Below is the review courtesy of Deke Donovan, reviewer for the Power Performers of Music. It’s a site dedicated to finding up and coming talent. Special thanks to my friend Charlie Ecker from the C.R. Ecker Band for sending Deke my song. Jersey boys stick together!
I remember a saying a long time ago that “when it’s ten to two, all the twos are tens.” And the guys still standin’ at the bar were’nt talkin’ basic math. Did have something to do with the amount of alcohol they were consuming. So this leads us to drinkin’ songs and the massive number of them out there over the years, from “I Like Beer” (Tom T. Hall)), “Drinkin’ ‘n Dreamin’”, (Waylon Jennings), “Drink on It” (Blake Shelton) and “Drink in My Hand” (Eric Church) . There are probably 500 more but space is tight in this here review. However, there is a new tune with a big foamy head that is gonna’ get noticed, you bet! It’s called “Beer Holder,” sung by newcomer Paul Street. In it, he eloquently relates, with what seems like a straight face, how “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beer Holder.” What a line! What a singer, too. Paul, from New Jersey, has a million-dollar song that’s a bunch of traditional country fun. It’s one of a mix of traditional and uptown country fare ranging from “Breath Love In” to “When I First Loved You.” There is something for everyone from start to finish with a consistent a peaceful, easy feelin’ to be sure.
1 Lady Antebellum Dancin’ away with my heart
2 Ashley Robertson Finished With You
3 Lady Antebellum We Owned The Night
4 George Strait Here For A Good Time
5 Robert Mizzell Cajun Dance
6 Rodney Atkins Take a Back Road
7 The Band Perry All Your Life
8 Jake Owen Barefoot Blue Jean night
9 Connie Smith Long Line Of Heartaches
10 Lady Antebellum Just A Kiss
11 Hallur Why Should We Try Anymore
12 Belle Cannon Party
13 Ann Pascoe Texas Sidestep
14 Pistol Annies Hell on Heels
15 Dave Sheriff My Baby’s Never Wrong
16 Eric Church Springsteen
17 Sunny Sweeney Drink Myself Single
18 Miss Jeanie One Heart Away
19 Lynn Davis Anytime
20 Dierks Bentley Diamonds Make Babies
21 The Oak Ridge Boys Louisiana Red Dirt Highway
22 Blake Shelton Sunny in Seattle
23 Blake Shelton God gave me you
24 DeLon Hey Girl
25 Doug Jones Just Another Trucker Passing By
26 Peter Small In My Arms
27 Miranda Lambert Over You
28 Shawna Russell Everybody’s got a Story
29 Sharon Herron Somebodys Angel
30 Blake Shelton Drink On It
31 Darren Mullins Brady Of Strabane
32 T. Graham Brown Sip By Sip 33 Paul Street Maybe Try Again
34 David Wood From The Bottle To The Bottom
35 Jannet Bodewess City Girl
36 JR Williams Hello & Welcome
37 Tim Culpepper Ghost
38 Will Banister Turned her on to country
39 Danny Mayers The Ride
40 Carleen Still Walkin’, Talkin’, Cryin’
1 Billy Currington Love Done Gone
2 Cowboy Larry & Sharon Larkin Size Seven Round, Made Of Gold
3 Eric Church Springsteen
4 Scooter Lee Boogie woogie rhythm
5 Bonnie Paul A Home
6 Lonestar Y.O.U.
7 Jamey Johnson Heartache
8 Brian Coy and the Remaining Few Highest of the Low
9 Jody Jenkins Brings Back Amarillo
10 Ashley Robertson Finished With You
11 Lady Antebellum We Owned The Night
12 George Strait Here For A Good Time
13 The Band Perry All Your Life
14 Jake Owen Barefoot Blue Jean night
15 Lady Antebellum Just A Kiss
16 Hallur Why Should We Try Anymore
17 Eric Church Drink In My Hand
18 Pistol Annies Hell on Heels
19 Sunny Sweeney Drink Myself Single
20 Alan Jackson So You Don’t Have To Love Me Anymore
21 Lady Antebellum Dancin’ away with my heart
22 The Oak Ridge Boys Louisiana Red Dirt Highway
23 Blake Shelton Sunny in Seattle
24 Blake Shelton God gave me you
25 Liana Wallinder Wild & Free
26 Alison Krauss & Union Station Paper Airplane 27 Paul Street Maybe Try Again
28 Israel David Back in Waco
29 Rascal Flatts Banjo
30 Mark Blomsteel Barbed Wire
31 Derrick Mehaffey Under A Mexican Sky
32 Lisa McHugh I’m a little bit lonely
33 Shurman Inspiration
34 Miranda Lambert Baggage clain
Hollywood depicts a music producer mostly as a slick dressed, sunglass wearing, lurking in the shadows type. While this may be true of some, it is certainly not the norm for today’s music scene. A producer is a mysterious title for some to grasp; and it should be. The producer wears many hats. Sometimes a musician, sometimes a therapist. Sometimes a babysitter, sometimes a fire starter. You see for every project someone puts their name on as a “producer”, they are sticking their neck and reputation on the line. Since we live in a “what have you done for me lately” world, a producer must have a finger on the pulse of the music industry. And while some producers have a signature sound, like what Mutt Lange does for Def Leppard, some are transparent and shift between genres like a homebound traveler at rush hour changes lanes. So it’s hard to identify the producer of the music your listening to on the radio.
Often an unsung hero, they take the credit, or the blame for every project. A daunting task at best. I produce Paul Street records myself. Sometimes it is hard to stay objective because I am incredibly hard on myself. I agonized over every detail from breath noise to the sound of the snare drum to the format of the song. It is very time-consuming and often the things I am working on at the very end of the project will go unnoticed to most listeners. But if I didn’t make the necessary changes, the record would be good, not great. I don’t do anything half way. Paul Street is all in or nothin’ at all!
A wise man once said the creativity is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. The craft of songwriting is just that; a craft. Something you work at and perfect. Everytime I pick up the guitar or sit at the piano, I play random chords and rhythms, hum melodies and go “soul searching”. Sometimes the story line is driven by my own experiences like my song “My Daddy Does“. Other times it’s about a friend who shared their story with me. Make no mistake; either way I take my words seriously (or silly-ishly depending on my mood). Each song is a mini therapy session. Meant to invoke laughter or sadness, or to get you, the listener, to focus on what you need to do that day as in my song “Breathe Love In” from the Streetwise CD. The greatest thing about songwriting is that you are always trying to write better songs. It’s knowing that I can always improve that keeps pushing me. There are no limits to creativity.
If you scroll down the list below you will find “You Can’t Go Back”, from my Temporary Sanity CD at number 92 on the playlist from the good people at Real Country in Japan. I get a lot of airplay overseas. Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands…all big fans of Paul Street! It’s exciting to know that someone half way around the world, who has never met you, is interested in your music. To date, Lee Ann from my Streetwise CD is still our most downloaded song on iTunes, with the most downloads coming from Germany! Keep an eye (and ear) out for more playlists right here!
The vocal is the center of Country Music… the story is king. You need to have the right gear (and ears) to get the job done.
I have assembled a few tools over the years that help me in the recording process. At the center is the Lawson L47MP microphone. A mic that uses tubes (yes like your Mom’s old TV set from the 70’s) to provide a larger than life quality to every Paul Street track. Next comes the “Big Red Box”….A Fearn VT-2 Tube Microphone preamp. A mic preamp raises the volume of the source to make it louder and easier to record. Finally my vocal goes through a Cranesong Trakker compressor. A compressor’s job is to control dynamic range. From a whisper to a scream, it will keep the levels even as not to explode and distort the vocal performance. Through careful tweaking, I am able to record my voice so that you can’t tell any of these devices are working.
Recording vocals is by far my favorite and most difficult part of the record making process. In the end, if the story doesn’t translate to you the listener, it doesn’t matter what I’ve used to record my voice. The performance is what matters. With the right tools, the performance comes easier.
When a great story recorded with great gear meets up with a great performance… it’s like magic.
When I set out to do the follow up record to Streetwise I knew it would be a challenge. You have your whole life to write your first one then just a short time to write the next. Will it be as good? Can I go through that process again? It takes many months of organization and many people to make it a true Paul Street project. Having my own recording studio is a huge advantage. Being able to work on the record at any time of the day allows me the freedom to listen and make adjustments over a period of time. It also allows procrastination. Self producing is a difficult task. I have a few trusted colleagues to listen and give their advice, but otherwise it’s me and the music. Finishing the music is only half the job however. Then people need to hear it. This is when you have to take a detour from music man to salesman.
This is an issue for any creative endeavor. You create, then you sell. How comfortable are you with making that transition… I’d love to know, so please leave me some comments telling me your story!