Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Singer/songwriter Pat Haney didn't set his sights on a career as a recording artist. In fact, he never even referred to himself as a musician. He held onto his job as a gas jockey in Kentucky for a little while even after his debut, Wrong Rite of Passage, was released in 2000. Getting him to talk about his gift for storytelling is no easy task. When the topic turns to the subject of his talent, the mellow Haney grows even more modest. He admires those he calls "master singer/songwriters," a list of craftsmen and artists headed by Kris Kristofferson and John Prine, but shies away from placing himself anywhere near their level. He only learned how to play the guitar during his teen years because that was what most of the other kids were doing in his high school. Haney was more interested in poetry and a storytelling. A native of Kentucky's Edmondson County, Haney grew up in the city of Bowling Green. His parents exposed him to Dixieland jazz and a list of folk-rock artists that included Simon & Garfunkel and Janis Ian. At Western Kentucky University, where he majored in history, he earned an associate's degree but fell a few months short of earning a bachelor's.
When he discovered the passion and magic a song could hold, thanks to songwriters like Kristofferson and Prine, Haney was hooked. While attending college, he began to write songs while also holding down a variety of jobs that included laying carpet, clerking in a liquor store, and working on a Mississippi River towboat. For his own satisfaction, he began to transcribe his songs. Eventually he committed them to tape, thanks to a friend's contribution of 375 dollars that allowed him to record four tunes. That recording session prompted the studio's proprietor to recommend that Haney contact a man he knew who was scouting for new talent. That man turned out to be Envoy Communications' Ben Ewing, who wasted no time in offering to manage Haney. When Ewing opened Envoy Disc Records, Haney also had a deal to record for the new label. The singer/songwriter went on to record Wrong Rite of Passage with Ewing as the album's producer.