MP3 Paul Fenton - Vancouver Blue
Psychedelic guitar hero, blues rock, rock''n''roll. Paul''s been described as having "Jaw-dropping technique, which alternates between that of a grinding chainsaw and a mellifluous violin..."
6 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Psychedelic, BLUES: English Style
Paul has appeared with Derek Trucks, Sonny Landreth, Wide Mouth Mason, Rory Gallagher, Jack Bruce, Johnny Winter, Mick Taylor, Walter Trout, John Mayall, Coco Montoya, Steppenwolf, The Strawbs, Nazareth, Bernard Allison, Mick Ronson, John Hiatt, Roy Buchanan, George Thorogood, Thirteen Engines, The Stranglers, Guy Davis, Tom Cochrane, The Headstones - and members of the Guess Who, Goddo, The Blushing Brides, McKenna Mendelson Mainline, The Anger Brothers and Downchild have performed live with him.
Paul''s music is a potent blend of tough blues, world-class virtuoso solo improvisation and strong songwriting. Founder of seminal Canadian punk rock band The Action, Paul later delved into blues-based rock and psychedelic guitar hero pyrotechnics on slide guitar. He has been signed to Montreal''s Montreco Records, New York City''s Torrid Records (produced by legend Mick Ronson who also played guitar on the session), The Netherlands'' Continental Records (Rounder-Universal) and was distributed by Germany''s In-Akustik. In 1998 he embarked on a solo career.
"This is probably some of the most interesting rock music I have heard in the last ten years." Bob Segarini
Scene Roots and Blues magazine - by John Scoles
Paul Fenton has that British blues guy look and sound written all over him. But he''s Canadian. And on his latest release, Vancouver Blue, he does a Johnny Winter-style cover of a Hank Williams tune. All of these things combined make him a hard guy to pin down. But the last thing you''d probably want to do is try and contain him. It''s definitely his unleashed guitar work that makes this mini-album (six songs) work as well as it does. The man clearly knows how to write a song ("Time" and "The Girl Next Door"), but in the end, the musicianship is what Fenton ought to be most proud of. Along with Paul''s solid fretwork, the album also showcases the talents of producer Greg Godovitz, drummer Doug Inglis, bassist Mike Pellarin, organ player Peter Jermyn, guitarist Dave Love, and backing vocals from Godovitz and Bob Segarini. As Ronnie Hawkins says, "Keep rockin'' baby."
"There is no doubt about the talent and quality of Paul''s music and the professionalism that surrounds him." Chris Martin, Stony Plain Records
UK review at https://www.tradebit.com
"its been a long time .. but its time to return to the blues. in my teens i went through a blues period. a genre i have largely ignored, until now. i was chuffed to receive this recently, as exposure to new stuff is always an honour. the instrumentation is excellent lead guitar, bass, drums, hammond organ. 6 tracks of straight honest blues based pub rock. the opening track ''the girl next door'' is a straight ahead rock track which has an insistent chorus and would go down well on any aor radio station that plays tom petty, then things get more interesting. ''vancouver blue'' has a great style and the hammond organ begins to come through nicely, the singing is basic but real. the next 2 tracks really get the heart of the matter, blues jams with great style, definite hightlights for me, with ''t-bone walker blues'' having a great hammond organ solo (cant get enough of that instrument !). next track ''time'' veers back to aor, with an interesting melodic twist, with the vocals being phased, chorused,layered. it builds up nicely from slow classic rock feel, to a full on head bomping r-n-b stomp a really great dynamic track which took me by surprise, superb. last track is a cover of a hank williams song ''mind your own business'' which sounds like a pub band - having a fun practise session.
all in all this is the sort of music that if i walked into a bar and there was band playing this stuff i would definitely stay and have several pints before moving on .. just wish i could find that bar.
Niagara Arts Information and Leisure:
"This 6-song EP is the third release from Ottawa-based blues guitarist Paul Fenton, and marks a departure from the standard boogie and grind many people associate with this style of music. Enlisting the talents of Greg Godovitz, from Canada''s legendary rock band Goddo, to helm the production duties, and employing Goddo drummer Doug Inglis and longtime Godovitz partner Bob Segarini, this album places as much emphasis on the songwriting and vocal performances as it does on Paul''s remarkable slide guitar work. The result is a collection of songs which showcase Paul''s established talents while also moving him into new and exciting territories. Opening the set is "The Girl Next Door," a sort of Tom Petty by way of Keith Richards tune which features a wonderful Rickenbacker 12-string melody line. Title track "Vancouver Blue" is a slow- burning ballad with a nice sustained slide solo at its centre. "Midnight Train" and "T Bone Walker Blues" find Paul in more familiar surroundings, and his remarkable playing on these tracks demonstrates without a doubt why he is widely regarded as one of Canada''s best rockin'' blues guitarists. "Time" is a trippy acoustic number, much in the style of something you might have found on Led Zeppelin III or Pink Floyd''s "Meddle." The disc closes with "Mind Your Own Business," the only cover tune on the album (Hank Williams) and a typical pub-rock rave up, once more showcasing Paul''s fantastic slide playing. This CD has been bringing Paul Fenton some long-deserved attention, particularly in Europe, and a couple of new discs are in the works. A retrospective disc should be out shortly, harkening back to Paul''s early days in the 70''s with his band, The Action. A new live album is set to be recorded on March 1st and 2nd at the intimate Blues On Bellair club in Toronto. More information is available on Paul''s website at https://www.tradebit.com" - Marty Murray
The Winnipeg Sun:
"From the title, you might take Paul Fenton for some sensitive B.C. sop with an acoustic guitar and a folkie bent. Not even close, chump. Fenton''s from Ottawa, his guitar is electric and he''s a dark-voiced, barn-burning blues-rocker in the mold of Johnny Winter and T-Bone Walker. In fact, on this EP, his third release, Fenton pays tribute to the Texas tornado on the smouldering T-Bone Walker Blues. But don''t get the idea that he''s just another one-dimensional 12-bar belter, either. On this six-tune set produced by Greg Godovitz, Fenton also proves he knows his way around country boogie (Hank Sr.''s Mind Your Own Business) and jangly roots-pop (Girl Next Door). We wouldn''t be surprised if he shows a few more sides of himself when he plays the Zoo this weekend, backed by the Goddo rhythm section of Godovitz and Doug Inglis."
- Darryl Sterdan, Winnipeg Sun
"Supernatural talent." Lynn Saxberg, Ottawa Citizen
"Intense, slashing slide guitar ... potent fretwork ... tasteful piercing solos." -Steve Baylin, Ottawa Xpress
His third solo effort, Vancouver Blue, produced by Greg Godovitz and mixed at Liquid Studios by Alec Fraser, demonstrates Paul''s continuing evolution as a versatile performer, as there are several styles of music displayed here. The first track, "The Girl Next Door", is a catchy pop tune, whose title speaks for itself (although I''m personally glad I''m not a blond, dumb or otherwise!), with much commercial appeal and featuring back-up vocals from Bob Segarini and Greg Godovitz. "Vancouver Blue" is a pop tune, as well, about a long-distance love affair, and distinguishes itself from the first track by Paul''s trademark dreamy slide guitar riffs sandwiched in between the hard-rockin'' chorus lines. "Midnight Train" takes us back to Paul''s recurrent love for Southern U.S. blues. When I first heard the slide guitar on this track I immediately pictured that group of escaped convicts boarding that lonesome steam locomotive (literally and figuratively) that would take them to freedom. "T-Bone Walker Blues" is, of course, a tribute to one of Paul''s many traditional blues-playing heroes. While it is definitely a track to please blues purists, I also detect a "double entendre" in its lyrics ("I''m so tired of singing ''Stormy Monday'' but that''s all they want to hear") against those same people who can''t seem to get past the "blues classics" and listen to a different approach to the blues. "Time" (my personal favourite on the EP) could well be described as "neo-classic rock", which definitely contains psychedelic overtones on guitar and Hammond B3 organ reminiscent of Iron Butterfly, Cream and even early Captain Beyond. It also sharply reminds me of Paul''s early session recordings with the late Mick Ronson (David Bowie and Mott the Hoople). Paul''s excellent supporting musicians on this EP are Doug Inglis on drums (a regular with Paul, going back to the days of the Fenton Brothers project), Mike Pellarin on bass, Peter Jermyn on Hammond B3 organ, the aforementioned Greg Gregovitz and Bob Segarini on backing vocals and Dave Love on 12-string electric guitar.
-DD Rocker "Rockin'' the Blues" website Toronto
"He is one killer guitar player and I enjoyed the record thoroughly." Anthony Pavlic, Stony Plain Records
"Paul''s playing is incredible." Strat Cats website, Chicago
Big City Blues magazine, Detroit
The address for Paul Fenton''s label, Jealous Monk Records, ought to be situated somewhere along Desolation Row. That''s where he must have been for what must be decades waiting for just the right moment to climb out of obscurity in Canada and into the dicey but bright light of critical acclaim. But to fully appreciate where he is coming from, you need to dig a little deeper into where music has been, going back before the ages of grunge, punk and glitter all the way back to a place where Marvin Gaye, Booker T and the MG''s, the Animals and pop groups like the Boxtops slugged it out for attention on the pre-FM static prone airwaves of yore. Sometimes that world produced quirky and odd pairings, like Jeff Beck''s bad ass guitar break in the middle of Donovan''s otherwise innocuous "Hurdy Gurdy Man." And then there were the Beatles.
On some level most of what we like to call rock''n''roll can be traced back to Memphis and to the blues, at least spiritually if not materially. Go back to a time when rock''n''roll could mean just about anything you wanted it to mean and the ever-present debate about the authenticity of the blues (blues vs. blues-rock vs. rock''n''roll) begins to peel away, almost entirely. Paul Fenton is a first rate not-too-pretty vocalist whose approach to the electric guitar reflects many important musical influences from the British Blues invasion to the rise of Bruce Springsteen, especially with his song "The Girl Next Door". John Lennon would have dug his take on the Hank Williams tune "Mind Your Own Business." Songs like the title track, "Vancouver Blue" and "Midnight Train" as well as "T-Bone Walker Blues" and "Time" are packed with innumerable reminders from the days when AM radio was king, including bits and traces of the Fab Four, especially George Harrison, and of the great Ray Davies. But this was also a time when FM radio was gaining ground by losing its chi chi, elitist image and beginning to mount an underground music attack that would eventually stop the war.
In an attempt to think globally for a nano second, something all too alien for us music critics, consider the hole in the wall operation at Sun Records, a singularly unimpressive storefront, that, if buildings could talk, might gasp out in a guttural voice, "Who would have thunk it?" That''s where a close proximity of the Delta sound, to the other Southern roots sounds like country music, Texas swing and sanctified church, first produced mass culture''s take on the blues under the moniker of rock''n''roll. Fast forward a couple of years and a thousand miles to the north, just shy of Canada, and you get a young Robert Zimmerman in full high school rock''n''roll greaseball regalia, grooving on what would later be called rock-a-billy music.
Somehow Paul Fenton has managed to build a bridge from our own time in the early Double 0''s to the decade and one half that took us from B.B. King, Elvis Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis rocking the roof off Memphis, to a place out West where the Byrds were getting eight miles high somewhere over L.A. and which closed with Jim Morrison exposing himself on a stage somewhere in the state of Florida. Paul Fenton brings new life to that curious time between 1954 and 1969 that forever changed how we view blues-based popular music and popular culture itself.
One can''t help but be impressed with Paul Fenton''s new CD, headstrong as it is with powerful evidence that we have a king-sized talent in our midst. The production values are flawless, as are the powerful vocal and instrumental tracks. Frankly, he achieves something I haven''t seen in ages, a true blues-rock and folk-rock synthesis. Let''s welcome him out of his comfortable obscurity in Ottawa, Canada and into the high-pressure skillet of the big time. Go out and pick up a copy of Vancouver Blue and see if you agree that this might just be the future of blues-based rock''n''roll."