Paul Childers Featured by Zzounds
Paul Childers: Playing by his own rules
Meet the Nashville singer and guitar-slinger behind Acmeville Records’ first release
“Guitar-slinging superhero.” That’s how the venerable Nashville venue Acme Feed & Seed describes singer-songwriter Paul Childers – although you wouldn’t guess it from listening to Childers’ self-released 2017 debut, Naked Poetry.
Stacked with soulful R&B influences and horn-fueled arrangements, the album serves its hot guitar licks — like the solo on “My Love of The Rain” — as a seasoning on the side. The main dish, then, is Childers’ velvety vocals, on romantic ballads like “Why Don’t You Stay” and “Perfect Man” – and foot-tapping, roll-the-credits-now anthems like “Music Pulls You Through” and “No One Goes Dancing Anymore.” While the strings-drenched, straight-ahead pop-rock of “Disclosure” and dreamlike, gently propulsive “Strangers” deliver a hint of the angst you might expect from a 23-year-old artist, Naked Poetry is overwhelmingly a way more mature album than it has any right to be. That might be because Childers is keeping a tight lid on his fretboard acrobatics. But every superhero needs a civilian identity, right?
“I’m a songwriter and a singer as much as I am a guitar player, and I wanted to express that,” says Childers of the album’s aesthetic. “I grew up with Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Hendrix, and B.B. King — blues heroes, essentially. I wasn’t sure that anyone needed another blues album. And I’d been influenced so much by people like D’Angelo, and Miles Davis, and Dave Matthews, and Sting, and Seal, that I thought, I’d much rather create an album that you could drive to, cook to, clean to, fall in love with — rather than an onslaught of playing.”
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