Austin singer/songwriter Patrice Pike is known to many as the electric front woman for the seminal Austin jam band Sister Seven. For the decade of the 90s, she lived the occasionally glamorous life of an ascendant rock star, proclaimed regularly by magazines including Rolling Stone to be the next big thing. Sister Seven opened tours for the Dave Matthews Band and Blues Traveler, among many others, and played all the major festivals. And then, before stardom ever fully materialized, it evaporated. The band lost its label affiliation in the much publicized Arista shakeup that culminated in the firing of music industry legend Clive Davis. They disbanded in 2000.
Even as the band was flaming out, Pike was already in the process of being reenergized as a songwriter. Her solo material has taken an increasingly narrative turn. Over the past decade, she has independently released four acclaimed solo records, showcasing her socially astute, literate lyrics alongside her powerful vocals. She has toured relentlessly, both in the U.S. and overseas, building an impressive grassroots fan base.
In 2006, she made a decision bewildering to many of her fans—she accepted an invitation to appear on a reality television show called Rockstar Supernova. Framed as a rock ‘n roll version of American Idol, the kitschy Tommy Lee vehicle was a ratings weakling and the tour it spawned was a bust. There was a silver lining for Pike—she didn’t win. And as is her custom, she rebounded nicely. Long a fixture on the Austin Music Awards, she virtually swept them in 2007, nabbing Musician of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rock Band, and Best Female Vocalist. (No small feat in the “live music capital of the world”.) She was also inducted into the prestigious Austin Music Hall of Fame alongside Lucinda Williams, among others.
The resilient Pike has been able to adapt repeatedly to a rapidly changing music landscape that bears no resemblance to the one she entered as a 19 year old. She has continued to grow and evolve as both a songwriter and a performer, and is currently producing arguably the finest work of her twenty-year music career even as she confronts the uncertainty of an industry in steep decline. She is now known to Northern Californians more for her many appearances at Strawberry and the High Sierra Music Festival than for her Sister Seven days. Long a respected social and environmental activist, she is also the co-founder and now executive director of the Grace Foundation of Texas, an organization that provides services for homeless teens. An accomplished snowboarder and avid runner and surfer, she continues to travel the globe extensively. She has a disciplined meditation and Yoga practice.
In short, she leads a rich, full, varied life that looks absolutely nothing like what she was aiming for when she embarked on her journey in music twenty years ago.
Patrice is the co-founder and executive director for the Grace Foundation of Texas, an organization that provides support for young adult survivors of homelessness.
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- patricepikeband: That was a great show last night! Now Glenn and I are off to the West Coast starting tomorrow. Come on out if... http://fb.me/ZIi5bixI
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The Grace Foundation of Texas was established in 2006 by co-founders Patrice Pike and Todd Young in response to the needs of a single young person they were moved to directly assist.
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