Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl at the Brewhouse

"Paul is a great artist. I always look forward to playing with him.”--Lyle Lovett 

"The boys are back in town." 

After a lifetime making music in the Twin Cities, Paul Metsa has now made his residence in Duluth. For the time being he is living in the downstairs portion of the duplex where young Bobby Zimmerman lived (upstairs) in the house now owned and being renovated by Dylan memorabilia collector and archivist Bill Pagel.

A few weeks back I caught wind that Metsa was performing at the Brewhouse. What made the event a treat was that he was accompanied by his sideman Sonny Earl on harmonica. If you've never heard Sonny Earl play the blues harp... well, to put it straight, I'm willing to bet there ain't no one you'll ever hear that is better. Yes, there are some great players out there, and I won't suggest Sonny is the best that ever was, but he's equal to that guy, and he was here at the Brewhouse.

Paul Metsa pulled in an appreciative crowd and did his thing, looking at home in the space he occupied, singing songs he'd written and shedding a few copies of his 2011 memoir Blue Guitar Highway to make room for his latest volume which should be available soon. 

The caliber of people he has associated with and performed with says a lot about who he is. Since I've already said more than I intended for this "Almost Wordless Wednesday" I'll post a few photos and leave my book review for another time.

"The beauty of obscurity is you never go out of style."
--Paul Metsa

I first met Sonny Earl on the set of Paul Metsa's Wall of Power show in Minneapolis when they were celebrating the release of Bob Dylan's Bootleg #13, More Blood, More Tracks. The occasion was special because the Minnesota musicians who did the session work with Dylan were finally being acknowledged for their contributions to an album which some have called Dylan's best work, Blood on the Tracks.

You can read some of the stories from that afternoon in the Wall of Power studio here:

Inside the Studio: Still More Blood and Tracks as Paul Metsa's Wall of Power Features MN Music Luminaries

Paul Metsa's Wall of Power Featuring Dylan's BOTT Studio Musicians from Sound 80 (Part 2)

Lives Touched and Energized: Dylan, Blood, Tracks, Metsa--Part 3

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