Edition #29 – Paula Boggs answers 7 questions

by | Oct 3, 2022

1. Why are you a musician?

The teen me wrote a song with a lyric, “the gift is for those who use it well.” As a songwriter and performer I communicate best through the medium of music. I need to make it and am grateful others want to hear it. I also dig the whole community and ecosystem even when it’s hard. It’s home.

2. Who are your musical inspirations?

I’m drawn to great lyricists and musicians who draw outside the lines, the outlaws who move across genres or create their own. I’m also attracted to musicians who continue to innovate.

Recently I watched a Tiny Desk of David Crosby & The Lighthouse Band. 70+ year old Crosby is making complex, fresh, deep music with 3 thirty-something music geniuses — Snarky Puppy’s Michael League, Becca Stevens and Michelle Willis. Sublime.

3. What is your practice routine?

It varies but I try to devote at least an hour a day to writing or practicing guitar, ukulele or voice. I’m also writing a memoir so sometimes the hour is devoted to that. It rarely goes beyond two hours. Paula Boggs Band rehearses every other week for two hours.

We also have a couple vocal harmony rehearsals per month. I also consider physical fitness a contributor to creative fitness and so run, walk, cycle and/or go to the gym for an hour+ every day.

4. Why did you make this album?

By Paula Boggs

Janus is a god/goddess of transition, doors opening and closing, chapters beginning and ending. All of its songs were written or reimagined during the 2020 pandemics of public health, racial unrest and political turmoil.

We were compelled to make this album when we did. It’s an honest but also ultimately cautiously hopeful album. It would not be this “Janus” were it conceived at any other time.

5. What were the biggest obstacles in making this music?

The two biggest obstacles were me breaking my left thumb in November 2019 and making an album during Covid-19.

Breaking my thumb resulted in 2 key outcomes:

1. many songs on “Janus” were written with ukulele, an instrument I could hold, rather than guitar, my normal instrument of choice, and these songs reflect that;

2. because I couldn’t play we recruited multi instrumentalist Darren Loucas as a full time band member (he’d subbed for us in the past) and the album + band are better for it.

Making “Janus” during Covid we used a studio adhering to Recording Academy recommended protocols, we wore masks except when singing, eating or playing a mouth-required instrument like harmonica. We kept as socially distant as possible and it even effected where/how we stayed in Portland when not physically in the studio.

6. Who is featured on the album?

The album was produced/mixed by Tucker Martine.

Paula Boggs Band on the album is Darren Loucas (multi instrumentals/vocals), Paul Matthew Moore (keyboards/accordion/chromatic harmonica/vocals), Marina Christopher (bass/vocals), Tor Dietrichson (percussion), Jacob Evans (Drums), Mark Chinen (guitar, banjo), Paula Boggs (vocals/songwriter) .

Joining us as guests Luke Price (fiddle), Daniel Walker (multi instrumentalist), Tucker Martine (percussion) , Brian Myers (saxophone, clarinet), Dom Flemons (vocals, banjo, bones, jug)

7. Where may we find you online?