If you’re the kind of person who believes you can learn all you need to know about someone by eyeing the car they drive, you’ll want to meet Meghan Patrick‘s truck.
The singer is what she sings during “My First Car,” a mid-tempo rocker that celebrates rural country touchstones like dirt bikes, deer hunting and pickup trucks. Hers was an old GMC Sierra that she bought with money made busking and working at the Beer Store in southeastern Ontario. It carried her to sign her record deal with Warner Music Canada before it died half-parked in the label’s parking lot.
“One summer when we were really bored,” Patrick says, recalling stories about an old truck her father still drives around the foundry. “A bunch of my friends and I threw a big tarp in the bed of the truck and filled it up with water and turned it into a redneck hot tub kind of thing.”
She’s laughing now, and starting to wonder who has pictures of this moment. “We just sat in my friend’s driveway and drank beers in the back of my truck,” she adds, “and we thought that was pretty cool.”
That scene is an arm’s length away from the fun described in “My First Car,” her new single, co-written with Adam Craig and Joey Hyde. It was the first song she wrote via Zoom after the quarantine began earlier in 2020, but a longtime friendship with Craig helped make it easy. The title was his idea, and she says he was saving it for a male artist, but figured if there was one female artist could do it, it’d be Meghan.
“My first drink was a warm Busch Lite / My first scar is from an old dirt bike / My first love grew up on the farm / And my first buck is tattooed on my arm / I got it right right out of the gate / Five inch, straight pipe ’98 / Rolling coal Chevrolet lifted up / My first car was a pickup truck,” she sings at the chorus.
Nashville is home now, and Patrick has settled in with a recording contract at Riser House and some serious songwriting and touring interest, but getting here wasn’t easy or quick. The self-proclaimed tomboy says she went through her messy 20s to figure herself out (a 10-piece funk band, a bluegrass band and a dalliance with rock and metal were part of it). It took awhile to figure out how to express herself through music, then some time to quell her competitive spirit. There aren’t necessarily winners and losers in country music like there are sports.
“When I was an athlete,” the former competitive snowboarder says, “I know if I did X, Y and Z, I was gonna get the desired result. Whereas sometimes in music you feel like you’ve done everything you can do, you feel like you’ve done everything right and you may or may not get the result that you hope for.”
That pressure is heightened in an industry that Patrick says she feels pits women against each other at worst, or makes them feel like there’s not enough room for everyone at best. Along with good friends Lainey Wilson and Kacey Tyndall, Patrick has found that’s just not true and there’s little to be gained by believing it is.
“It’s just exhausting to be bitter and comparing yourself to other women all the time, and angry when they succeed and you don’t,” she says. “To me it’s just a wasted emotion.”
There are better things to worry about, like songwriting, the Buffalo Bills (she’s a diehard) and trucks. Before moving to the United States, Patrick bought a 2015 model of the same GMC she owned previously and now drives that around Music Row. This is no small feat in a town that embraces parallel parking, Bird Scooters and tightly-wound parking structures — you’re begging for a tourist to dent your door. A sensible Honda Civic would be a better choice, you might think … but keep it to yourself.
“I will never not own a truck, that’s for sure,” Patrick says. It seems her first and last car will be a pickup truck.
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