Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Paul Freeman

Paul Freeman has spent over ten years in the music business but as far as his current project is concerned he can be considered a 'new' artist.  He's releasing a solo album in the spring called 'The King of False Alarms' and it will be the first of two which will feature both his acoustic side and a more solid band based tracks

So what's he been doing for the last ten years?  

Well he's been very much in demand in the US as Jeff Barrett the Heavenly recordings supremo took him under his wing.  As a result, even before his 18th birthday, Paul was moving within some of the most intimate, and influential, circles in the music industry in America. 

Paul Freeman

By 20, he and a friend, Findlay Brown, had formed a group, Boedekka, a band that had started out as a kind of modern day Simon & Garfunkel, but that soon turned into something louder, heavier and more psychedelic. They signed to Boy George’s More Protein label, and were steadily going places when Paul’s songwriting reputation began to precede him. After three years of working with Brown, he suddenly found himself penning songs for a post-Take That, pre-comeback Mark Owen.

Paul said “It was a fascinating period for him as back then, Mark was trying to reinvent himself, and make an individual statement.”  They wrote a couple of Top 20 hits together, as well as hatching ideas that Owen would later see to fruition on Take That’s The Circus album. By now, Paul had relocated to Los Angeles, where he played guitar with Shania Twain and later James Blunt, the latter requesting his services on a song of his called 'You’re Beautiful'.

“That kept me in rent money for several years…you can have your own opinion about his music – everybody does! – but James is a lovely, lovely human being.”
Paul was also at work on a selection of his own songs, which he eventually self-released as an EP. For something that didn’t have the weight of a major record label marketing team behind it, the EP nevertheless went out far into the world and proved a steady seller, a regular on the US iTunes chart, and eventually topping an impressive 60,000 sales. 

Clive Davis signed him to BMG in early 2009 and as he was exiting BMG a year later, he kindly released Paul from his contract, and with the master tapes in his possession, he was now able to start afresh. “A major relief,” he says.  He sacked his manager in favour of self-management, and heading out on a succession of US tours, opening for the likes of Los Lobos, Brandi Carlile,Joe Cocker and Todd Rundgren-who said "If there was any justice Paul Freeman would be a household name,but then so would I-so there’s no justice."

He's toured Southeast Asia then returned home, to Santa Monica, to regular games of golf and football and ended up knocking a few balls around with fellow Brit Robbie Williams, who he became friends with. Life was good.  But momentum for his music was building, and Paul began to crave a return home.In mid 2011 , he signed to U E R in the UK (“to make the album I always wanted to make”) and was handpicked to support Roger Daltrey on his British and US tours which took him through to the end of 2011.

In late March 2012 Daltrey asked Paul at short notice to fill in for his usual guitar player at a charity show in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust.  Paul flew in from Los Angeles,rehearsed the next day learning around 20 songs, ,and the following day found himself onstage at a packed Albert Hall, perfoming his new single Tightrope and then backing Roger Daltrey, Amy McDonald, Steve Winwood and jamming with Ronnie Wood.

That brings us full circle to now, with Paul's album release imminent and his assault on the UK music scene about to start, perhaps he may be considered a 'new' artist but he's got the pedigree of a seasoned professional.  At the moment there are no gigs announced, however as soon as I know you will!

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