Born in Detroit, MI on Valentines Day, Pat Smillie, was the first of two children born to young parents Ronald (an iron worker) and Rose Marie Smillie (an administrative assistant at American Motors). Some of Pat's earliest musical influences included Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, and classic Detroit artists such as Bob Seger, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Mitch Ryder.
In 1996, Pat accepted a Wednesday night residency at the legendary Checkerboard Lounge. He performed there every Wednesday night for well over a year. Later that year, Pat opened for r&b vocalist Andre Williams during his comeback performance at The Beat Kitchen. Williams co-wrote such soul music classics as “Shake Your Tail Feather” and Alvin Cash’s “Twine Time”.
In 2001, Chicago R&B legend Tyrone Davis joined the band on stage during a gig at the Lexus Social Club on Chicago’s west side. Pat and his background vocalists provided back-up vocals for Mr. Davis as he performed “Turning Point”, “Turn Back the Hands of Time”, and “Mom’s Apple Pie”. The evening remains one of the highlights of Pat’s musical career.
Pat Smillie performed at the Chicago Blues Festival in 2003 and 2005.
Over the years, Pat Smillie has served as a support act for blues legends such as Koko Taylor, Bobby Rush, and original “Blues Brother” Dan Aykroyd (who performed with Jim Belushi). More recently, he has opened shows for Mitch Ryder, The Robert Cray Band, and Bob Seger (a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame).
In November 2011, Smillie embarked on his first European tour. Over the course of 3 weeks, Pat and his band performed 20 shows across three countries (Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia) including a performance at the 2011 Blues Alive Festival (in Sumperk, CZ) – one of the biggest blues festivals in Central Europe.
Pat Smillie continues to perform regularly both in Chicago and across the Midwest region of the United States. He is currently writing songs and recording demos for an upcoming studio project.