By 1971, after the release of their second album, Hold Your Fire, Patto were in dire straits. Both of their first two albums, didn’t do well and soon they decided to move to another label which was Chris Blackwell’s label, Island Records after support from their producer Muff Winwood. With the release of their third album released in 1972 entitled, Roll ‘em, Smoke ‘em, Put Another Line Out, this shows the band with a laid-back sound and having their sense of humor in their music.
Now with a reissue done by Esoteric Recordings, listening to their third album, is showing not just their sense of humor, but knowing they are having a blast and grand time between the four members. And the four centerpieces on the album that you might want to take note. Loud Green Song shows Patto going into a proto-punk mode while Ollie lays down some hard riffs and heavy lead sections as it’s this cross between Iggy & the Stooges Raw Power-era and The Groundhogs Split album.
When you listen to Mummy not only is it a weird and surreal piece, but there are at times the spoken dialog is going through at times a Dalek-sque moment. Just listen to the piece to the end and you get to find out what happens next and believe me, it’s bizarre, but funny at the same time. Turn Turtle is their nod to B. Bumble and the Stingers’ Bumble Boogie on the rockin’ thump with the piano.
Mike himself brings the soulful blues in his arrangement on the vocals, followed by a mysterious chorus section that is something straight out the shorts between Tom & Jerry and Tex Avery’s 1941 animated Bugs Bunny short, Tortoise Beats Hare. When you listen to, I Got Rhythm, it has this swamp rock intro in the styles of CCR and Clive’s dooming/fuzz tone Bass, Mike’s Electric Piano,
Ollie’s sliding guitars taking you the Louisiana River’s in the hottest part of the summer.
It’s almost as if they’ve taken us down to both the Mississippi and Louisiana swamps by steamboat as Mike takes you to those areas as the band follow his lead as he both sings and speaks in the section on digging James Brown’s music and his roots between the Jazz and Blues while John Halsey’s drumming on the snare takes you to the circus. The three bonus tracks are BBC Radio One sessions recorded on January 24th, 1973 in which Patto did for the late great John Peel.
When you listen to General Custer, Ollie does this medieval riff, but lays down the blues rhythmic vibe followed by Dave Brooks’ sax following along. Halsall is often overlooked in the history of guitar players. He never gets the recognition he deserves, and he deserves a gigantic stamp of approval. Flat Footed Woman is much better than the studio version, this session is everything recorded live and it’s quite a nod to Steve Winwood and Traffic as the band honors their sound.
Clive’s bass on Singing the Blues on Reds comes to the forefront as he plays like a real bass player doing this incredible riff in the styles of Bootsy Collins and Herbie Hancock bassist Paul Jackson as Ollie follows his riff to capture the heavier blues rockin’ sound. Mike is nailing it down as I can imagine he goes back and forth between Ollie and Clive to know they’re an amazing collaboration together.
The 16-page booklet contains liner notes and an interview with John Halsey by Sid Smith. It contains photos, reviews, and concert promotions including one in which they opened for Ten Years After, Joe Cocker and the Chris Stainton Band, and one of Bill Graham’s posters at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium. Listening to Roll ‘em, Smoke ‘em, Put Another Line Out, is quite an overlooked gem that had been lost for centuries, but shows how much Patto were way ahead of the ball game.