NERDO DOES MUSIC: “Rubber & Glue” by Patrick Ames

Patrick Ames, Rubber & Glue

Welcome back to the second edition of NERDO DOES MUSIC for the day. This site is practically becoming a music website, which isn’t the worst thing in the world. There’s a lot of new acts, songs, and albums to discover here in the last few months. Don’t sleep on any of them, especially not Shotgun Sadie. That song has stuck with me for a while. I still find myself humming it from time to time. It’s wonderful.

Speaking of, we’re here for another great track. This is by an artist named Patrick Ames. The song is called “Rubber & Glue,” one of three new singles released by Ames recently. The other two were called “Essential Workers” and “Second Wave.” They were centered around the pandemic. “Rubber & Glue” is much more light. Its lyrical simplicity and raw, fun vibe suck you into the song very quick.

Here’s a look at the lyrics before I post the song, so you know the fun ride you’re getting into when you press play.

I like to move around /But lately I have found
You got the kind of face / makes me stay in one place
I’m rubber, you’re glue / And I’m stuck on you

I drift around and I sing / You sit down to chat
I’m busy until I fall asleep / maybe you can help me with that
I’m rubber, you’re glue / And I’m stuck on you

It’s funny how things attract / Like magnets do when they smack
We’re kinda different you know / But we still kiss toe to toe
I’m stuck on you
I’m stuck on you
I’m stuck on you
We’re rubber, you’re glue

Like a fly caught on flypaper / Life begs sooner than later
There’s not a whole lot to do / But hang out in your dressing room
I’m stuck on you
I’m stuck on you
I’m stuck on you
We’re rubber, you’re glue

That’s it. Simple and fun but the talented musicians behind this track make it all work. There’s a certain twang to it all. You can feel the influence of greats like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits. This is yet another example of a talented artist with something to say.

There’s more on his mind than the surface level.

He was quoted, as he expanded on the themes behind “Rubber & Glue.”

The song Rubber & Glue has been around for a few years in my world and it has that nice worn leather kind of feel. It’s comfortable, you’ve heard it before, you like it, how far along do you start singing the lyrics? It shows my heritage. We were kids in the 1960s, playing baseball on Toledo’s streets at the height of Motown’s pull and songs like Rubber & Glue were everywhere on the radio – take a known expression and make it into a song. From I Heard It on the Grapewine to Cloud Nine I played my best baseball to those endless songs on a transistor radio tuned to CKLW.

For this Rubber & Glue, I recorded by mic’ing to the studio amp and then laying over the vocals. For some reason it got a little swampy, as in Mississippi river blues, which Jon Ireson, our producer, bassist, and acoustic guitarist, managed to save and embellish. The swampyness saves the song from going to close to pop. Dare I say Muscle Shoals. Chana and Mikaela recorded separate sessions, as I watched on Zoom with comments and direction. Chana has the high spots on this one with her Yeah, Yeah voice. Instant classic.

Jon Ireson, Producer, pieced it all together. Playing bass, and guitar, and fixing all he “artifacts” in my studio recodings, and the vocalists home kitchen. Jon really gave it that simple, Motown beat and rythym and blues.

You can feel the chemistry on the track between all the players involved. It’s genuinely clear how well everything came together. They were all at the top of their game in the recording, but that’s enough of me talking about it.

Let’s get you linked to “Rubber & Glue,” so you can see yourself.

Stream “Rubber and Glue”:
Stream on Spotify.

Wasn’t that awesome? It draws you in right away from the opening drum beat. The second it kicked in, my thought was “oh, okay,” and I snapped right to attention. It’s a fun, very blues-y track. “Rubber & Glue” wouldn’t be out of place if he busted it out in a blues bar. As a fan of all things blues, especially the vibe and feeling…

This song was right up my alley.

I hope you guys enjoyed this new track. Before we get to the close out, here are more links to follow Patrick Ames.

Youtube Channel

Now, for the official ending. I found a lot of biographical information, so I’m going to go out on that. Get more out there about Patrick Ames, because if you ask me, he’s a talent worth knowing about.

See you next time on NERDO DOES MUSIC.


In the heart of wine country in California, you may encounter the proper wordsmith and storyteller, Patrick Ames. Patrick is a man who plays to his own inner muse, revealing a complex set of inspirations and incantations from the eclectic songwriter. One can expect more than a dash of the raw, dark, and mournful, along with hopeless romance, artistic conviction, and a fiercely in-the-moment, DIY approach where the recording style is both instrument and live-ness detector.

And what you soon learn is that Patrick Ames is passionate. Writing/literature is a passion. Lyrics and poetry are passions. Melody/guitar/music writing is a passion. Nature and wine country are passions. Spirituality and inner connection, passion. Psychological pursuits, passion. Anything activist or community-related are passions. Knowledge, education, are passions.Ames smiles, “Wine makes you passionate.”  

Ames discusses growing up in a household full of music and how that became a part of his musical consciousness:

“My mother sang opera and also in the church choir (I’m a choir brat). My very older brothers listened to 1960s hits and bands, and my father to Pop radio. We were close to Detroit, so it was Motown, Motown, Motown, or Puccini.  And for some reason I knew who the songwriters were, like Holland, Dozer, Holland. Then Glen Campbell broke through and I remember adoring him. He had a TV show. He had a guitar and he wrote songs! I still think his Wichita Lineman is extraordinary.”

Ames started writing songs in 1968 when he was 14 years old. He inherited a guitar and dozens of classic albums from his older brothers who went off to college. An avid songwriter and performer during his own college tenure, he went into book publishing after attempting the music circuit in 1976. It would be 25 years before he would play seriously again. “I bought my son a cheap Fender and amp. He didn’t like it. I loved it. I cranked it up and played with abandon. And then it all came back, in spades.”

Much of Ames’s professional life has been in technical book publishing, which for him carries several parallels to what he’s doing now.

“Book publishing is exactly like being a music producer. The end product is a finished work of communication, and the path from early inspiration to finish is a drug. And you keep doing it to get the drug. Writing songs is like writing poems, only with more tools at your disposal: you have melody, rhythm, human voices, syncopation, and on and on. Songs can become these extraordinary 3D poems. And I think a good LP/EP is just like a book, with songs like chapters, and all these themes criss-crossing.”

Now, in his early 60’s, Ames has returned to songwriting armed with decades of word-smithing, book publishing, and decades of practice. Through a series of experimental EP and LP releases, including “Four Faces,” “Like Family,” “Affettuosos,” “Standard Candles,” and “All I Do Is Bleed,” he has established his personal signature with a gravelly, heart-on-the-sleeve voice box and carefully considered lyrics. Critics are sitting up.

“I tell stories, so lyrics and music come hand in hand. It usually starts with a musical riff and then I match that riff with some kind of striking lyric. So I have a musical riff and a lyrical riff. Then, as a story, I let those two fly together and piece the story together.” For example, his last EP release came with a doozie of a title – “All I Do Is Bleed”. When asked about the meaning, Ames smiles, “Passions can overwhelm you.”

All I Do Is Bleed crossed an artistic boundary for Ames. During the EP project, Ames visited Buenos Aires and brought back mucho Latin inspiration. You can hear it in the tracks, acoustic guitar work and percussion, just like the streets of San Telmo in Buenos Aires. From R&B Downtempo, to American Top 40, to Classical Crossover, to Latin Folk/Pop, the EP confirmed his propensity to travel through music with his stories and emotions. And he shares the stage with his two vocalists, mother and daughter, Chana and Mikaela Matthews, and add an Argentinian guitarist, Paulo Augustin Rzeszut.

Much like in Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen’s writing, Patrick’s lyrics reveal at times a wry  black humor and matter-of-fact delivery. Lines like “While you were making babies I sat on the sofa all by myself. While you were making babies I decided to go down and visit Hell.” illustrate this knack perfectly.

Remember wine country? Ames lives in a Napa vineyard where he writes, records, and plays for the grapes at practice time.

“Lots of people love wine and the world of wine (tasting, collecting, etc) but few people get to live in the vineyard.  I live in one, and it is hauntingly beautiful. It’s not like a cornfield…the vineyards are pampered and coaxed to produce, and the way they are watered, pruned, and picked is special. The land can be remotely wild, filled with animals and critters, and it can be very rural living there.  The music that I write, and play, is not so much Americana as it is what I call Wine Country music: it’s a mix of heady folk, basic rock, classic Motown, and choral music with an artistic and intellectual bent. Best heard with a glass of wine.”

So far, Ames has stuck to DIY production approaches, experimenting with studio live-ness and recording. It’s unusual in folk/acoustic music for such experimentation but his latest 6-track release, Liveness (April, 2020), showcases his banshee wail and devoted disposition.

Ames is married to Elizabeth Ames, a woman’s rights advocate, with one son. He performs at small venues around the SF Bay Area and Napa preferring intimate settings with the audience.