I’m not familiar with Paul, but juding by his playing and singing, I’d guess he’s been around awhile, gigging away and making audiences smile heartily.
The music here is a really nice mix of good old-fashioned classic rock and roll, blues, and nice soulful ballads. The opener, “Without You,” is a perfect example. Killer slide, nice throaty vocals, and a sound that fits nicely into the classic rock mold but still sounds thoroughly modern. There’s some nice funky blues/rock (“Can’t Get Over You”) that’s as good as it gets. Paul has a slightly chorused sound on this one that matches nicely with the feel. And his licks are tough and imaginative. He knows his way around a rock song.
His ballad playing is excellent, too. “Tonight’s the Night” is a gorgeous song that features very soulful playing and singing. Same for the title cut, which at times sounds like Bad Company. For you folks who like your blues shuffles lazy (in a good way) and melodic while keeping that down-home feel, check out “I’m Blinded.” Nice melodic riffing gives way to some very cool bluesy playing. For sweet bluesy bends and a killer tone, “Can’t Wait to Get Back Home” is as good as it gets. And, for Dave Mason-esque pop rock, give a listen to “Who Are You.” Paul’s vocals and the ever-tasteful playing of all the musicians involved are a real treat.
It’s nice to hear guys who really get it perform. Yes, he’s not a household name and probably never will be. That’s not the point. He’s treating the music as it should be treated. Smoke Ring Records, PO Box 3342, Westport, CT 06880-834, phone (203) 268-8977.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s Sep. ’01 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.