Well, for anyone who has been paying any attention, you know that I tend to stray a bit from the beaten path. I like things a bit deeper than average.
I see this as a good thing... Most of the time. I tend to be very passionate about things that interest me. The wife calls it obsessive. I don’t disagree!
I’ve shared some music with you before, but I think that this time I’ve got something very special that you probably have not seen or heard before.
Music takes you places. I dig a thumping beat that just sticks in your head as much as the next guy, and I must admit that some of the mindless gobbledegook on the radio really sticks in my head.
I had the opportunity to have a great singer - songwriter answer a few questions for me last week, and I think if you’ll take a minute to listen to his words and hear his music, you’ll get more than some catchy beat stuck in you head.
Paul Jensen is the type of artist that I would like to be. His recordings are noted for spiritual, haunting melodies that give you chills on the 100th time you listen to a song.
Here is my Q&A with Paul:
How long have you been making music ?
I have been writing (forming) original music since I was 13 years old
My Father showed me some chords on the guitar and I took off immediately writing
my own songs. I never had interest in learning other artist’s material – music has allowed me to express myself spiritually and that has meant allowing music to flow through me.
Music chose me……I didn’t choose music – very natural part of my life.
I was 15 when I had my first recording session and I’ve been hanging out in studios ever since.
I released my first “Record” when I was 18 years old – It was terrible but it allowed me to learn and realize that becoming a serious recording artist is what I wanted to do with my life.
Why the mountains of Colorado? Isn’t it cold?
I was born in Maryland; instantly our family moved back to Monterey California, and then moving to Grand Junction Colorado (Known as Western Colorado) when I was 3 years old.
I often refer to the place as did the well known author and screen writer Dalton Trumbo as “Shale City”
It really has more of a Utah feel to it than what people think of when they ponder Colorado.
It is the gateway to the mountains of Colorado.
But yes, you are correct; it can still get cold in the winter.
There are deep red-rock canyons here that have inspired me my entire life.
Deep friendships that span my entire life and family located here.
Who were your biggest influences?
There were so many people I it is a hard question to answer.
So many people that have helped me along the way to become a respectable recording artist.
My dear friends Will Ackerman and John Malvey have been the greatest guides to me from a production standpoint. They truly are friends as well. I love and cherish them both and have many fond memories with the both of them recording and otherwise.
I am a product of the 70’s singer/songwriter movement so there a slew of artist that are too many to list but John Denver and Dan Fogelberg and Michael Hedges are probably at the top of the list. Groups like the Eagles and America really gave me pleasurable meditations about how I thought great music could sound.
Getting to know and record with T-Bone Wolk from the band Hall and Oates while in Vermont was also very mind blowing along with Grammy award winning cellist Eugene Friesen.
Your music isn’t exactly “Main Stream” How do you keep your focus?
I have read a lot of metaphysical material that smart and spiritual friends have turned me on to.
I like offbeat spots that are isolated and feel somewhat haunted. That keeps life interesting to me.
I’ve never thought of “fitting in” to any categorical aspects of music. It just is what it is.
It has kept the music pure and unadulterated and most importantly unique to me.
What is your favorite song to play live?
I rarely play live these days but when I do I find that playing the song “Old Friends” (Mystagogia CD) is always heartfelt by the audience. It is a very old song and I think people really relate to it in their own lives and relationships with their own friendships.
What kind of guitar do you usually play?
Taylor 410 model (one of their cheapest models)
My dear friend Paul Scott rushed me down to the local music store swearing he’d found a incredible instrument for me.
He was right!
“Jenny” has turned out to be a freak (in a good way).
She has glorious sonic qualities that equal 30K guitars that I have played
She is pretty well beat up now –I’ve taken her on trips and trails and she has her ware and tare but is still my favorite instrument and she handles my alternative tunings as well…..I have fallen asleep playing her before and am thankful for Paul hooking us up. I have been with Jenny now for over 20 years.
Check back on Saturday for the rest of my Q&A With Paul!