Tag Archives: Tawl Paul

Blues Blast Magazine review of Tawl Paul’s That’s Just How I Am

24 Apr

In its latest ( 4-23-20) issue, the well known e-zine Blues Blast  reviewed Tawl Paul’s album  That’s Just How I Am, which was released around the start of 2020. Here’s the review:

 

that's just how

 

CD: 12 Songs, 42 Minutes

Styles: Blues Covers, Traditional Electric and Acoustic Blues

Perhaps no other musical genre is more intertwined with longevity than the blues. Rock has long verged from the path Elvis Presley and the Beatles trod. Country sounds less and less like Jimmie Rodgers and more and more like Luke Bryan. Move over, Madonna: Billie Eilish is fast becoming the Queen of Pop. In the blues world, however, the Waters are still Muddy and BB still reigns as King. Masters and originators are venerated, emulated, and invoked at every turn. Even Chicagoland’s Tawl Paul, on his latest CD, tips his hat to such greats as Bobby Charles (“Walking to New Orleans”), Hambone Willie Newborn (“Rollin’ and Tumblin’”), Richard M. Jones (“Trouble in Mind”), and John Prine (“Hello in There). The vast majority of these covers work – six in total – but some, such as “Autumn Leaves,” are a tad chaotic. The ensemble of artists is top-notch, and even though Paul’s vocals show his age, he remains a contender. His original work, such as “Baldheaded Blues” and the title track, are remarkably catchy.

Growing up on Chicago’s South Side, Paul Frederick got hard by the blues and soul, falling in love with them. He grew up to serve with the Army in Vietnam, then came to Carbondale in the early 1970s to attend college. Soon afterward, he joined a band and discovered two things: He was born to sing, and Carbondale was his home. For fifty years, he’s sung the blues, making himself into one of the local scene’s most revered performers. He’s enriched Carbondale so much that in 2013, Mayor Joel Fritzler declared June 23rd Tawl Paul Day. On top of that, local bar PK’s now holds an annual Tawl Paul Weekend every June in his honor, with local music greats coming out and alumni returning in droves to pay homage.

Along with Tawl Paul (vocals) are Kent McDaniel on guitars, bass and finger snaps; drummers Kegan Doty, Chris Butler, and Alpha Stewart; Mike Arthur and Mel Goot on keyboards; Dorothy McDaniel on flute and bass; Chris McKinley and Kathy Livingston on harmony vocals; Lew Hendrix on banjo, and John Temmermen on sax.

“Baldheaded Blues” comes first out of Paul’s original material, a spot-on Chicago-style shuffle. “I’ve got these lines in my face, but I sure ain’t over that hill,” he tells a prospective lover with cheeky charm. Mel Goot’s piano keyboards are a hoot, as is Kent McDaniel’s guitar. “Big Jim” is a lot grittier and a little bit wittier, a ballad about another denizen of Chi-town’s South Side. The title track has an earworm refrain: “Hello, sir or ma’am. That’s just how I am.” Do people change? Maybe so or maybe not, but in the end one’s true character shines through.

When local blues icons like Mr. Frederick continue to proclaim their love for the music and the fans who make it all possible, it often has more impact on a community than a CD by a household-name artist. Let’s hope Tawl Paul keeps it up for years to come!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 40 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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April 23 issue

 

 

Big Jim

26 Jul

b.l.u.e.s.Posting “Big Jim” here, a song we just recorded. It’s blues. To give it a listen, click on the link below this paragraph.  The lyrics are under the recording, and there’s a paragraph below them about how I happened to write the song.

 

BIG JIM

FOLKS CALL HIM BIG JIM

HE’S GOOD TO ROCK ALL NIGHT

FOLKS CALL HIM BIG JIM

LORD, HE WAS BORN TO ROCK ALL NIGHT

ALL HE’S GOT IS THEM THERE BAD BLUES

HE SINGS ‘EM WITH ALL HIS MIGHT

HE GREW UP ON THE SOUTH SIDE

IT WAS TOO COLD TO HIM ROUND THERE

THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO

IT WAS TOO COLD TO HIM ROUND THERE

NOW HE LIVES IN JACKSON COUNTY

IT’S HIS HOME, HE DOES DECLARE

THEY GAVE JIM A GUN

AND SENT HIM OFF TO FIGHT

SENT HIM OFF TO NAM

TO BE PART OF THAT THERE FIGHT

THINGS THAT HE SAW THERE

STILL COME BACK TO HIM IN THE NIGHT

THE BLUES AND JACK DANIELS

ARE MUCH OK BY HIM

SINGIN’ THE BLUES AND OLE JACK DANIELS

ARE MUCH OK BY HIM

WHEN THE BAND’S IN THE ZONE

HE’S ALL DOWN WITH THE JAM

REPEAT FIRST VERSE

This New Years Eve my wife Dorothy and I went down to Cumberland State Park in Eastern Kentucky by the Tennessee border. They have a New Years Eve dance there every year and it’s a good one. New Years Day, we were riding back on Highway 61, which winds through miles and miles of farmland, woods, and little towns, and the lyrics to “Big Jim” came to me. We decided to stop in Indianapolis and spend the night; I wrote the lyrics down on some paper that was in our hotel room. When we got back to Chicago, I tossed the lyrics on my desk. Around March I decided to put them to music, and we recorded it this July. Don’t know why I move ahead on projects at the speed of glacier, I just do.

I’d like to dedicate this one to Tawl Pawl, Billy Desmond, and Big Larry. Long may they rock.  And to the memory of my brother Doug and the memory of Big Twist.

“Big Jim” copyright 2015 by Donald Kent McDaniel

A Super Reverb