As a performer who can’t help but connect to the audience, my recordings have to have that same connection. It may be an infectious and danceable energy or a quiet intimacy. But the connection must be made.”
A musician since childhood, Paul’s first band Revival was signed to Buddha Records fresh out of high school. The demos for that album were his first recording experience. Talk about a great start! But when Revival ran its course Paul settled in for some dues-paying: cover bands, weddings, sideman gigs.
Eventually he teamed up with fellow New Yorkers David Lulow and Mike Malfesi to form Little Criminals. The sound was an amalgam of Paul’s hook-laden pop-rock and Lulow’s bluesy jazz-inflected funk. Playing regularly in New York City and touring the North- and Southeast they developed a loyal fan base even as they remained a great live act with no label.
When Paul began work on his debut solo album Dancin’ Room, he decided to produce and release it independently, a rarity in an era when you needed a record label to be considered legitimate. The vinyl EP was met by positive reviews (Dancin’ Room is rousing, unpretentious bar-band boogie … good-time, unselfconscious rock-n-roll …” – Stereo Review) and a respectable amount of airplay on major East Coast rock stations. It was only knocked off the playlists when Billy Joel put out a new single. Oh well. Onward.
Tours with respected folk artists such as Tom Chapin, Tom Rush, and Buskin & Batteau put Paul on the Folk City 25th Anniversary Concert album and Tom Rush’s Late Night Radio and Live at Symphony Hall. But his work as a solo artist took a back seat. He continued to gig as a sideman while he, along with other songwriters at the time, starting writing and producing music for commercials and corporate events. Rent, after all, must be paid.
One day Paul got a call from songwriter and film composer friend Michael Bacon. “My brother and I are starting a band,” he said, “and you’re the bass player.” The phone call began a 21-year relationship with Michael and sibling Kevin, the film actor whose other career as a musician and songwriter is now well known. Paul became not only bass player and vocalist in their band but occasionally producer, songwriting partner and music director. Again, Paul added a number of recordings to his credits but still in the sideman category.
The world has since caught up with this long-time DIY artist and he’s taking advantage of the opportunity to connect directly with fans. With so many avenues for finding and reaching music lovers Paul is again putting his songs out there. Artist to audience. No middleman. Add him to your playlist.