Singer Songwriter - Paul Strummer
Thanks for looking in. I'm Paul Strummer and I like to strum. I've been teaching myself acoustic guitar since 2007 and I am a recent addition (since May 2011) to the local Wellingborough and Northampton (Northamptonshire, UK) open mic acoustic scene, dabbling with writing songs, and performing covers and my own original songs. My influences range from Johnny Cash to the Bee Gees, from Tom Waits to Leo Sayer, from Joan Armatrading to Noel Gallagher, from Neil Young to Queen, from ELO to Emeli Sande.
Not one to let a lack of tuition, experience or technical ability get in my way of open mic strumming, singing or songwriting, I released my debut album, Strummer Singer Songwriter (acoustic), an album of 12 original acoustic songs at the end of November 2011, followed in August 2013 by a second album of another 12 original songs entitled Theory Of Everything (solo acoustic). All in the hope that the songs might touch a chord with someone out there, and perhaps one day some famous singer or band might discover a song, create a better cover of the song, and get it out to a wider audience! As much as I would like to, I am a realist, so I know I wont be giving up the day job!
The albums might also appeal to people who like listening to open mic acoustic, "unplugged", "live lounge" style songs, in this case songs just performed by one person simply singing and playing an acoustic guitar at the same time, albeit without the usual open mic live audience background sounds, since the songs are home recorded.
Thursday 13 Mar 2014:
The Paul Strummer Band is coming along nicely with Phil Sheridan on lead guitar, Ian Ballantyne on drums, and Rebecca Freeman on keyboards. The last couple of Thursdays we've had our first 2 gigs together as a 4 piece band. Here are a couple of covers (we still do my originals too) from those nights: Arctic Monkeys Do I Wanna Know cover, and Amy Winehouse Back To Black cover.
Saturday 15 Feb 2014:
Video of full 21 minute Corby Radio Live and Local interview including 3 live performances. I had a sore throat/cold but I was pleased to have got through it without losing my voice mid-song! Songs include: 1. Hip Hop Rap Mash-up mix ( 03:08 ) (including original song I Worry), 2. Mi Amor original song ( 08:59 ), 3. Come Back original song ( 16:16 ) (with Midge Ure Visage Fade to Grey intro cover). A big thanks to Pat McMahon and Stevie Rigsby for a very fun way to spend a Saturday lunchtime over at Corby Radio Live and Local. Cheers!
Thursday 23 January 2014:
A nice last minute gig (I found out about it that afternoon), I played some of my tunes at The Castle Theatre & Arts Centre's Wellingborough's Got Talent night, during the vote counting, deliberating, cogitating and digesting time. A very high standard in all the young contestants (it was open to 14-30 year olds, and in the end the age range was younger, 14-25), and a very enjoyable night. Thanks to Graham, Lora, Alex, Dan, Lewis, Gary, Dave, Tracey, all the contestants, and everyone else for making it such a special night. I played 5 songs, 4 originals from the 2nd album (all written in W'boro!), and 1 cover, it took a while to count the votes! - 1. I Worry (original song with a hip hop rap mash-up at start), 2. The Moon Is Awfully Bright, 3. You, 4. Emeli Sande's Read All About It Part 3 cover, 5. Long Time Coming.
Thursday 9 January 2014: Fun night at the Old Swan Earls Barton open mic night. I got to play 10 songs, originals and covers, over a couple of sets. Set 1: 1. Hip hop rap mashup including my song I Worry, 2. Tom Waits Yesterday Is Here, 3. Mi Amor (my song), 4. Queen Don't Stop Me Now, 5. You (my song) 6. Tom Waits Way Down In The Hole, 7. Come Back (my song). Set 2: 1. Tom Waits Ice Cream Man, 2. Cameo Word Up, 3. Ian Dury and the Blockheads What A Waste. Seeing as my covers took quite a Tom Waits bias that night! for the appreciative Tom Waits fans at the Old Swan, here is an old live video of me performing the Tom Waits song Yesterday Is Here. And here is a recent live video of my original song Mi Amor.
Sunday 5 January 2014: First feature set of 2014 at the Sno!bar Xscape Milton Keynes, an alpine bar with snowboarders and skiers doing their thing in the background. Our set (Phil Sheridan and me) consisted of 4 originals (from my 2nd album) and 3 covers, including this local cover of Strongbow (apologies for poor sound quality due to the camera phone being used!), a song from Karl Phillips and the Midnight Ramblers (also from Wellingborough). Our set list:
1. Tom Waits Ice Cream Man (cover)
2. I Worry (original)
3. Come Back (original)
4. Strongbow Karl Phillips and the Midnight Ramblers (cover)
5. Long Time Coming (original)
6. Sitting On A Barstool (original)
7. Bobby Hebb (Boney M) Sunny (cover)
Thanks to Tim and Letty for hosting the Sno!Jam open mic night at the Sno!Bar and letting us play, thanks to the other performers and other people who came along, and thanks to Mandi for video'ing this on her phone. Cheers! Funnily enough, my second album has snowboard imagery on the album cover, so this was used for the poster too!
Wednesday 1 January 2014: Happy New Year everybody! Go for it! Seize the year! Here's my own song about going for it, seizing the day/year etc, Rest Of Your Life a live performance from way back in 2012 - I'll be seizing the night later by getting along to the Wellingborough's Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club New Year's day bash, to perform some songs with Phil Sheridan, and Coleen.
Tuesday 31 December 2013, New Year's Eve: What 30 new cover songs did I play in 2013? What original songs did I write and release? What collaborations did I start? What new skills did I start learning? Who cares? A review of a year of someone who "likes to strum" in some of his spare time... Have a good 'un tonight! Cheers!
Monday 31 December 2013: Last open mic of the year, started with a performance of a song I've never tried live before, here's my cover of The Beatles (Paul McCartney) For No One.
Tuesday 24 December 2013: Have a great festive break, to christmas revellers and bah humbug'ers alike. If you haven't had your fill of crimbo songs yet, do please take your pick of live solo acoustic crimbo/festive songs from me:
1. Walking In The Air (The Snowman)
2. Slade Merry Xmas Everybody
3. Queen Thank God It's Christmas
4. Odyssey Going Back To My Roots
5. Hushabye Mountain (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)
Friday 20 December 2013: Great last mad Friday night before Christmas solo acoustic gig supporting fellow solo acoustic artist Stevie Rigsby at the Black Horse pub, Braunstone Gate, Leicester. Here are some Christmas'y videos of live performances from that night: Walking In The Air (The Snowman), Slade's Merry Xmas Everybody, and Odyssey (Richie Havens) Going Back To My Roots. In total I performed 3 mainly covers sets, 15 songs in total, including: 1. Karl Phillips Strongbow, 2. Visage (Midge Ure) Fade To Grey, 3. Donna Summer I Feel Love, 4. Emeli Sande Read All About It Part 3, 5. Pink Floyd Another Brick In The Wall, 6. Hip Hop Rap mash-up including Sugarhill Gang Rapper's Delight, Ini Kamoze Here Come's The Hotstepper, and my own song I Worry, 7. Slade Merry Xmas Everybody, 8. Walking In The Air (The Snowman), 9. Adam and the Ants Dog Eat Dog, 10. Cameo Word Up, 11. Ian Dury and the Blockheads What A Waste, 12. Queen Don't Stop Me Now, 13. Odyssey Going Back To My Roots, 14. Hushabye Mountain (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), 15. Bobby Hebb Sunny.
Wednesday 18 December 2013: Here's a video of my live solo acoustic guitar and harmonica cover of Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall as part of my open mic set at the Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club Wellingborough.
Wednesday 11 December 2013: Here's a video of myself and Phil Sheridan performing The Zombies She's Not There as part of our open mic set at the Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club Wellingborough.
Wednesday 27 November 2013: Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club Wellingborough, solo acoustic live version of my own original song Mi Amor
Saturday 23 November 2013: Thanks to everyone who came along to the 5 hour acoustic showcase I hosted at the Hart Brewery beer festival alongside the Nene Court Christmas Fair. Here's a video of myself and Phil Sheridan performing a local cover of Karl Phillips's Strongbow and my own original song Come Back.
Thursday 14 November 2013: Phil Sheridan and myself performing a live cover of Tom Waits's Ice Cream Man as part of our open mic set at Hannah Faulkner's Obelisk Centre Open Mic, Northampton. Thanks Hannah for a great video! Our full set last night was: 1. I Worry (original song with a hip-hop rap mash-up at start), 2. Anita Baker Sweet Love, 3. Sing It Back Moloko cover, 4. Tom Waits Ice Cream Man cover
Wednesday 13 November 2013: 1st time I've improv guitar solo'd! 1st time I've used a looper live! 1st time we've both played this song live! (betraying the Strummer name, using the dusty part of the guitar!). Phil Sheridan and myself performing a live cover/jam of George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps as part of our open mic set at the Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club, Wellingborough. Our full set last night was: 1. I Worry (original song with a hip-hop rap mash-up at start), 2. She's Not There The Zombies cover, 3. Sing It Back Moloko cover, 4. Ice Cream Man Tom Waits cover, 5. Another Brick In The Wall Pink Floyd cover, 6. Sitting On A Barstool (original song), 7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps cover, 8. Sunny Bobby Hebb (Boney M) cover
Sunday 03 November 2013: Collaborative work with local jazz guitarist Phil Sheridan is coming along nicely, with some cool and fun acoustic duo arrangements of my original songs and covers. Today Phil and I performed live at Hannah Faulkner's open mic at Ken's Diner Finedon. Our full set list was 5 songs (2 covers, 3 originals): 1. Tom Waits Ice Cream Man cover, 2. I Worry (original song), 3. Devil Comes A Knocking (original song), 4. Bobby Hebb Sunny cover (many artists have covered Sunny, including Boney M), 5. Sitting On A Barstool (original song). Thanks to Hannah for her hosting and excellent video'ing.
Wednesday 30 October 2013: A fun 45 minute open mic/jam set at the Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club Wellingborough, celebrating Halloween a night early, performing a mix of originals, covers, and Halloween songs accompanied by jazz guitarist Phil Sheridan. Halloween songs included a cover of Sting's Moon Over Bourbon Street and a cover of Michael Jackson's Thriller. Our full set: 1. Moloko Sing It Back, 2. I Worry original songs include: 1. You, 2. Mi Amor, 3. Come Back, 4. The Moon Is Awfully Bright, 5. Long Time Coming, 6. Sitting On A Barstool. (my song), 3. Sting Moon Over Bourbon Street, 4. Sitting On A Barstool (my song), 5. Cerrone Supernature, 6. Long Time Coming (my song), 7. Michael Jackson Thriller, 8. Bobby Hebb Sunny (and Boney M)
Wednesday 23 October 2013: Do please check out, play and share my entry to the Shure music competition (with a chance of playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival). I've entered my song You, and I've also created a 1 minute interview/biography video with some live footage, which was certainly fun to make, trying to cram in 6 answers in 60 seconds as well as showing live footage! I'm also wearing my new T-Shirt in the vid! Cheers!
Tuesday 22 October 2013: I have recently been collaborating with local guitarist Mark Gill on a couple of new songs, adding lyrics and vocals to Mark's compositions, and here are a couple of early drafts of songs we've come up with I'll Find My Way and Falling For Your Love.
Monday 7 October 2013: I performed a feature set at the Wildfire Sessions Acoustic Showcase, Old Market Inn, Kettering. After starting the set with a cover, here is the rest of the full originals set (6 songs, the last 2 songs I was accompanied by jazz guitarist Phil Sheridan).
Saturday 5 October 2013: A Saturday night gig at the Welcome Inn Rushden, 3 x 30 minute sets of originals and covers, thanks to everyone who was there.
Saturday 5 October 2013: I organised, sound engineered, hosted and performed - and celebrated my second album launch! - a 5 hour afternoon acoustic showcase (video hightlights now available on this page) at Wellingborough's Hart Brewery Mini-Beer Festival for UK Beer Day, 12-5pm, Nene Court, Embankment, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN8 1LD.
Saturday 28 September 2013: I organised, sound engineered, hosted and performed - and celebrated my second album launch! - a late afternoon early evening acoustic showcase (27min hightlights video now available on this page) at the Annual Wellingborough's Beer Festival, 4pm-7:30pm, All Saints Church Hall, Midland Road, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire NN8 1HF.
Wednesday 14 August 2013: My second album Theory Of Everything (solo acoustic), is now available for preview or purchase on iTunes, just search within your iTunes application for Paul Strummer. The album artwork is yellow containing live performance and snowboard imagery. The album contains 12 original catchy tracks. The album is also available on Amazon.
Saturday 10 August 2013: 30 minute live solo acoustic set at the Tollemache Arms Beer n Music festival Harrington, near Rothwell - it was great to do a full set of new original songs from my new album! There are some videos of individual songs including I Worry, Come Back, Long Time Coming, Sitting On A Bar Stool, You, and Talent Shows.
Wednesday 7 August 2013: Some video highlights of myself and talented jazz guitarist Phil Sheridan having some fun and jamming live some of my new second album songs at the Horseshoe Inn Acoustic club open mic night.
Saturday 3 August 2013: My second album Theory Of Everything (solo acoustic) has now been launched, you can listen to it online for free here. I popped over to Corby radio this lunchtime to have a chat about the album and to play 3 songs from the album live. A video of the full 17 minute interview with live performances of I Worry, The Moon Is Awfully Bright and Talent Shows can be seen on youtube.
Saturday 29 June 2013: My first official Saturday night full gig at The Welcome Inn, Rushden, 9pm-late, playing covers and originals. This was a joint gig with fellow local solo acoustic singer songwriter, the talented Charlie Lock. Here's a clip of me performing a Cameo Word Up cover and here's a clip of Charlie performing a Gorillaz Feel Good Inc cover that night.
Saturday 18 May 2013: I'm extremely proud to have organised, promoted, hosted, PA'd/sound engineered and played at 2 local acoustic showcases at 2 local beer festivals (large events) in Wellingborough in the space of 7 days, showing off local talent and locally brewed songs. This Saturday afternoon 2pm-5pm 18 May 2013 it was a 3 hour acoustic showcase at Wellingborough's Hart Family Brewery 1st Year Birthday Bash, see these video highlights (34 minute video). The week before on a Saturday afternoon/early evening 11 May 2013 it was a 3 and a half hour Acoustic Showcase at Wellingborough's International Waendel Walk Beer Festival.
Sunday 10 February 2013: I've had my guitar for nearly 2 years now, and I still like it a lot, so I thought I'd create this guitar review video.
Wednesday 27 March 2013: Latest video! Live solo acoustic performances of Guilt Trip, from my debut album, performed this week at the Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club, Wellingborough: Guilt Trip
Friday 1 February 2013: Live solo acoustic performances of 2 songs from my debut album, performed this week at the Wildfire Sessions acoustic night, Ye Golden Lion pub, Wellingborough: Waiting For The Sign Devil Comes A Knocking
and from a few weeks ago at the Horseshoe Inn Acoustic Club Wellingborough, 20 Dec 2012, a song from my forthcoming second album: The Moon Is Awfully Bright
Thursday 3 January 2013: Happy New Year! Local acoustic events promoter Wildfire Sessions have just released a 20 track compilation CD for Shelter, with songs from local acoustic singer songwriters including Twist Of Fortune, a song from my debut album. The CD is available from the Wildfire website, and will also be launched at the Wildfire Sessions late Xmas party tonight at Ye Golden Lion, Wellingborough.
Monday 31 December 2012: 2012 Year In Review. A look back and review of what I got up to in 2012, including some interesting stats on what my top 80 acoustic songs were, that I covered.
Saturday 22 December 2012: Merry Christmas! Here's me covering Thank God It's Christmas Queen at music events over 3 consecutive nights this week: video clip
Thursday 8 November 2012: Songwriting for my second album - that difficult second album! - is progressing nicely. The 12 new songs are evolving nicely for a second album to be released end of 2012 or early 2013, to follow up on my first album released end of 2011. Here are some early live airings of some of the new songs:
The Moon Is Awfully Bright (Wednesday 19 December 2012)
Theory Of Everything (Thursday 19 April 2012)
Talent Shows (On The Money) (Wednesday 12 December 2012)
Sunday 28 October 2012: I felt very privileged to be a part of the Troubadour Club Tribute Night at such a great music venue, The Musician, Leicester. Wildfire Sessions organised a night in homage to the famous LA club - The LA Troubadour - which hosted so many great legendary acts, many debuting their craft on the venue's stage. Local singer songwriters and acoustic artists got the chance to perform covers of their favourite singer songwriters who have performed at the Troubadour club. My set consisted of a Leo Sayer medley ending with a Tom Waits song: 1. The Show Must Go On Leo Sayer (video clip), 2. One Man Band Leo Sayer (video clip), 3. Giving It All Away Leo Sayer (video clip), 4. Ice Cream Man Leo Sayer (video clip). In 1974, 26 year old British singer songwriter Leo Sayer, on his second album of songs (some of which Roger Daltrey covered in his first solo album), toured the US and performed at the Troubadour. At this time during his live shows, Leo Sayer dressed in a wonderful pierrot clown outfit! In 1970, a 21 year old Tom Waits started performing open mic piano sets at the Troubadour, with some Dylan covers but also his own songs too including Ice Cream Man, a song on his Closing Time debut album in 1973. I try to cover quite a range of songwriter's songs, usually one song per songwriter then moving on to the next artist, but Leo Sayer and Tom Waits are the only songwriters where I've arranged and performed covers for 3 of their songs, so far! Their songs are definitely favourites for me, and these songs are quite an influence on my own songwriting!
Sunday 02 September 2012: Quite proud of this, the full youtube 8 video playlist of my 30 minute feature set at the Wildfire Sessions Horseshoe Sywell open mic night 2 Sundays ago. 8 songs, 1 cover and 7 originals.
1. Walk On By Dionne Warwick, 2. Waiting For The Sign, 3. Rest Of Your Life, 4. Out Of The Maze, 5. Summer Rain, 6. What's Special With You, 7. The Moon Is Awfully Bright, 8. This Tour
Proud because I managed to arrange and play a Hal David tribute song that afternoon/evening, and generally proud that for the whole set I managed to not only play the right notes, but in most cases play the right notes in the right order!
Monday 04 June 2012: Submitted my solo acoustic cover of Gallows Pole to Neil Young's Cover an American Classic Talenthouse competition. Here is the Talenthouse preview page. (Update 27 June 2012: contest is now over, thanks to everybody who listened, supported and provided feedback. The final winner was a very good cover of Wayfarin' Stranger from US folk band Profane Sass.)
Thursday 05 January 2012: In addition to iTunes, my album Strummer Singer Songwriter (acoustic), is now available for preview or purchase on Amazon mp3 downloads (UK, US, Germany, France, Japan), Spotify, Nokia Music Store, European stores like 121MusicStore.eu, and more coming soon!
Thursday 22 December 2011: My album Strummer Singer Songwriter (acoustic), is now available for preview or purchase on iTunes, just search within your iTunes application for Paul Strummer. The album artwork is the usual light green sketch artwork. The album contains 12 original catchy tracks.
Album also available for preview and download purchase at: Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Germany, 121musicstore.eu, meteli.net, Nokia Music store, Spotify and other download stores.
Other freebies: free year planner