Monday, August 6, 2012

Pheaturing Paul Cox

Hello, boys and girls, welcome to a Monday entry of the Phile, how are you? I wonder if anybody is reading this blog in China. If so, China, you got us. Phelps was doping... and he still beat you. He smoked the sticky-icky, and then he smoked your ass!  I read that one of the presidential debates will have a town hall format where citizens will ask the candidates questions. The most common question: "Are you the only two choices?"  To prepare for the Republican Convention, a strip club in Tampa, Florida has hired a Sarah Palin look-a-like to perform. This stripper is so much like Sarah Palin, she actually has written on her hand, "take off top, shake breasts, swing around pole." Mitt Romney's search for a vice president continues As you know, one of Mitt Romney's problems is that he's never hired an American for a job before, so this is new.  A new study published by The British Medical Journal found that inactivity can kill you. I mean, these are the kind of findings that just scare the hell out of Congress.  The Boy Scouts of America have announced they are upholding their ban on gay members. The Boy Scouts are so serious about this gay ban, that you're not allowed to pitch a tent if a girl is nearby.  Well, did you see the picture the Olympic Committee has of the medals the Olympians could win? This is the first time I saw them up close.

I was watching the Olympics of course yesterday and during one match of something, I noticed something in the stands.

For a moment I thought the sign said IVSNO9. I was like, is this some kinda code? I have been asked why I love the Olympics so much. I can sum it up with one picture.

You're welcome, fellas. Yesterday I showed you a picture of someone who I thought had the best name in the Olympics. It was Yoshie Takeshita from Japan. Well, I found another who might beat that name.

Dong Dong! That's fantastic! Okay, and now for...

I have no idea what this is supposed to be. Any ideas? Alright, so a friend of the Phile wanted to come on here and tell us something that is bothering her. I thought why not, so please welcome back to the Phile...

Me: Hello, Eve, what seems to be bothering you?

Eve: I bought a new PC.

Me: That is great. You should be happy, Eve.

Eve: No, everything defaulted to Bing.

Me: I'm sorry, that's not a bad thing.

Eve: I am gonna go and cry now. Bye.

That was so stupid. Why do I bother? Anyway, let's talk about the 22nd artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery. It's someone named RobotrobotROBOT and this is one of his pieces. By the way, that's how it's written.

I love it! Anyway, RobotrobotROBOT will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is a British blues/soul singer whose latest album "Real World Plus 5 Live" and his previous albums "Ain't Nothin' Doin'" and "Good To Me" are available on iTunes. Please welcome to the Phile... Paul Cox.

Me: Hi there, Paul, sir, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Paul: 1. Hi, Jay, I am feeling pretty good at the moment.

Me: Man, you have gotten some rave reviews in England and have been compared to Chris Farlowe and Joe Cocker. Are you known over here in the States at all?

Paul: Only very little, I have had some airplay on several stations all over the States, also did a live interview on UK Bobs show in Georgia along with several Texan stations really rating my "Real World" CD but that's all really, never any major coverage to speak off sadly, would love it though.

Me: Have you ever been over here to play, and is this your first American based interview?

Paul: Never been over to play but as I mentioned above have done one interview only so far.

Me: I downloaded your albums from iTunes and was surprised to hear you have recorded a few John Hiatt songs. Are you a fan of Hiatt? How did you choose to do the songs "Is Anybody There?" and "Paper Thin", which is one of my favorite Hiatt songs ever.

Paul: John Hiatt first came into my life back in the mid 80's when he did a single with Elvis Costello called "Living Just A Little, Laughing Just A Little". I have been a fan ever since and "Slow Turning" is one of my favorite CD's of all time, not one bad song on it. I just fell in love with the 2 songs you mentioned and felt that I could do something with them, I would love to do a tribute album one day!!

Me: Have you heard from John Hiatt about what he thinks of your versions?

Paul: No, I bet he isn't even aware of them, just gets the minute amount of royalties from them!!!

Me: You write your own music as well, right, Paul? Do you like writing songs or doing covers better? 

Paul: I would love to do all my own songs but I have never felt that I have written enough quality tunes to do that, plus as a singer of songs, I always look to try to add myself to a tune as much as I can, I guess it follows on the tradition that the likes of Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart and Chris Farlowe had, great voices choosing songs that they made there own, as much as one can.

Me: You're from England, what part are you from? I was born in London but lived in Oxford for awhile.

Paul: I was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, but moved to London in 1981 and currently live in Redhill, Surrey.

Me: Your originally went off to London to audition for Darts. Is that a band, or movie, or did you actually play darts?

Paul: Very funny, no, Darts were a doo-wop revival band in the late 70's early 80's who had several big hit records and they were looking for a new tenor voice so I tried my luck, got shortlisted out of 3 people but didn't get the job, but it gave me confidence to try out with bands in London and so I did and eventually moved down to seek my fortune!!

Me: As I said you have been compared to Chris Farlowe and Joe Cocker... were they influences on your music growing up? Who else did you listen to, Paul?

Paul: When I was a child I was exposed to the great sounds of the 60's, so my musical influences would always stem from there. As I got a little older I found myself having pivitol teenage moments listening to David Bowie singing "Starman", my first snog proper to "Sumemr Breeze" by The Isley Brothers and then hearing "Led Zep 2" and changing my life!! What all this led to is me having an interest in music bordering on the fanatical and having always had a voice, encouraged as a child to sing in choirs and school shows, made me want to be in a band and so I got together with a friend from college and away we went, the rest they say is history. As for my love of blues/soul, this came from hearing something in that music that really moved me, not just a good tune but something that got under the skin enough to make you investigate the genre more and more till you can't get enough of it . I still listen to music all the time, always go to bed with me iPod on and trawl through the 11,500 tunes on there randomly and have a ball, never know what's next. Joe Cocker and Farlowe are people I have listened to a lot but never consciencely tried to sound like anyone but influences come out in all ways.

Me: Back in the 80's I was a big fan of Paul Young, who to me you are very similar. Do you know him and has anybody else ever compared you to him?

Paul: Funny you should ask about Paul Young, I had the same manager back in the 80's for a while so we were stable mates briefly, he is a lovely guy and in those days a big influence I guess.

Me: What's Paul doing nowadays? You guys should do a Paul and Paul album together.

Paul: He runs a band called Los Pacaminos and does the big 80's revival tours with other artists of the period as well as being a very good chef I have heard.

Me: Your latest solo album is "Real World Plus 5 Live", right? I figured I know where the Plus 5 Live part comes from, but how did that song get to be the album title?

Paul: The song "Real World" is by my good friend and producer, "Roger Cotton". He played it too us as we were making the album and I just said, title track, there you have it, no more complicated than that but I do love the lyric, something I felt very much,

Me: As I said I downloaded the albums from iTunes and I have to ask you about the song "I Ain't Gonna Be the Fist to Cry". What an odd song title. What does that mean, Paul?

Paul: It should be "Ain't Gonna Be The First To Cry", a song about false pride and stubborness, good areas for blues love songs, love this tune.

Me: There's a few live tracks on the album and your version of BB King's "Thrill Is Gone" is amazing. I recently saw him in concert. Have you ever seen him in concert?

Paul: Yeah, saw BB King in 1989 in Croydon, just great if not a little cabaret but you live with that because of who it is and what he has achieved in the blues, a true gent too.

Me: Your albums were produced by Roger Cotton who you mentioned. How is he to work with, Paul? Is he the same Roger Cotton from Peter Green's Splinter Group?

Paul: Roger and I have known each other 20 years and in that time have played live together on many shows and recorded many times too. He is a great guy and a wonderful musician, very funny man too. He would tell you himself how great it was to play with the Splinter Group and of course now he is with Buddy Whittington, another great guitar player.

Me: Yeah, Buddy was a guest on the Phile a few months back. As well as doing your own stuff, you have been in two bands... the Batcodes and Barcodes... wait, that's one band, right? I think there's a misspelling on your Myspace page. Either that or you were in two bands with similar names. That would've been confusing. Anyway, who is in that band or those bands with you?

Paul: Never been in The Barcodes, Jay, just guested on a couple of tracks on their "Friends Like  These" CD. The thing is both The Barcodes, Tim Hain, Mark Michael, Richie Milton and myself are all with Note-Music and we help each other out with projects when we can, a little Stax/Motown of Surrey if you like!!

Me: Speaking of bands, you have a pretty cool band you play and record with. Why don't you go and tell the readers who is your band?

Paul: I am lucky that I work with many good musicians Jay. On "Real World" we have the aforementioned Roger Cotton, keys and guitar and production, Steve Dixon on drums, recently of the late Gary Moore Band, Mike Summerland, guitar on some tracks, the Horn Section features Nik Payn, Sax, Matt Winch, trumpet, Tim Riggins, trombone and horn arrangements, Sig Gauld on trumpet, not forgetting Derek Nash, currently in Jools Holland Big Band. Al Maclean on bass and the excellent Joanne Ramsey and Louise Kenney and last but not least Alan Glen on harmonica.

Me: You have been on Paul Jones' radio show on Radio 2, right? My dad was on Paul Jones's show and thought he was really cool. Is he?

Paul: Paul Jones is a true gent and so knowledgeable about the blues, we first met in 1994 when we were on a show together and he introduced himself to us and then I first appeared on his show in 1996 as a singer with The John Slaughter Blues Band and we recorded 4 songs for his show. I have since been on several times and he has been a great supporter of mine, a lovely man.

Me: Are you a fan of Manfred Mann? Hey! Maybe you, Paul Jones and Paul Young can make an album together.

Paul: Manfred Mann made some of my favorite tunes in the 60's, also likes The Earth Band too, still going strong and pulling in the crowds all over Europe.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your other latest release. It's an album you did with guitarist Charlie Fabert called "That's What We Were Born For". You do know Charlie is French, right. Was there friction with you being British and he being French?

Paul: No friction whatsoever, nationality has nothing to do with it, it's a total mutual respect thing, the age difference is no concern we just love to work together when we can.

Me: How did you two meet?

Paul: We met at The Eel Pie Club, in Twickenham, Xmas 2009. I saw him play and just blew me away so I asked him if he would like to work with me and he said, 2 years later were still going strong.

Me: Did you write the songs together, Paul, or both chose which songs to perform?

Paul: We wrote together, sometimes Charlie had the idea and we finished it or vice versa. The covers where discussed and agreed on over time but we were lucky as we have very similar taste.

Me: Will you be working on another album together?

Paul: Of course, hopefully at some stage this year. Charlie has his own studio now so he can pretty much lay down tracks whenever.

Me: He is an amazing guitarist, and he looks so young. How old is he?

Paul: Charlie has just turned 22, so 30 years younger than me!!

Me: Paul, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back again soon. Is there a website or anything you'd like to plug?

Paul: Jay it's been a pleasure, would love to do it again and get everyone to check out,, and or Myspace pages too along with Facebook to find out more about upcoming gigs and tours etc, many thanks.

Me: Thanks again, continued success, and we need to get you to tour America.

There you go, kids, another entry of the Phile done. Thanks to Paul for a great interview. So, the Phile will be back next Sunday with Alumni Shirli McAllen from Leftover Cuties. Then next Monday it's singer Anna Estrada. Then the Sunday after that it's another Alumni... Toots from Toots and the Maytals. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

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