Review: The Tall Paul Band – Sleeper

Posted on: Sunday, Aug 26, 2012

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The Tall Paul Band – Sleeper

(self -produced: available from CD Baby)

As Jim Lipson of the ‘Tucson Weekly’ matter-of-factly states; “Tall Paul Webner has been flying under the local radar for more than twenty years, playing off nights in bars often well off the beaten path.” Paul, who was born in Canada, spent his early life in Washington D.C. in his youth he learnt how to play violin and trombone,  though he finally chose the guitar as his favoured instrument.

He eventually settled in Tucson, Arizona and while soaking up the sun and the musical surroundings he pursued a career in music, forming the Tall Paul Band with Kevin Heiderman on bass and Les Merrihew on drums, in nineteen ninety-eight. On this their debut album, there are eleven numbers, nine originals and two covers, which are; Ike Turners “ Matchbox,”  which has a dreamy, grooving bass slapping Rockabilly feel, sharpened by searingly fruity guitar work and an overarching solo. While “Come To Poppa,”  is a transposition of the Koko Taylor and Etta James classic “Come To Mama,” a satisfying combination of  brooding vocals, guitar and a moody low chugging bassline.

One of two instrumentals, “Space Race,” highlights the inventive use of key changes and reverb combined with insistent drumwork to create a stunning shoulder shifting fifties Link Wray /Shadows spooky extraterrestrial feel, the other “Don’t Leave,” is a slow  sensitively twisting mixture of Jazz inflections  over a Rumba beat. Paul’s warmly sublime, almost western swing sound that he produces from his ES-355 is treat to the ears as is his equally melodiously matching voice.

“Sleeper,” is driven by an earnest urging bassline, all the while an agitated churning guitar is on the prowl. The subtle attention to detail and the unusual sparing use of the amplifier on this album, merely enhances the attraction of T.P.B. Excellent! Recommended!

BRIAN HARMAN

www.tallpaulband.com

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