Temperatures were blazing, citing record highs for the month of July, but Dogwood Events launched a tour so hot summer couldn’t compete. Labeled the PBJ Tour, East Coast fans were treated to exemplary performances by guitarist Billy Moran and singer/songwriters Briana Buckmaster, Jason Manns and Paul Carella (with a special guest appearance by Hayden Lee for the last two stops in Charlotte and Atlanta.) As all of us here at Nerds and Beyond wind down from what we thought was the best thing since peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we decided to highlight each of these incredible artists. Luckily for you, you’ve now stumbled upon The Gospel of Paul Carella. So take a seat, kick off your boots and join us as we let you know a little bit more about The Captain.
Paul Carella, the “Blues drivin’, Americana rockin’, Country jivin'” golf-loving singer and songwriter hailing from Glasgow, Scotland was the only member on the complete tour who has yet to grace the stage at a Creation Entertainment Supernatural Convention, where most (if not all) of the fans in attendance had been previously introduced to Jason, Briana and Billy. Did this give him a slight disadvantage? Maybe. But that sure didn’t stop him from making every member of the audience want to go out and buy a pair of red-soled shoes by the time he was done.
What did stop him maybe just a little bit, however? The heat. “Honestly, the biggest challenge on this tour was the heat, the first few days were incredibly hot and speaking as a Scotsman, it was tough, haha.” But that was it. “I enjoy pretty much every aspect of touring though, traveling and moving around a lot can take it out of you but it’s all part of what we do so I don’t particularly see it as a challenge.”
Paul harnessed a deep love of music from a young age, dancing around his living room to the great Elvis Presley at the age of four, however the most impressive facet of his musical upbringing is that he is completely self-taught. Crediting Johnny Cash and “Folsom Prison Blues” for being the catalyst to what we now know is greatness, Paul toured around small pubs and clubs in Glasgow, gaining the confidence and skills he showcases with ease on the stage today.
Watching Paul perform, there’s no question as to why he’s found the success he’s tirelessly strived for. His stage presence is cool, calm and collected, and when he picks up that guitar there’s no need for boisterous theatrics or flashing lights. His sultry acoustics and deep, smooth-as-aged-whiskey vocals will hypnotize you from the first note, a little piece of himself evident in every lyric. The love and passion he holds for his craft is apparent from the moment he takes the stage to his final bow and you can feel the appreciation he has not only for his work, but for every face sitting before him. There is no question that this is where he wants to be, this is what he wants to be doing and he takes no opportunity that comes his way for advantage.
Is mega-stardom something Paul aspires for? Not exactly. “No I wouldn’t say so, if it happens then great but it’s not something I’m striving for. I feel very fortunate that my hard work has paid off and I can do this job for a living and that’s the most important factor for me. If I can keep that going and grow at the same time, that’s what I’m striving for, mega stardom would be a bonus.”
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There’s a certain magic to seeing artists in the smaller, more intimate settings like we saw on the #PBJTour. The trust between performer and audience is very palpable, there’s a closeness with the art and the receiver that just can’t be replicated in large-scale festivals and concerts. While the setting is quieter, as an audience member it’s exciting and almost electrifying, it’s an experience I personally cherish. When asked about the difference between playing larger festivals and smaller venues, Paul shared similar feelings — “For sure, it’s a completely different environment for me. These shows are much more intimate and you can really take your time and connect with your audience, a style which I prefer. Big festivals are great fun but you can, depending on the stage, lose that intimate feeling.”
We were treated to a variety of Paul’s originals (and a few covers), the set list varying at each stop, but none disappointing. But how could they be? His originals boast impressive melodies and soulful choruses, there’s no possibility of not finding one and falling head over heels for it (honestly, it’d be just as shocking if you only found one.) One setting stuck out amongst the rest for the man himself and the venue came as no surprise to us. “I loved all of it but Eddie’s Attic was pretty special, particularly the writers circle style show we did, I really enjoy that set up and we can share stories, jokes, experiences and music together on stage and Eddie’s Attic was a great setting for it.” Eddie’s Attic in Decatur is a fan favorite and was no doubt the perfect stage for the grand finale.
What does the future hold for Paul Carella? Beyond working with his promotion company he and Jason Manns collaboratively operate, Gallus Promotions, crafting a new album and touring? Acting! Already boasting two roles in television (The Victim and Trust Me) and a handful of commercials, we hope it isn’t too cliche to say the sky is the limit and we can’t wait to see what other projects are headed his way.
So now that you’re effectively convinced this is an artist you need featured on your playlist, we already know your next question: ‘Where can I find this amazing, never-to-be-replicated blend of Americana/Folk/Country/Rock music?’ Fear not, you can find all of his independently released albums and a few singles on Spotify, iTunes and his website. But now you’re saying ‘Okay cool, but I want to see him live too!’ We don’t blame you. Currently, he has a concert planned in London on August 17, 2019 with someone else you may know (Gil McKinney) and he’ll be at Rockwood Music Festival in Germany November 15-17, 2019. Follow both Paul and his promotion company Gallus Promotions on Twitter for announcements for future shows and albums.
By the way, if you fancy yourself a drink, Paul has graciously wagered a round on him if you can guess the inspiration behind “Chasing Echoes”.