Americana songwriter/guitarist Aris Paul hails from Pittsburgh, PA. He’s just released his first full length album, Drive All Night. “It’s a road-intensive album,” he told me. “And I think it’s a great offering of solid production, soulful lyrics, and top-notch musicianship. It’s a very solid collection of so many sub-genres from blues and rock to alt. country and folk.”
Like many younger musicians these days, Aris comes from a music rich family history. His father, Paul Pantelas was a lifelong musician and touring guitarist throughout the 1970s and 1980s. “Lucky me,” Aris said, “All of his road gear was littered all throughout the house. I was about 9 or 10 when I started playing around with his guitars.”
His dad and uncle, George Pantelas, had a hand in Pittsburgh’s blues scene. Aris told me, “They founded Excuses Bar together, which was a little corner bar on the south side of town. A lot of the old blues greats that were playing shows around town would get word to come down and check out this little dive bar on the south side because that’s where all the musicians were playing late at night.”
Fueled by the blues influences in his blood, Aris was writing his own songs by age 16. He recalled what legendary Pittsburgh rocker, Norman Nardini, told him one day; “Find out what you want to say and say it as best you can.” ”That was some of the most invaluable advice I’ve ever been given,” Aris said.
By 18 he had been signed to a contract with Plateau Records in Nashville. “My dad and I sent my songs to a studio down there, and surprisingly they got back to us and wanted to record them. It wasn’t my best work, obviously, but for an eighteen year old, it was pretty impactful.”
“My music is hard to pin down,” he said. But it’s a blend that he’s quite proud of.
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