From Reading Rap to School Bus Comin', the ten original songs on this disk will delight kids with their often humorous, but not silly take on school life from an experienced educator. Paul speaks directly an honestly to kids, and often from their point of view as in "I Failed my English Test," and "I Can't Wait to Investigate." Other songs on the disk are traditional favorites backed by Paul's always upbeat fiddle and solid guitar work. This is a disk that parents will be delighted to keep in the CD tray on long trips and teachers will be able to negotiate a trouble-free day in exchange for the privelege of listening as kids wait for the bus and sing along.
Paul Epstein has been living and playing music in West Virginia since 1974 where he came to settle. He had taught himself guitar as a teenager growing up in PA. In the early 70's he played string bass with string bands in Maine and Pennsylvania. When Paul arrived in West Virginia to settle in rural Roane County, he acquired a fiddle and began going to festivals and listening to and studying the fiddling of many legendary West Virginia fiddlers including Mose Coffman, Bill Iman, Johnny Johnson, and Glen Smith. He and friends formed a string band, Booger Hole Revival, that traveled widely and recorded two albums. During this time, Paul's musical interests expanded to include traditional Irish, swing, country, and writing songs.
Paul began teaching elementary school in Kanawha County in 1987. In the 1990's he made two recordings. School Bus Comin' has received much acclaim by parents and teachers. His second CD is called Lessons Life's Taught Me. With accompaniment by members of WV Public Radio's Mountain Stage Band, it is a richly textured recording containing heartfelt songs of love and loss as well as celebrations of the beauty of his chosen home. It echoes with Paul's diverse musical interests. Through the mid 1990's Paul served as songwriters' liason and songwriting events coordinator during Vocal Week at the Augusta Heritage Workshops.
Paul was also called on to write and play the theme music for The West Virginians, a documentary produced by the WV Film Project. That tune, Appalachian Morning, is included on his latest CD, Strawberry Lass, which contains 12 of Paul's original fiddle tunes. Today, Paul plays fiddle with the Contrarians, a high energy Contradance band ( www.homepages.charter.net/contrarians ),he presents writing workshops to teachers, performs his songs in a variety of venues, and teaches school in Charleston, WV. He also co-directs the Central WV Writing Project and presents writing workshops to teachers. Paul continues to record new songs, some of which can be heard at http://www.garageband.com/paul_epstein