By blending elements of flamenco, raga, African roots, jazz and pop with Delta traditions in mindnumbing virtuosity, this vastly underrated singer-songwriter and guitar giant with the face of a lunar surface and a blinding smile, has created a genre of his own, World Blues. Observe the way his mind joins the dexterity of his fingers on the guitar, possible after decades of tirelessly touring the world (just this January 12 gigs in New Zealand alone). Someone praised Paul as «the Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar» but it’s his raspy, soulful voice that’ll wring your guts to no end. You can hear it in his rendition of «Rest in my Arms», where he easily outdoes Bono with his emotional range or in his own composition «I Need a Storm». Listeners rest assured, a storm is what you’re going to get.
Paul grew up with Nigerian-English parents in London. An impressionable teenager when that city was truly swinging and inspired by Bob Dylan, he picked up the guitar. In a twist on how life plays its own songs, he was years later invited to tour with the iconic master. Other artists who asked him to set them up in style were Patti Smith, Taj Mahal, Crowded House, and Nora Jones. He did put some roots down from his nomadic touring and settled with his family in New Zealand. «Needing a storm» perhaps after living here in Zurich for a few years, but it was here where he met his future wife. «Music is why I’m here» sings this hoochie coochie man. The music of this extraordinary artist is why you should be here tonight as well.
El Lokal, playing since 1.8.2000. Thank you for your patronage.