When asked about his musical influences, Paul Westbrook credits a wide range of artists including Willie Nelson, Miles Davis, Monk, The Grateful Dead, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Rush, 311, Steely Dan, Phish, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, and The Beatles. His performance history is almost as diverse and unique as his influences.
Paul has been performing music since he was ten years old. Originally a trumpet player, he later moved onto electric and upright basses, and eventually to acoustic and electric guitars, and voice. He also has a working knowledge of piano, organ, and many other string and percussion instruments as well.
In school, his skills were recognized with multiple awards including appointments to All-District Band, Jazz Band, and Choir and he was twice selected Principal Bass of the Louisiana All-State Orchestra. At age 16, he began his professional career with both the Lake Charles and Rapides Symphony Orchestras, becoming the youngest member of both organizations. He went on to study music on scholarship at the LSU School of Music in Baton Rouge where he learned classical technique on the double bass from Dave Anderson, Principal Bass of the Louisiana Philharmonic. At LSU, Paul performed with the school's Jazz Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Opera, Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble along with several other side projects. Though his college career ended prematurely due to a muscle injury, many adventures in music yet lay ahead.
Initially attracted to rock'n'roll, at an early age Paul enlisted his twin brother, Ryan on drums to form a tight-knit rhythym section that would power many bands over the years. Perhaps best known for their improvisational antics with their long-time art-rock trio, Thinking Plyers, the brothers also held down the groove for their high school's show band and swamp rocker, Giles Sonnier, before departing Louisiana for Nashville in 2000.
bought an acoustic guitar and began writing his own songs. He formed alliances with other musicians and pursued many other musical opportunities, performing with songwriters like Billy Miles, Charlie McCarter, and Simon Bruce, and country up-and-comers like Clay McClinton, Rachael Warwick, Mark Oshea, and Donovan Chapman. He even played in a jazz combo lead by electric banjoist, Charles Butler. Once in Nashville, Paul continued to record and tour with Thinking Plyers, but he also
Though his performance career has taken a backseat to his recent successes as a technician on major tours, Paul still enjoys stepping back into the limelight whenever possible. In a pinch, he has been known to fill in on bass guitar for major artists like Jake Owen and George Thorogood. He continues to write and record his own music and often contributes his instrumental skills to recordings he is producing for others. He even occasionally performs as a singer/songwriter with just an acoustic guitar and his road-weary voice. With a strong repertoire of original music and equally as many classic cover songs up his sleeve, Paul provides an entertaining evening of solo acoustic music that has been known to please a wide variety of listeners.
Keep an ear out here at apauloproductions.com to find out about Paul's next performance, or contact him directly to book his services.
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Musings of a Muso
Somedays I have to look at my life and wonder, "How did I get into this mess?!" The music industry is a tough biz that can be nearly impossible to break into. By the same token, it can be even harder to get out of! Try as I might to break away, I always come back to my love of music. Though my passion for performance doesn't run as deep as it once did, from time to time I still recognize the familiar flame burning just under the surface.
I have had a desire to create and perform music my whole life. Looking back at the list of artists and ensembles I have been able to contribute to, I am truly humbled and blessed. From my early days banging out rock covers with my buds to the indescribable thrill of pulling the bow across the strings of a giant double bass in a seventy-piece orchestra, music has always been a source of inspiration and a much-needed outlet for my emotions. Any chance I get now to pick up an instrument and play is truly a special moment that I try not to take for granted.
Jake Owen (2011)
Thinking Plyers (1993 - 2012)
Donovan Chapman (2007)
Mark Oshea (2007)
Guy Schwartz & the New Jack Hippies (2006)
Clay McClinton (2006)
Charles Butler Jazz Trio (2004)
Rachael Warwick (2004)
Charlie McCarter (2004 - 2005)
Simon Bruce (2003)
Billy Miles (2000)
Adrian Bowan (2000)
Chris Shearman (2000)
Bayou Grooves Band (2000)
Giles Sonnier and the Bayou Idols (2000)
Louisiana Big Band (2000)
MSU Jazz Ensemble (2000)
LSU Music Ensembles (1998 - 1999)
Opera, Symphony, Jazz, Wind, & Percussion Ensembles
Angie & Dean Manning (1998 - 1999)
Lake Charles Symphony (1996 - 2000)
Louisiana All-State Orchestra (1996 - 1997)
Infirmary Road Jazz Combo (1998 - 1999)
Rapides Symphony (1997 - 1998)
Sale Street Baptist Church (1998)
First Baptist Church (1995 - 1998)
St. Luke Simpson Methodist Church (1995 - 2000)