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Moods: Solo Female Artist Folk: Modern Folk Folk: Fingerstyle Folk: Folk Blues Moods: Featuring Guitar

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United States - Iowa

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Gayla Drake Paul

Gayla Drake Paul

Gayla Drake Paul defines excellence in songwriting and guitar performance. With 16 CDs to her credit, she is an artist who has made major contributions to her field. (See, which ranks her as #34 of the top 100 acoustic guitarists on the planet, and also recommends her solo guitar CD in their top 10 Suggested Listening for Acoustic Guitar, and recently chose Broken Blues as one of the top 100 acoustic CDs of all time). A rarity beyond her achievements as an instrumentalist, she is also regarded as one of the finest songwriters of her generation, with an intimate and evocative voice.

In 2009 she released Eating From the Tree, showing her continuing growth as a songwriter. 2008 saw the release of Pour Me, another solo songwriter CD featuring ten new songs. In fall 2007, she combined her passion for writing and guitar to develop a new guitar instruction series, The Accelerated Guitar Method. In May of 2007 she released the long awaited song-cycle The Wheel, a journey through a year of solar holidays. Gayla has recently become Managing Editor of Premier Guitar Magazine.

Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Francesco Paladino asked her to score a short film, Bluesblood and Mud Flowers, which led to an additional collaboration, The Iowa Stories, which won a Gold Remy at the Houston WorldFest International Film Festival in 2007 and has recently been released for European distribution.. Paladino returns to the US in July 2008 for another collaboration. She was featured in the September/October 2006 issue of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine as one of the premier women flatpicking guitarists working today.

In 2005 she produced a film score for a National Forestry Service DVD, taught numerous songwriting and guitar clinics, and continued to host the Iowa Guitar Summit series. In 2005 she released 4 new CDs, and re-recorded and re-mastered two that had gone out of print. In May of 2006, she released Here in the Center of the World with drummer and percussionist Eric Douglas.

The 1990's

Gayla wrote for Acoustic Musician, Acoustic Guitar, Fingerstyle Guitar, Flatpicking Guitar, Home Recording and Crossroads magazines. Acoustic Guitar Magazine chose How Can I Keep From Singing as one of the top 4 Celtic guitar CDs of the 1990's, and the Indie Acoustic Project ranked her debut CD as the number 3 Female Singer-Songwriter CD of the 1990's. She is listed in Music Hound Folk: The Essential Album Guide as well.

Major performances include: Muriel Anderson’s All-Star Guitar Night (recording available through Homespun), the NorthWest FolkLife Festival, two Gallagher Guitar Festivals, Women’s Music Night on NPR’s Tent Show Radio, and frequent air play as well as theme music for Laney Goodman’s Women in Music syndicated program.

For the past nine years running she has won an award and grant from the ASCAP Popular Music Board.

“ excellent contemporary performer who has been writing and singing her own original music since 1982; an excellent guitarist, and exemplary songwriter, thoroughly enjoyable.”
Viktor Heyman, SingOut! Magazine, Spring 2003

“...brilliant, accomplished, inspirational and refreshing, with lyrics that fall like well-metered poetry...her gossamery yet subtle vocal quality is like a feather which supports a bird in flight.”

“Paul’s incredible fingers weave a wall of guitar sound so rich and multi-textured that she will take your breath away.”
Carol Swanson,