LIVE AT PAPPY&HARRIET’S FEB. 21ST
By Robin Linn
I saw Paul Chesne Band (PCB) at Bobby Furst’s private venue in Joshua Tree last year at Furst Wurld Theater and I fell in love with them. They played until the wee hours of the morning to an enthusiastic crowd and we all danced until we dropped….literally! For the life of me, I can’t come up with a better description of their music than the one they came up with themselves….whiskey soaked rock and roll. The band is a tightly oiled honkey-tonk machine driven by songwriter and frontman Paul Chesne. When it comes to lyrics, Paul is a poet! He sings about the trappings of man and the road…songs about leaving your woman, getting too high, feeling lousy, and making a living playing rock and roll. He is an absolute wordsmith. The rhyme and rhythm of his words make you listen attentively as he tackles sinful subject matter with humor. There is a lot of poetic justice within his lyrics. His soulful vocals and melodic guitar win you over instantly. The way he allows his own material to live and breathe in the live setting could earn him jam band status. On Friday, February 21st, he will be rocking Pappy & Harriet’s for a free show and you can come see for yourself why I love this group!
The newest record, Downright, Up & Left won my heart over and over again. Chesne sent me a copy and I listened to it on Valentine’s Day, first by myself, and then later that evening with my guitar playing boyfriend and we both agreed that it will be welcomed by a huge cross-over audience. There is something for everybody on this record, a dash of country rooted in folk doused in rock and roll. Each of the selections on this record are chalk full of wonderful guitar work backed by a beautiful band. I found refuge that night in the song “Pessimist”, which seemed as if it was written for the woman alone on Valentine’s Day! Within the lyrics are lines such as, “I have a half empty flask, and a pain in my ass, that won’t go away”, “Let’s get high til it burns, we can all take turns”, “Sorry I ruined your Valentines week”. Every song on the record is special.
I asked Paul to tell me about where he came from and his creative influences to get a deeper understanding of what drives this uniquely creative and super talented musician. Here is what Paul had to say.
PAUL CHESNE: (On his early years and his creative influences): “I was born & raised in Los Angeles at the Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital across the street from the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood. I grew up watching the Magic Johnson dish out no look passes on my daddy’s knee. Now, I live near the beach in Venice. Like 100 yards from the sand. I haven’t seen the ocean in 3 weeks.”
“My brothers Bennett & Steven bought me Simon & Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, & Beatles records every birthday until I was corrupted forever. Bennett and I used to go eat Ethiopian food at Rosalind’s on Fairfax. Then we’d head back to his place & polish off a bottle of Whisky as we traded song for song when I was like 18. He was 36. He had a lot more songs. He taught me everything I know about listening and rhythm. Those are probably the 2 most important things about playing music or being a “musician”. He is an undiscovered genius. My other brother Steven has written a couple symphonies and scores music for film and TV shows. No big whoop. My dad used to play Beethoven on the way to my soccer games when I was a young un’.”
“I saw my good friend Willie Chambers last night at the Kibitz Room. He is a national treasure. Chambers Brothers. My friends the Vacation who are a big part of the PCB collective taught me a lot. The singer Ben Tegel is like looney tunes Iggy Pop.”
(On his band) “The PCB Collective includes approximately 75 musicians. The official band is the boys. Jon Niemann, Josh Norton, Jason Chesney, Richard Berardi. They love me and they hate me.”
Here is the link to purchase your copy of DOWNRIGHT UP & LEFT. I really believe it doesn’t matter what kind of music floats your boat, you will find pleasure within the songs created by master songwriter Paul Chesne. When you are home alone, or spending the evening with your significant other, you will be happy to have this record in your personal collection.
Pappy & Harriet’s Event Calendar: http://pappyandharriets.com/events/8pm-paul-chesne-band-free-show