home listen reviews a-z
Devon Sproule and Paul Curreri

• Paul Curreri

Wow! A hot, eccentric, eloquent modern country blues artist. Extremely likeable, and a good looking varmint to boot.

Paul and his very talented muse are from Charlottesville, VA, and I'm told they figure prominently in the acoustic scene around those parts. But anymore you may see the artist popping up anywhere opening up for his producer and champion, Kelly Joe Phelps. That's a hell of an endorsement for a fingerstyle guy. (see our interview from last year with KJP)

The fellas knocked this out in KJP's home studio in Vancouver, WA, where the producer had cut his two solo discs before he took to fleshing out the jam. Curreri is such a fluent fingerpicker that he's free of all convention or blues device, grooving and improvising all over the place. There's just a boatload of spirit and old time verve on every tune. Kelly Joe also engineered (you gotta love that) and came out to play slide on one tune, "Beneath a Crozet Trestle Bridge." (Dig the major seven ending chord while the producer finished his blues lick, nice.)

And the lyrics, the cat is a beatnik blues poet, we kid you not. In fact, the only guy we know who plays this good and writes that good is the one who's producing. Truth be told, rolling through the lyrics there's hardly a stanza not worth quoting, so I'll just feed you the opener:

Oh, perhaps I might sleep,
but the screen door's a guilt bull
stuck plainly on sticking me through.
Had I the blood boiled,
or the fist like a marker,
I'd haul off, and dot his eye blue.
But that bull just wants a word,
the night just wants to barrel,
bet the sunrise'll want a piece of me too.
The back window creaks as I head over heels;
You say, "Greenville," so it's Greenville with you.

We'll be real surprised if his next disc is not on a national label, and shame on the passers. And by all means, also check out the previous album on Brooklyn's City Salvage records, called From Long Gones To Hawkmoth. (We just checked out some awesome clips on CDBaby, damn.)

We thank the gifted Laurie McClain for turning us on this badass poet picker--and when we asked Kris Delmhorst (in our recent interview with her) what she has been listening to lately, Paul Curreri was at the top of her list. Book him, buy him, dig on him. Clips on the Listen page. • FG

return to covers      listen to clips

paulcurreri.com       citysalvage.com

devonsproule.com       jenfariello.com

puremusic home