Pop into Pengilly's, Bittercreek Ale House, The Modern Hotel or Red Feather Lounge and the variable voice and guitar that serves as a soundtrack for your evening may very well belong to Thomas Paul.
For several years, Paul has played numerous solo and group gigs; a week in which he's not playing somewhere is the exception. Now he's set to release his first full-length album House on Fire, joined by several musicians for 10 tracks of country, blues, bluegrass, jazz, Latin, swing, psychedelic indie-pop and more.
The lovely Spanish-language "Anos Pasados" is the first indicator that House isn't a basic three-chord blues album. Another is "Man Gets Jealous; Finds Jesus," a troubling tale in which Paul quietly sings "She left me for a free ride from my brother / They never knew I knew / and you know I'm only human / it left a bad taste in my ..." the last word lost, chewed up into a gorgeous orchestra of guitar, trumpet and strings, his voice so plaintive in places as to induce goosebumps.
Paul said though he's happy with this release, he's already working on the next one.
"[House] is just one side of the cube," he said. The next album promises to be more stripped down, probably recorded live. "It will be me with a guitar and just a couple of guest musicians," Paul said. And as long as Paul is in there, it definitely has promise.
Friday, March 27, 7 p.m., FREE, Record Exchange; 9 p.m., $3, The Bouquet; Saturday, March 28, 8 p.m., $2, Flying M Coffeegarage.