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Table of Contents

  • Foreword by David Carr
  •  
  • Guitar Fools
  • A Boy and His Guitar
  • Buckshot in Short Pants
  • The Cry of the Muskrat
  • Cats Under the Stars
  • Vaseline Machine Gun
  • One More Saturday Night
  • Franklin Avenue
  • Electric High Heels
  • Party to a Crime
  • Robots on Death Row
  • House of Cards
  • Whistling Past the Graveyard
  • Ferris Wheels on the Farm
  • City of the Angels
  • Mississippi Farewell
  • No Money Down
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  • Ghosts of Woody Guthrie
  • Martini Gulch
  • White Boys Lost in the Blues
  • From Russia with Love
  • Key to the Highway

Table of Contents (Cont'd)

  • Sisu
  • Texas in the Twilight Zone
  • Slings and Arrows
  • Barbeque and Blues
  • Iko-Iko
  • Slow Justice
  • Stars Over the Prairie
  • Fireworks on the 4th of July
  •  
  • Acknowledgments
  • Discography
  • Concert Appearances

Stars Over the Prairie (Excerpt)

I formed my first band, the Positive Reaction, when I was twelve years old. While the name of the band seemed to roll off the tongue, it may have also come subliminally from the whispers of wisdom and encouragement from my dad, a businessman and acolyte of writer and self-improvement guru Dale Carnegie, the Deepak Chopra of his time with a 50s suit and tie. Carnegie died on the day I was born, November 1, 1955, and I’d spend a lifetime trying to win friends and influence people one show at a time.

Fast forward. The Blood on the Tracks Band was booked to play its tenth anniversary show at an amphitheater in St. Louis Park. I had organized the “Million Dollar Bash” at First Avenue in 2001 celebrating Bob Dylan’s sixtieth birthday, with forty different acts on two stages, including the original members of the Minneapolis session musicians who played on that classic Dylan disc. They had not played together since those sessions. I had been invited to this reunion by Kevin Odegard who was organizing the show. For my song, I chose the Byrd’s version of Dylan’s “My Back Pages” as both the song and the sound set my ship a-sailin’ in 1967 using “ideas as my map.”

Wherever “lifer” musicians gather the bonds are felt—those who know the decades of blasts of glory, music itself as a life-lasting love.

Stars Over the Prairie (Excerpt)

Followed by rejection, broke-down cars, the times in sickness and in health, other band members, friends at first, only in it for the money (like there was ever any) who will jump ship for a few dollars more.

The slow suicide of drugs and booze that lurks in the guise of midnight angels and whisky queens, sirens who call from corners with the dove-like eyes of your first true love but the intent of prostitutes who follow the feet of their victims in the quicksand of slow and meaningless death. Bar owners, booking agents, and record labels that could give a damn. Audiences more interested in pinball or pool tables or television screens, the band on the stage nothing but a bother. Death and destruction, love many times lost and the occasional one night stand hotter than the skillet of a New Orleans short order cook lighting up the skies like Times Square on New Year’s Eve. Or real love with a human touch, made to last with lovers sometimes drawn from opposite magnetic poles that proved marriage was possible and strong like David’s slingshot against the Goliath that was the music business.

And all the rest, the poison gigs and the majestic ones that vanish as quickly as they came, all the things you could only wish would come or happen but would never bet on it that reminded us why we were here in the first place, like black-robed priests that take an oath of poverty and service to the lords of music whose faces we never saw but whose presence we always felt.

Stars Over the Prairie (Excerpt)

Tuning my guitar I took stock of my fellow performing musicians, all now friends, a flesh and blood scrapbook of my time in Minneapolis: bassist Billy Peterson who I first heard in town with his jazz fusion group, Natural Life upstairs above the Longhorn Bar, and whose three bandmates in that group including guitarist and my teacher Mike Elliot, the best chordal jazz player this side of Johnny Smith, his cousin keyboard player Bobby Peterson, and drummer Paul Lagos now all dead and gone to a place where great musicians go. Drummer Joe Luoma who I had played with since 1978 and could lay down a train beat as good as any drummer in the country and swung like Buddy Rich. My old friend Stanley Kipper, a master percussionist who played on “Thunder Island” by Jay Ferguson, my favorite guilty pleasure song from the 1970s, along with his musical partner of forty years, Chico Perez, the both of whom had been beating the tubs since LBJ was elected, bringing back dead ghosts from forgotten cemeteries one at a time. And master musician Peter Ostroushko, who once said “My solos are a conversation with God.” Rounding out this rogues’ gallery was none other than Dr. Matt Fink, subbing for original Blood on the Tracks member Gregg Inhofer, who had another gig, an original member of Prince’s band The Revolution. It was time to party like it was 1999. Let the revolution begin.

Discography

1982“Louie, Louie” b/w Blues Ghosts, 45 rpm, by Cats Under the Stars, Monkey Business Records
1985“Paper Tigers” LP (8 songs) Raven Records
1985“P-9 Strike Compilation Cassette” Metsa contributed “Slow Justice”
1986“59 Coal Mines”/ “Stars Over the Prairie” 45 rpm Raven Records
1987“Ferris Wheels on the Farm”/ “Party to a Crime” 45 rpm Raven Records
1989“Slow Justice” Live and Studio Cassette (10 songs) Raven Records
1990“Live at the Guthrie” Live Cassette (6 songs) Raven Records
1992“Radio Motel” CD (15 songs) Raven Records;

All songs written by Paul Metsa – Paul Metsa Music BMI 1985-2009

Discography (Cont'd)

1992 “Legacy II” CD (Songwriter Compilation) Windham Hill-High Street Records
1993“Whistling Past the Graveyard” CD (11 songs) Raven Records
1994“Mississippi Farewell” CD (11 songs) Raven Records
1998“Lincoln’s Bedroom” EP CD Raven Records
2000“Brew House Sampler I” CD (Compilation, Live on KUMD) Spinout Records
2002“Brew House Sampler II” CD (Compilation, Live on KUMD) Spinout Records
2005“Texas in the Twilight” CD Loudhouse Records (Austin, TX)

All songs written by Paul Metsa – Paul Metsa Music BMI 1985-2009

Discography (Cont'd)

2006Producer and Performer, Famous Dave’s Barbeque and Blues Festival CD, vol. 1
2007Producer and Performer, Famous Dave’s Bareque and Blues Festival CD, vol. 2.
2007Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl “White Boys Lost in the Blues” CD MaximumFolk.com
2007Produced “Mr. Bad Boy,” by Ron Hacker, MaximumFolk.com.
2008Producer and Performer, Famous Dave’s Barbeque and Blues CD, vol. 3.
2009Paul Metsa and Sonny Earl “No Money Down” EP/CD w/ bonus DVD- MaximumFolk.com

All songs written by Paul Metsa – Paul Metsa Music BMI 1985-2009

Concert Appearances
(partial list)

Over the years I have had the great opportunity to appear in concert with the following musicians.

  • Alberta Adams
  • Rashied Ali
  • Mose Allison
  • Bucky Baxter
  • BeauSoleil
  • Carey Bell
  • The Big Wu
  • Mary Black
  • Bobby “Blue” Bland
  • Blind Boys of Alabama
  • Blood on the Tracks Band
  • Billy Branch
  • Billy Bragg
  • Doyle Bramhall, Sr.
  • Lonnie Brooks
  • Nappy Brown
  • Savoy Brown
  • Michael Burks
  • J.J. Cale
  • Chubby Carrier
  • Roseanne Cash

Concert Appearances
(partial list)

Over the years I have had the great opportunity to appear in concert with the following musicians.

  • Bruce Cockburn
  • Commander Cody
  • Joanna Connor
  • Robert Cray
  • Debbie Davies
  • The Dead Milkmen
  • The Detroit Rhythm and Blues Kings
  • Ani DiFranco
  • Dr. John
  • Steve Earle
  • Honey Boy Edwards
  • Joe Ely
  • Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
  • Terry Evans
  • Greg Gihn
  • Jimmy Dale Gilmore
  • Tony Glover
  • Go Ahead with
  • Nanci Griffith
  • Guitar Shorty
  • Arlo Guthrie

Concert Appearances
(partial list)

Over the years I have had the great opportunity to appear in concert with the following musicians.

  • Buddy Guy
  • Ron Hacker
  • John Hammond
  • John Wesley Harding
  • Grant Hart
  • John Hartford
  • John Hiatt
  • Sara Hickman
  • Peter Himmelman
  • Bill Hinckley and Judy Larson
  • Peter Holsapple
  • Hot Tuna
  • Dakota Dave Hull and Sean Blackburn
  • Robert Hunter
  • Indigo Girls
  • Evan Johns
  • Jorma Kaukonen
  • Garrison Keillor
  • Willie Kent
  • “Spider” John Koerner
  • Papa John Kolstad

Concert Appearances
(partial list)

Over the years I have had the great opportunity to appear in concert with the following musicians.

  • Leo Kottke
  • Bill Kreutzman
  • Jimmy LaFave
  • Jonny Lang
  • Peter Lang
  • Bettye LaVette
  • Adrian Legg
  • Tom Lieberman
  • Gordon Lightfoot
  • Lil’ Charlie and the Nightcats
  • Lil’ Ed and the Blues Imperials
  • Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez
  • Los Lobos
  • Louisiana Red
  • Lyle Lovett
  • Magic Slim and the Teardrops
  • Doug Maynard
  • Country Joe McDonald
  • Ellen McIllwaine
  • Big Jay McNeely
  • Big Bill Morganfield

Concert Appearances
(partial list)

Over the years I have had the great opportunity to appear in concert with the following musicians.

  • Dave Morton
  • Maria Muldaur
  • Willie Murphy
  • Charlie Musselwhite
  • Willie Nelson
  • The Aaron Neville Quintet
  • The Neville Brothers
  • Willie Nile
  • Mojo Nixon
  • Pinetop Perkins
  • Dave Pirner
  • Ana Popovic
  • Flora Purim and Airto Moreira
  • Dave “Snaker” Ray
  • Sir Mack Rice
  • Riders In The Sky
  • Rio Nido
  • Scarlet Rivera
  • Jimmie Lee Robinson
  • Peter Rowan
  • Leon Russell

Concert Appearances
(partial list)

Over the years I have had the great opportunity to appear in concert with the following musicians.

  • Doug Sahm and the Texas Tornadoes
  • Merle Saunders
  • Son Seals
  • Pete Seeger
  • Dave Sharp
  • Jane Siberry
  • Soul Asylum
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Percy Strother
  • The Subdudes
  • Hubert Sumlin
  • Taj Mahal
  • .38 Special
  • Tex Thomas
  • Richard Thompson
  • Ron Thompson
  • Timbuk 3
  • John Trudell
  • Willie Walker
  • Eric Weisberg
  • Willie West

Concert Appearances
(partial list)

Over the years I have had the great opportunity to appear in concert with the following musicians.

  • Jody Williams
  • Johnny Winter
  • Edgar Winter
  • Warren Zevon

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