped) as all were asked to join in for one last song.

The setting, the music, the personalities shined creating a summer memory. The crowd, at once exhilarated and calmed, shared this memory. Patchouli, in a summer setting or any season for that matter, creates memories.

Green Bay Botanical Gardens -

Scott S Mertens