A Shot at Success

By Megan Looney
Photos by Paul Body

San Diego-born songstress Leanna Patterson has long, turquoise hair that matches her eyes, and a unique thrift-store style that complements her whiskey-tainted tunes. She and Puck, her husband-slash-band-mate, are The Whiskey Circle, a local indie rock duo whose moniker references a favorite household ritual.

“My entire family plays music,” says Patterson. “We sit in a misshapen circle, and there’s whiskey in the middle. Whenever we feel like we’re getting a little rough with the singing, we just take a shot.”

The 25-year-old singer-songwriter, guitarist and aspiring producer also blends music and whiskey at her other gig - bartending at The Merrow (Gaelic for “mermaid” or “merman”), a Hillcrest bar that hosts up-and-coming artists nearly every night of the week. It’s where The Whiskey Circle, which performs regularly at House of Blues, The Casbah and Soda Bar, can be found taking the stage on Monday’s open mic nights. To help make sure The Whiskey Circle and her professional musical future resonate with listeners, Patterson studies music engineering at Miramar College.

“I’m going to school because I want things to be my way,” she says. “I could explain it [to a producer] ‘til I’m blue in the face, but I don’t feel like it will ever be communicated the right way unless I just do it myself."And with that, this musicianon- the-rise is giving her career a shot in more ways than one.,

The Merrow
1271 University Ave., Hillcrest