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Judge for Paul Black

Victoria, Canada
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Portrait of Paul Black

Born and raised in Terrace BC, Paul Black inherited his first guitar— ‘abandoned’ as money owed to his father — at 16, but didn’t pick it up until he was 18; he hasn’t put it down since. Growing up, gospel and country music dominated the household and his musical imagination. Conversely, Black played rock. When his mother ran errands, Zeppelin, forbidden, ruled the record player. From barn to stage, Black— who became a vocalist, by default, when his singer walked off— blew the barn doors open to rock out his original beats to live audiences all over B.C. The defining moment: one dry, hot summer his cousin gave him a ticket to Stevie Ray Vaughn, and from then on it was nothin’ but the blues. Head first, he plunged into the likes of Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix and Muddy Waters, and Black emerged as the dirty, aggressive, exciting musician we hear today. 


After moving south to Vancouver Island, Paul Black formed various blues bands until releasing an album titled Paul Black and TAXI. Their debut CD won Black and TAXI a spot on the Rocktoria (Victoria, BC) compilation CD (100.3 the Q FM). From there, Black, with his slow-burning, soulful sound, was featured twice with Etta James, Robert Cray and Robin Trower on the North American syndicated show Blues Deluxe out of Arlington Texas. The CD also rated an impressive 8 out of 10 by ROLLING A fervent singer-songwriter, Black blazed on to win the Vancouver Island Original Music Competition. He then seized first place in the province-wide Shaw Star Discovery Competition with judges from EMI, House of Blues and Sony Records.


Black cast his shadow on the International scene as he won first place for Song of the Year Competition for his song “About You”; he stood above the competition of thousands of entries for the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. Judged solely on song writing and lyrics, the competition attracts judges ranging from Capitol Records to Norah Jones to Universal Music manager, Stephanie Wright, who worked with Sting, U2, The Black Eyed Peas and Stevie Wonder. From there, he played with Chilliwack, Kim Mitchell, Sas Jordon, Long John Baldry, Barney Bentall and Buckwheat Zydeco. Most recently, Black invited Jann Arden’s keyboardist Darcy Phillips to contribute to his latest album.

In 2010, Black released his widely anticipated CD titled: “Paul Black”. Newly released, “Paul Black” already gets worldwide play throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe and the U.K. Black’s latest CD is featured in the 2010 POPKOMM International music festival in Berlin.