Paul Sachs

 
 

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Acoustic Live NYC

Love is Love, the latest CD from Paul Sachs deals with loss in its many guises. In deceptively lean, elegant lyrics, Sachs shows his continuing dedicated command of the songwriter’s craft.

The leadoff title track describes love as if it existed in a spare landscape, where it could simply shift away from the object of desire and walk away.
Sachs sings, Love is love, I’ll grant you that, waving goodbye while tipping my hat. Especially erudite are the lines, Love is love, nail-bitten and blind / how quickly we lose what took so long to find / All good stories come to an end / to that first kiss to / “Are we still friends? The song, played with a stately, slow pace, provokes an infinite sadness.

Other examples of lyrical and imaginative brilliance abound.

“Every Mother’s Son” describes the loss of a gentle childhood spirit, wrenched away by military training. Then you learned to salute / and never lose a fight / how to run in desert boots / and wear a uniform for life … three tours of duty / now you’re home / cold and numb / to every mother’s son.

“The Killer Inside Me” explores the strange pull of a death row inmate upon a woman who recognizes their shared inner nature and leaves her home and family to be near him as he approaches the end of his life: The killer inside you / is the killer inside me too.

“Love’s a Hard Lesson,” told from a woman’s viewpoint, is a tale of a wife’s revenge on an abusive, alcoholic husband. It’s worthy of any song in the Steve Earle canon. Coincidentally, Sachs’ ever robust voice captures some of Earle’s gravelly timbre as he sings: Now I don’t regret the killin’ or a god damn thing / In a few years, I’m getting’ paroled / my mother says she’s gonna sell my wedding ring / Gave it to her to hold / I’ll be happy when it’s sold, yeah.

“All That Love Provides” is a tale of infidelity with a country flair that any Nashville songwriter would covet: Deception’s easy when it feels like bliss / You get addicted to a wayward kiss / Drank the wine, I took a piss / on all that love provides.

“No Man’s Land” is perhaps the ultimate tale of a dependency-prone young man’s descent into heroin addiction. In masterful strokes, Sachs’ lyrics take us on a tour through humanity’s darkest alleys. It spins its tale in the form of an imagined letter to the addict’s newborn daughter: Welcome to the world / my new little girl / Sorry daddy has no money saved / All the bills piled high / and your mommy and I / had to go our separate ways … she was the cheerleading queen of the homecoming team / and loving her just made sense / and I found the moon with a needle and spoon / but that Judas harpoon takes a toll …

“Boys Will Be Boys” is my hands-down choice for the jewel in the crown of this audacious CD, provoking many consecutive presses on the iPod replay button. The friendship between the song’s straight narrator and his gay best friend is expressed with an undercurrent of sad reminiscence. Paul sings slightly above a whisper and a lead guitar keens and sighs with understated sorrow: Cohorts from the misfit crew / back in 1982 … Turnin’ tricks, nothin’s free / back in 1983 / did it for the thrill and buzz / did it for the money / what creates also destroys / and boys will be boys will be boys … Best of friends was all we were / damn the dumb and narrow / inside a world of adolescent noise / boys will be boys will be boys. At the song’s end, the narrator sings of his friend’s demise: thin as air, brittle bones … hospitals and bare trees … Was he a she; a him or her / love’s a broken arrow / what creates also destroys / boys will be boys will be boys. At each replay my heart is in my mouth and water stings my eyes.

When I broke away long enough to pay closer attention to the album’s closer, “The Best Hope Can Do,” it vied for equal attention and probably comes in a close second for this listener. Again, I reached for the replay button, over and over. The song’s protagonist finds himself on shaky ground with the love of his life. Strumming with a steady pulse, Sachs, as narrator entreats his love to stay, to hold out, despite every uncertainty: It’s a new wheel on a used car / a prayer on a shooting star / the sheer wonder of where you are tonight / Better days will come / I’m barely holding’ on, my baby blue / with the best hope can do.

Every turn in life’s river seems to elicit new brilliance in Paul Sachs’ writing. We’ll no doubt be witness to more lyrical feats as he ascends ever higher in the ranks of great songwriters. Now the rest of the world just needs to listen. All radio DJs take note!

Reviews for Oil Town

"It is easy to stamp Springsteen on the songs of Paul Sachs with a demographic  lean of the characters and their environment so similar...While ‘Oil  Town’  is not the rock  behemoth of ‘Born  to Run’, it shares a love of red meat and is an album with the same guts and backbone..."Oil Town is a record of our times, filled with people you know, folks you pass on the street and stories you see in the daily news. Paul takes the one dimensional image on the screen and breathes the reality of life into its lungs. coloring and defining the stories so that you can not only see but feel...The power of Paul Sachs vocals delivers a message on a mission supported by all the musical paths open to contemporary folk musicians. The overall feel on ‘Oil Town’ is acoustic but don’t assume that translates to gentle sways and peaceful reverie. There is a gale force that clears the air. It challenges the guilty and gives the innocent an appreciation for what they have on the plus side as Paul holds up a vision of ourselves and those we know." 
-Alternate Root Magazine.
for full article go to www.paulsachs.com press kit.

Paul Sachs' new CD, "Oil Town," is an impressive collection of from-the-heart songs, sung with grit and passion--and the right amount of grace. He writes insightful songs and sings them the way he envisioned them to be sung.  This CD is well-produced, with just enough accompaniment to accentuate Paul's music, bringing his strong, clear vocals to the forefront.  Paul makes his mentor, the late Jack Hardy, proud of him with this one.
--Wanda Fischer, Producer/Host, "The Hudson River Sampler," WAMC-FM/Northeast Public Radio

"With a country crooner's voice and a folk songwriter's soul, Paul Sachs is in tune with our uncertain times in the 21st century. On 'Oil Town,' he sets an unflinching eye on rusted dreams, frayed lives, corporate evil-doers, and the smaller tragedies between average men and women everywhere."

- Chris Kocher, writer for the (Binghamton, N.Y.) Press & Sun-Bulletin and Sing Out

New York native, Paul Sachs has put out four independent folk album since 1999.  His three earlier albums often dealing with stories about growing up on rough streets in the city. And while the songs on his new album - Oil Town - also deal in personal stories - many of them are about somewhat bigger planetary dramas like oil spills and war and how they impact ordinary people.  Sachs is gifted with one those strong and distinctive voices that command attention, and his songs will grab you, too... Paul Sachs,  who's fast becoming a new troubadour of our troubled times.
--Butch Kara KZGM FM  

"Paul Sachs new recording Oil Town has a real smooth acoustic sound that's drenched with great grass root lyrics. This CD gives a lot of pure listening pleasure. Excellent project."
--Jim Fisher WGCS radio

Paul Sachs' big voice frames the eloquently told tales of working class desperation in these times of corporate takeover. This album could be called "Oil World," but "Oil Town" will do. This new effort marks the emergence of an important voice in the genre of social commentary folk music.

--Richard Cuccaro, Acoustic Live.

"Paul Sachs' Oil Town is on my "Folk Festival Faves" list of 2011.  It is an excellent set of well-crafted songs, with fine musicianship, and songs that go beyond mere entertainment, but with meaning, insights, and social commentary.
It has been a pleasure including on the show!"
--Lilli Kuzma, "Folk Festival" on WDCB Public Radio (Glen Ellyn/ Chicago)

Indie-Music.com

Reviews of the CD These Quiet Streets

Growing up on the Lower East Side of New York will either get a man killed or make him a survivor. Paul Sachs chose to become the latter, and on These Quiet Streets, it’s evident that his upbringing left an indelible impression on his music. “Mean Streets” introduces us to his keen observations in the same manner that Springsteen spoke of Jersey and the gloominess that surrounded him. “100 Proof” does little to dismiss the sorrow that comes with big city life. A sordid tale of homelessness, it would almost seem Sachs has been down this road himself. The beauty of folk music is how even the most depressing themes can be somewhat lifting. Not that everything here is unhappy, but there's no suggestion that a hot bath and a razor blade would make you feel better. “Busking” is a cool little breakdown that makes you want to run around throwing dollar bills in every open guitar case on every street corner in sight. “The Faith of Adeline Washington” throws inspiration from a young Dylan right at your feet. If you fail to catch this one, then it’s clear you aren’t taking notice. By far the standout track, I could listen to this all day and still think “Damn, is this for real?” “Obituaries” is a loose dream of a day without sorrow. Thought-provoking, tight and inspiring, for a moment it seems possible. Then the moment passes and reality creeps back in. “My Father’s Old Pipe” and “Godfather of Grand Street” are short, almost whimsical songs that seem impromptu and collectively make more of this album than the other eleven tracks combined. Sometimes just throwing it down without much thought can have a greater impact than time spent dwelling over lyrics and chord structure. Sachs does himself a solid by including them here. If the Greenwich Village folk scene ever kicks back into high gear as in the 60s, we’ll all be better served if Paul Sachs joins in and shares his tales with us. This is my request that he do just that.

HomeGrownRadioNJ.com

His metaphors are so organically built, so subtly derived from the mis-en-scene of the song as to catch the listener unaware. One finds while distracted by the simple pleasures of a finger picked acoustic guitar and Paul's unshaven unapologetic vocal that the vast and crucial beauty of the song has crept in the back door. It is at its most emotional a buoyant affirmation of the joy and sorrow bled from a life well lived and at its most intellectual a lesson in how to write a song".