Monday, July 13, 2009

Paul Sprawl

I don't make this distinction often, but I have encountered what appears to be the "BEST" guitarist I've ever seen. Paul Sprawl uses open tunings and percussive playing to present an entirely unique style of thought-provoking lyrics whose critique of mass media, irresponsible governance, and the journey of spirit quests demonstrate how a performance should do far more than entertain. Below is a video I took of a private performance he gave to our cycling team in Paonia, Colorado's Methodist Church. The song is called "Sunset Train". Learn more about him at

A brief note on meeting Paul. A number of riders headed towards "downtown Paonia", ie Main St., to visit bars and the kind of antics you wouldn't necessarily put on your resume. I lagged behind as I wrote postcards and read the Newsweek sent to me by my 4k06 teammate Katie Young. Finally I traversed the two epic blocks to Main St., and on my way to the bar I passed a space called The Blue Sage, a performance art space. Inside was a performance hall with about 80 seats sadly filled with just 5 audience members. But they were all enamored as I gleefully joined them in watching a multi-media show combining war footage with the words blogged by Iraqi women followed by beautiful interpretive dance by Paul's wife, Leera Lee, followed by Paul's hypnotic picking. After the performance ended we conversed with the performers and I had a chance to speak more with Paul and his wife. I told Paul about our trip and invited him to perform for us, and he bestowed upon me his handy-dandy instructional DVD detailing his percussive technique.

After some youtube-ing, I dug up a FULL performance of Paul playing what now seems to be my favorite song of his, "Sunset Train".


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