For Immediate Release
September 9, 1996
(Los Angeles)-- The Paul deLay Band's long-awaited, newly-recorded CD, Ocean Of Tears (ECD 26079), will be released by Evidence Music on Tuesday, September 24--available in record stores worldwide--it was announced today by the record label's co-founder and A&R director, Jerry Gordon.
Ocean Of Tears is nothing less than a tour-de-force for the multi-talented Paul deLay (singer, songwriter, harmonica player and bandleader;), who is a renowned contemporary blues pioneer in his hometown of Portland, Oregon and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
The album is the result of personal tragedy turned to triumph by Paul deLay, a stalwart survivor generous enough to share his vulnerabilities. In 1990, deLay was arrested on federal drug charges, resulting in a 4l-month stay in a federal penitentiary. The dozens of songs he wrote, rehearsed and organized jail house bands to perform were developed "in prison camp. There's no gettin' around it--that's where this album comes from. I found I didn't have much to talk about with my fellow inmates. I lived with my ear plugs in and worked on these songs real hard. I don't want to romanticize the situation; it was prison 24 hours a day. And it's really important for me to say that I'm not proud of what I did to earn that sentence. But I am very proud of this album, and I worked to make sure there were no weak spots."
Since the Seventies, Paul deLay--eventually, the Paul deLay Band--has been the mainstay of the fertile music scene in Portland (also Robert Cray's homeground). He is truly a legend in his native region, the result of thousands of local gigs and a handful of self-released CDs. His wonderful vocal qualities are visceral in nature--he is given to honest emotions, complemented by a powerful range and incredible stamina. As a harp player, he is simply one of the instrument's greatest practitioners. Even so, it is Paul deLay's song writing that garners much of the praise these days. With Ocean Of Tears, Paul the writer is clearly at the top of his game (and watch out, because he claims to have "12 to the good" already stockpiled for the next CD as well).
Ocean Of Tears is filled with unexpectedly fresh Lyrics and hooks in a musical genre that is currently enjoying its greatest moment of mass appeal. Paul's songs run the gamut of lifetime experiences, from soulful laments to personal redemption. Opening the CD is Th e Bottom Line, a poignant complaint from "guys like me'' who "don't get women like you/I don't think you'd see me if I was on fire...and that's the bottom line." The title track finds a heartbroken deLay expressing the sadness and frustrations of love, both in his life and in the lives of others. "Now if your lover has left you/At least you know you're not alone/'Cause there's a million others just like you/With the same old sad situation going on." The downcast mood is one Paul uses infrequently but wants to explore. "I push everything down, then I vent when I have to," he says. "Sometimes, performing a sad song, I'II be thinking about my mom's house when we were little-it's very real." The CD is dedicated to three band-members mothers, including Paul's, who passed away when he was in jail.
Maybe Our Luck Will Change is a thoroughly-engaging. Motown-flavored duet with local singer Linda Hornbuckle (who replaced Paul in, and recorded with, the "No Delay Band" during his incarceration), whose background is clearly "church." If anyone is on the fence about Paul's star qualities to this point, this number should be the clincher. It is a completely uplifting antidote to the universal struggles of the working person; Paul's uncontrived lyrics also reflect the gender politics of modern culture: I see you get up in the mornin'/Put that smile on your face/And a pair of real uncomfortable shoes/And you go to your job/Where you can't get anyplace/Doin' something' that a man wouldn't do". "I'm a blue musician, for sure," Paul says. "But I know that the blues, or R&B and soul music, are not contingent upon one kind of love theme or one kind of macho message. It doesn't have to be that way. I write anti-sexist lyrics, and that's the guy I want to be."
A different kind of anthem is Paul's reminder to his "recovery buddies" and, most importantly, to himself: "(Don't you) Slip/ (Don't you) Stumble/(Don't you) Fall."
The six-piece Paul deLay Band is comprised of stellar musicians, each with a long resume of regional credits: Peter Dammann on lead guitar; Dan Fincher on tenor sax; deLay's occasional song writing collaborator Louis Pain on keyboards; John Mazzocco on bass; and Mike Klobas on drums and percussion.
This is the second Paul deLay Band release form the Philadelphia-based Evidence Music, which previously issued Take It From The Turnaround..., a double-length CD that combined the two CDs deLay wrote, recorded and released locally between his arrest and incarceration, The Other One (1990) and Paulzilla (1992. In its five years of existence, Evidence Music has released 260 titles, an extensive catalogue of splendid blues and jazz reissues as well as new releases. The label is known for its Sun Ra reissue series, many releases by Pharoah Sanders, and its recent blues hit Melvin Taylor and The Slack Band.
Veteran publicist Karen Johnson (Private Music, Taj Mahal, Etta James, Ringo Starr, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tony Bennett, U2, Warner Bros., etc.) has been hired by Evidence to develop the Paul deLay Band/Ocean of Tears national media campaign.
For further information, contact: Alan Edwards of Evidence (610) 832-0844.
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