The Local 913: Tom Paul

 
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Tom Paul has been making music in Pittsburgh for a long time. "Well, I’ve been writing music probably since my twenties," he says, "And bought a 4-track reel-to-reel tape recorder with my first paycheck out of college and then bought a Stratocaster with my second paycheck at Lomakin’s on Liberty Avenue."

He went to work building a home studio and trying to eek out a living in the music business. "I thought I would be a songwriter," he says, but, as many of us learn, what we think we want to do is often different from our calling. "Along the way, I realized the kind of music I wrote doesn’t really appeal to people looking for songs."

He never stopped writing, though, always honing his craft and looking for inspiration. In recent years, Paul has brought a deeper sense of maturity to his songwriting – something that wasn’t there when he started writing poems and short stories in college. "I found I was able to string words together and get good grades," he says, "But I really had trouble coming up with a complete story that resolved. I could make observations, but I couldn’t make conclusions. At this point in my life, I’ve seen a lot of things through to the end and I see where they go and how they get there and then the consequences of those endings."

On “It’s Only Tuesday,” the title track to Tom Paul’s latest album, his sharp, observational wit perfectly describes the frustration of everyday… well, frustration.

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