UA-35670761-1 Random Experiences | PaulBryan.us
With Elvis Costello in Spain
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Our first gig in Liverpool. With AT's insanely great band.
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No matter if we were playing that July to a packed festival somewhere in Europe or a small subscription-concert series (always weird,) Elvis continually put out. He would hit the stage on ten and go for the throat every night, no matter where we were gigging. It was very inspiring. Longtime band members, Davey Farragher and Pete Thomas had taken another gig for the summer, so Elvis and Allen decided to go with AT’s band and me.

We had 2 short rehearsals in Liverpool for the tour. I had 50 some-odd songs to learn! Crazy now that I think about it, but really good for me. I was musically in top shape by the end of the trip.

l had recorded with Allen a few times earlier that year and we gotten along musically quite well. Elvis was looking for a bassist who could cover the material and join in alongside he and Allen for the harmony singing. I told him I would give it my best shot and signed up.

Aside from being a legend, Allen Toussaint is a dream to work with. I love his arranger’s sensibility to playing an instrument- he is always listening and responding with the whole in mind. I dug standing next to his muscular horn section every night. I was coming home directly after the tour to finish producing Aimee Mann’s ‘Smilers’ album and I know that this European tour was the reason I ended up writing a bunch of horn charts for the record.

Allen always had an encouraging word to say to me after almost every show. His heart is with the music and he never fails to praise when he is feeling it. I love and respect that.
With Nick Lowe on The Jimmy Kimmel Show
A chance turn of events led to my friend and manager Jake Guralnick phoning me and asking if I would be able to put a band together to back up Nick on the Jimmy Kimmel show. I was thrilled; I have been a huge fan of Nick’s for so many years. He puts it all together in such a special way: deeply soulful lyrics and singing, thoughtful rhymes and a wry turn of phrase. I asked my compatriot Jay Bellerose to play drums and Benmont Tench came in to play keys. My sole regret was that we only had time to play two songs.

Nick did a really special thing after an already great career in the late 70’s and 80’s. He made a trilogy of soul records that I think stand as some of his greatest and most heartfelt work. ‘The Impossible Bird’, ‘Dig My Mood’ and ‘The Convincer’. It’s such a rare thing for an artist to take a chance like that after having already completed such a great body of songs. That really had an impact on me. Three of my all time favorite records.


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