Paul & Me
Paul and Me is Paul Solecki's debut solo album after independently releasing two CDs with his band from Kansas, The Vetivers. Some of the songs were written in the summer of 2005, months before the album's release, and some were written as far back as 1993 when Paul was a mere 14 years old! The songs range from serious love songs like Every Couple of Days and The Disaster, to silly songs that appeal to kids as much as grown-ups like The Potato and The Ballad of Bill. Also included are two travel adventures, Brian Frances and Million Mile Sky, and even an ode to Zager and Evans, who had a hit song in 1969 with In The Year 2525. The instrumentation is sparse and simple yet interesting, with little touches of harmonica, mandolin, mandola, concertina, and piano to accompany layers of guitars and vocals. Paul sings every part and plays every instrument on the CD. Paul Solecki was born on January 2, 1979, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Before that day, Hawaii was known as a tropical paradise, but from then on it was known as Paul's birthplace. The next few years are a blur, not because of the usual rock star drug stuff but because of his young age. His family moved to Rhode Island, California, Japan, and finally Kansas. Most historians believe that Paul's musical career began in Kansas, but it is a little known fact that while living in Japan at the age of 9 or 10, Paul formed a rap group and recorded the now-infamous Let's Go To The Circus, which unfortunately never charted. But it all changed that fateful day in 1992 when Paul's neighbor Drew Cooper knocked on his door one day. Drew's family was moving, and they didn't have room for a classical guitar, so they asked if Paul would like to have it. So now that Paul had a guitar, he might as well become a rock star. Paul's teacher Mr. Birt helped him learn a song or two, and the next year Paul wrote a song for Mr. Dinkleman's social studies class when he had to make an art project. When No Shelter became a big hit around school, Paul quickly released the full album version and formed a band, Urine Sample, with Jim Kelly and Peter Davis. Wising up and dropping Peter, Carnivorous Grass was formed on May 18, 1993, when Paul and Jim played two of Paul's songs together in public at the school talent show. Paul and Jim stayed together as Carnivorous Grass for four years, first as an acoustic duet featuring guitar and mandolin, and later 'going electric' with Jim switching to bass and adding trumpeteer/keyboardists Ryan Griffin and Jeff Mitchell and drummer Dave Perdaris. Their live shows were full of surprises and were a lot of fun, and they now regard themselves as legends. Who can blame them, they were legends. Legends among themselves. On May 18, 1997, Carnivorous Grass split up and Paul and new CG drummer Ben Champion formed The Vetivers, soon joined by bassist Pat Danko. Jimmy March joined on guitar and Paul took up keyboards and accordion, and the band released a CD. Two bassists later and one Jimmy less, their second CD was released right before Paul and Ben decided to dodge the draft early just in case by emigrating from the USA, Paul to Cork, Ireland and Ben to Oxford, England. It was in Cork that Paul started seriously pursuing his solo musical career. In early 2004, Cork musical legend Ray Barron invited Paul to record a couple of songs with the students of a sound engineering class he teaches. The sessions went well, and over the next year and a half Paul recorded about 20 songs with Ray and the students. As the sessions progressed, it looked like there was going to be enough good material to put out an album, and it turns out there was more than enough. In the end there were songs written throughout Paul's entire musical career. A couple of the silly little songs he wrote when he was 14 can still stand up to the more complex things he's been writing since he moved to Ireland. The album was named Paul and Me after the two different stages in songwriting ability represented here and because Paul played every instrument on the album. The full stories behind the songs are available on Paul's web site, and the CD is for sale right here at CD Baby!