Paul’s latest recording, “When I Get Old,” is an eclectic mix of songs which holds together as a cohesive whole. With his wry sense of humor and quirky insights, Paul explores the lighter side of road trips, the fun in getting old, and whether we get hungry or cold after we die. A reviewer described the album as: “…songs that are simple at first blush, but quietly reveal themselves as little gems.”
“When I Get Old” begins – as do many of Paul’s recordings – with acoustic guitar and vocals. From there we visit many sound worlds from Paul’s eclectic musical influences: folk, pop, rock, blues guitar and harmonica, atmospheric cello and clarinet, twangy country guitars, Latin percussion, punk, spacious prog rock, and evocative vocal harmonies.
Paul incorporates all of his influences to create songs that are tightly composed. Because he works with skilled producers, the songs are carefully arranged, using just the right instrumentation to bring out the essence of each song. His topics range from love songs – reminiscent of Neil Young and James Taylor – to tender and humorous memories of childhood, to metaphysical, dream-like ponderings, and on to much quirkier topics. Add his love of literature, reading and writing, and you get lyric-focused songs of high quality. Let yourself be drawn in by his humor, insight, compassion and thoughtfulness.
Here is Paul’s description of the songs:
Simon – I’m the third oldest of ten kids; the oldest of seven boys. That means I have a lot of experience with facing the indignity of having a new baby brother. Suddenly, everybody is so in love with the new baby, that they hardly pay attention to me anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love my brothers, but is that fair? Oh, and none of them are named Simon. I changed the name to protect the guilty.
Hot Day in the City – For my long-term life-partner and wife. I wrote it for her 50th birthday. I asked myself what I could say about her, and this is what I got. The most difficult writing assignment I have ever taken on.
I Think of You – a break-up song. It can take a while to adjust, when that person is no longer there. The title was inspired by Johnny Mercer’s lyrics to the song “I Thought About You.”
Geese – I wrote this walking to and from work, by a lake along the way. The seasons go around. Children grow up into old folks, someday the old folks leave. For inspiration many thanks go to Joni Mitchell, Mary Oliver and Chuck Berry.
When I Get Old – I grew up around old men who smoked cigars and laughed out loud. What keeps us from completely letting go and indulging our worst habits? In my case, I still want the affection of those I love.
I Wish Mom Would Come – at the YMCA in our decaying old mill town my brothers and I took swimming lessons. Our mom was not always on time picking us up…
Hot Summer Nights – Do you ever wish you could go back to your childhood home?
Knuckleheads – Seriously, what you gonna do about them?
Pancakes, Bacon and Eggs – On a cross-country road trip I noticed one morning that I’d been having the same breakfast each day; but each day in a different town. That interested me.
About You – another break-up song. Boy, it can take a while sometimes.
The Dead – Growing up, I heard about life after death. What if it’s the other way around?
You Were the Mountains – Sometimes living gets overwhelming.