Patti Maxine (Santa Cruz, California)
Patti Maxine is one of the finest lap steel guitarists you will ever hear. She is a member of Sherry Austin with Henhouse, The Island Breeze Band and frequently sits in with other local bands including Miss Lonely Hearts, Ho'omana, and The Juncos. Patti began gigging professionally at a young age, and it wasn't long before she gained a reputation for her skillful guitar playing, establishing herself as a top flight musician, and one who was very much in-demand for recording sessions. She is right at home in any style of music, wherever the lap steel guitar can shine. She is also a gifted singer who can touch your heart with her vocal styling.
Patti Maxine grew up in Roanoke, Virginia, where she learned her future stock-in-trade from her lap steel guitar teacher Elmer Ridenhour. It was Ridenhour's idea that Patti, who was 14 at the time, learned to play the lap steel guitar. Originally, she had wanted to learn standard guitar, but fell in love with the lap steel. Its expressive vocal-like quality easily won her over. A quick study, Patti was soon performing on an instrument where females were a rarity in those days. At 17, she won the International Lap Steel competition in Ohio. She also developed a passion for Hawaiian music, a style of music where the lap steel guitar plays a major role. Her deftness on the instrument has led to performing with such high profile, popular Hawaiian musicians as Eddie Kamae, Cyril Pahanui, John Cruz, Stephen Inglis and Kimo West.
In the mid-'70s, Patti relocated to Santa Cruz and was one of the original members of Saddle Up & Boogie, bringing Western Swing-oriented music to the Monterey Bay Area. Four decades later, she is still one of the busiest, most in-demand, musicians in town, performing as a solo act, and within many other groups and configurations. Patti is also very active in education and a supporter of Guitars Not Guns, a non-profit youth music program. With her signature long thick grey locks, she is the co-founder of the Patti Maxine Living Wig Foundation, a fundraiser for WomenCare.