Paul Metsa is a legendary Minneapolis musician. He started playing in Minneapolis in 1980 with his band Cats Under the Stars. In 1984 he released his first LP, Paper Tigers on his own Raven Records (his new label is MaximumFolk.com) to critical acclaim. Over the years he has won 8 MN Music Awards, played over 5,000 gigs, was a special guest at Farm Aid V at the request of Willie Nelson, the Tribute to Woody Guthrie at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the request of Nora Guthrie, and a featured performer at the Million Mom March in Washington, DC in 1999. He has performed in concert with hundreds of great musicians including Airto, Flora Purim, Ry Cooder, Bruce Springsteen, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Mose Allison, Lyle Lovett, Roseanne Cash, the Neville Brothers and others. He has several orginal LPs (several available at CD Baby)and is stationed in the Twin Cities (USA.) His first record with harmonica virtuoso Sonny Earl "White Boys Lost in the Blues" features 6 originals, 4 classic covers, both live and in the studio. A recent witness told Paul and Sonny, "You guys sound like Sonny and Brownie meet the White Stripes!!"
Paul and Sonny met 9 years ago. Sonny was looking for a guitarist for his weekly gig on the Mississippi River in beautiful and scenic NE Mpls. Sonny tracked Metsa down to his house gig at Nye's Polonaise Room (recently named Best Bar in America by Esquire Magazine) also in Nordeast. The liner notes to White Boys Lost in the Blues tell the full story about this fateful meeting. Paul and Sonny discovered they had a mutual love of Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry, and the rest they say, is history.
Paul describes Sonny's playing as the "wicked love child of Sonny Terry and Paul Butterfield. He also sings his ass off, and has a vocal range a little higher than a man his age should have, and that's a good thing."
Nine years of playing together have given Paul and Sonny an almost telepathic rapport. They are neither afraid to get down and dirty, or take the occasional blues shuttle to the cosmos. This disc, originally designed to be an all live recording, took a turn when the boys went in to record a new tune they wrote called Train From Montana, which to this reviewers ears after listening to it after several snifters of cheap brandy, sounds like a cross between DeFord Bailey and Pete Townsend. They ended up cutting 5 more tunes at Creation Audio in Mpls., featuring the great Steve Wiese, engineer extraordinaire.
It features the best of both worlds. It has pristine first takes in the studio, live cuts where you can smell the barbeque and hear the beer bottles break, originals exploring the history and future of blues, country-blues, folk, a Dylan classic, and a few blues covers to let you know where these boys came from.
Play it at your next party, or late at night when the lights are low and there is a little whiskey left in the bottle. Metsa calls it "as honest as anything I have ever done." Earl calls it "the only thing I have ever done, and if it be the last, I am damn proud of it."
It is the first release on Metsa's new label MaximumFolk.com and blazes the way for more releases to come.