Born in Detroit, Pat Smillie, was the first of two children born to young parents Ron (an iron worker) and Rose Marie Smillie. Some of Pat's earliest musical influences included Motown artists such as The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, as well as, blue-eyed soul rockers such as Bob Seger and Mitch Ryder. Smillie has also cited legendary vocalists such as Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles, and Joe Cocker as important influences.
In 1992, Smillie moved to Chicago. By 1996, he was offered a weekly residency performing at the legendary Checkerboard Lounge. Smillie earned his reputation as a performer on Chicago's hard-scrabble south and west sides the hard way: without a guitar, harmonica, or any other instrument to fall back upon. All Smillie had to offer was his gritty voice and an electrifying stage show. He used that voice to follow in the footsteps of some of his Chicago soul singing mentors including Tyrone Davis (who offered Smillie his first headlining gig) and Otis Clay.
Pat Smillie has performed twice at the Chicago Blues Festival (in 2003 and 2005). He and his band also toured Europe (Poland, Czech Republic, and Slovakia) and performed at the 2011 Blues Alive Festival (in Sumperk, CZ).
Over the years, Pat Smillie has shared the stage with many of Chicago's top blues and r&b stars including Otis Clay and Tyrone Davis. He has also served as an opening act for musical legends including: Koko Taylor, Bobby Rush, Andre Williams, “Blues Brother” Dan Aykroyd, Mitch Ryder, Robert Cray, and most recently Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band.
Since 2010, Smillie has frequently appeared as a featured vocalist with legendary Detroit guitarist, Jim McCarty (formerly of Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels and CACTUS). Their continued collaborations have become a popular draw both in and around the Detroit area.
In the Summer of 2015, frustrated by the decline of Chicago's live music scene, Pat Smillie finally returned to live in his hometown of Detroit, MI. He is currently writing songs and recording demos for an upcoming studio project.
Pat Smillie performs regularly at Northern Lights Lounge (in Detroit, MI) with world-reknown guitarist (and Motown Funk Brother), Dennis Coffey, on the First Tuesday of Every Month. 8pm - 11:30pm. Free admission.
SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY: "I Got an Angel" (1999) / "Letter to Hampton" (2003) / "Down by the River" (2007)