Saw Paul Curreri Last Night…

Someday, I’ll be as good at something as Paul Curreri is at playing guitar. He was at Uncommon Ground last night in Chicago, then packed his bags for Nashville, where he’s performing tonight at the Springwater Supper Club. (Note to anyone reading this who’s in Nashville: do whatever it takes to see Paul perform tonight. You’ll thank me.)

Paul’s the total package: an incredible guitar player, I think his writing is as good (if not better). An excerpt from Drag Some Revelating (off of his latest album):

Spending, counting chickens often
Necessitates the touching of your chickens.
Who wants some sick and dirty old bird?
And what if it dies? Goodbye.
Ain’t like there’s a chicken coop bank in the sky.
Think it’s your turn to pick up the tab.

Traveling, never knock a spider web
Unattached to your porch
Or leave your memories on the roof of your car.
The grass back home:
My, how it must’ve grown.
Screw the wicker huts, the tigers, the Goyas.

Waiting, the neighborhood’s kitchens
Will remind you to eat – Smoke burning off the grills like the hours.
If the fire tires,
There’s wood stacked out back in a pile.
Play that song again.

Then there’s the singing, taking words you know and stretching them in directions that didn’t occur to you, but seem perfectly obvious once Paul lets them go… Coupled with a sense of humor (there were as many laughs as there were opportunities for applause last night) and you’ve got a show you’ll not soon forget.

The set last night was a blend of his three albums, with two covers mixed in. His last song is actually his brother Matt’s song, with the refrain “With Paul on my side…” It was funny and touching. I’m sure I’ll be telling people for years that I once saw both Paul and Matt sing together in their living room before either was out of college.

Paul tells a great story about a guy who insisted on asking Paul, “Famous yet?” (I won’t spoil the story — it’s a good one, and it tells you a lot about Paul and his music.) Fortunately for us, he’s better than famous: he’s gifted.

Thanks to Paul for a great show, and congrats on the engagement to Devon Sproule. Something tells me the music at the wedding will be magical…

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