Paul Metsa | Whistling Past the Graveyard

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Folk: Political Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Whistling Past the Graveyard

by Paul Metsa

"This record should elevate him to the Springsteens and Mellencamps of the world." Austin Chronicle This record was produced by Bucky Baxter (Dylan, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams) and features Garry Tallent (Springsteen) and George Marinelli (B. Hornsby)
Genre: Folk: Political
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Wall of Power
5:46 $0.99
2. St. Louis County Fair
5:36 $0.99
3. Jack Ruby
5:43 $0.99
4. Whistling Past the Graveyard
4:52 $0.99
5. Prettiest Girl in Town
3:33 $0.99
6. As Good As It Gets
5:08 $0.99
7. Slow Justice
5:06 $0.99
8. Second Avenue Sunset
4:53 $0.99
9. Floretta's Junkyard
4:06 $0.99
10. Judas Sang the Blues
5:20 $0.99
11. Another Man's Chains
4:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Bucky Baxter was in Minneapolis in 1992 doing a 5 night stand with Bob Dylan. He got in a cab, on his night off, and asked the cabbie to take him to the best music gig in town. The cabbie dropped him off at Paul Metsa's weekly gig at the 5 Corners on the West Bank of Minneapolis. After the first set, Bucky offered Paul the opportunity to have him produce a demo for him at in Nashville, TN at Moondog Studios, a studio Bucky owned with Bruce Springsteen bassist Garry Tallent.

Paul went down to Nashville at the end of September of '92. At the studio, Paul met Bucky, Garry, George Marinelli (guitarist for Bruce Hornsy, and now Bonnie Raitt), engineer Tim Coates, and drummer John Gardner. Over the next three days, they recorded 4 songs. Other Nashville musicians were summoned to play including Glen Duncan (Bill Monroe) on fiddle and mandolin, Jay Davis (drums), Dennis Burnside (keyboards) Barry Blackmon (banjo) and on vocals, Etta and Nanette Britt.

Paul returned a month later to record 4 more songs, and finish the record. He brought in his old friends, Prudence Johnson and Gary Rue who were living in Nashville, to sing back up vocals. At one point Paul said, "Here I am, in Nashville, playing with a collection of musicians that are currently playing with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and Bruce is good."

This record features a few songs that Paul had written a few years earlier and some written just for the sessions. It is a dynamic record that features strong electric and acoustic performances. "St. Louis County Fair" is a song about love, magic, and ferris wheels (Paul is from St. Louis County on MN's Iron Range.) "Prettiest Girl in Town" is probably Paul's most pop-perfect song. "Jack Ruby" is a 14 verse story about Metsa's take on the JFK conspiracy, with an extremely dynamic performance that is both haunting and powerful. "Whistling Past the Graveyard" is just Paul and Bucky (lap steel) in a bluesy ode to mortality. "Wall of Power" is a rocker that proclaims, "someday, the high and the mighty will fall." "Slow Justice", here in an acoustic version was called "the most powerful all purpose protest tune since Blowin' in the Wind" by the Mpls. StarTribune. "As Good As It Gets" is an acidly poetic letter to a lover who left him for someone else. "Second Avenue Sunset" is a tale of Raggedy Ann and Andy, now living homeless and on the streets. "Floretta's Junkyard" is a song about a guy who lifts himself by the bootstraps and proclaims, "you know it is better to fight than run." "Judas Sang the Blues" is a song about a shady character in over his head. "Another Man's Chains" is a Stonesy rocker that simply says, "no one has got to wear another man's chains."

In terms of production and performance, this is Paul's most realized record, still radio ready and timeless.



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