Archive for the paul size Category

‘Footprints on the moon’: Paul Size looks back at The Red Devils

Posted in paul size with tags , , , , on May 16, 2021 by J.J.

With his solo debut out now, the guitarist knows that the band he was in three decades ago will always be a part of his life. “There’s too many extraordinary things that went down that it’s not going to go away,” Paul Size tells nofightin.com.

Paul Size performs with The Red Devils at the BlueFunk Club in Poynton, UK, 2017. Photo © Tina Hanagan

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is Part 2 of an interview with Paul Size. For more, read Part 1 here.

The Red Devils legend is about so much going right, and so very much going so very wrong.

Paul Size was there for it.

Fans still think of Size as “The Kid,” as the 20-year-old was known in the band and press materials, a baby-faced bluesman juxtaposed against the roadworthy Bateman, Butler and Bartels.

Today, Size has 30 years of experience under his strap and a debut solo album called “Can’t Lose Playing The Blues.” He has come to appreciate his time in The Red Devils — and his persona as the have-gun-will-travel guitar hero from Texas.

“I mean, I have to admit, I like it. I used to want to kind of run away from it,” Size said during a recent interview with nofightin.com. “But I realize now that, you know, I’m grateful I did it and I was part of it. Like, I’ve always said, it’s a footprint on the moon … there’s too many extraordinary things that went down that it’s not going to go away.”

“Extraordinary things” is one way to put it.

On the plus side: Right place, right time, and right guys. The band’s magic — incendiary live shows — was incubated in weekly gigs in a bar in an old Chinese restaurant in Hollywood. The King King club had an energy, a vibe, Size said: “There was always somebody famous there. So it had this kind of the ‘in thing’ kind of thing to do on Mondays.”

And that other side: Failed team-ups and recording projects, fights, drugs and financial battles turned the blood bad. The sad, untimely death of Lester Butler made it impossible for the Devils to truly reconcile, or ever bring together their classic lineup one more time. 

Until 2017.

Conditions were right for “The Return of The Red Devils”: Their cult status had grown over the years, and the 25th anniversary of “King King” was a great hook for fans, festivals and clubs.

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It also caught the attention of one Rev. Billy F. Gibbons, the mad scientist of blues-rock. The legendary ZZ Top was going on tour of Europe that summer. And Gibbons was a fan of The Red Devils. After months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, the Devils were tapped to reform and perform.

In the ensuing 25 years, the former Devils had spread out around the U.S., from one end to the other, and all points in between. Size was living in Martha’s Vineyard, and had settled into a routine of day jobs, local gigs, family life and a stint with the combo Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. 

“It was ZZ Top!” Size recalled excitedly of getting the gig. “… I mean, I just couldn’t pass that up. And I knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance and I was kinda doing really nothing where I was, I had this really, really boring job doing water treatment, so I was in basements of houses and I was just bored, you know?”

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Paul Size fuels solo debut with unearthed blues and old friends

Posted in paul size with tags , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2021 by J.J.
Paul Size performs with The Red Devils at the Borderline in London in 2017. Photo © Tina Hanagan

If you are getting ready to pick the songs to record for your first solo album, where do you start?

If you’re Paul Size, you go to YouTube.

“I went on YouTube and punched in ‘rare blues,’ you know, ’cause I didn’t want to do all the songs that everybody’s done,” Size told No Fightin’ during an April 3 phone interview. “Like the T-Bird’s first record, nobody had heard of those songs, but they were covers. So I kinda tried to do that. … Just kind of get some obscure songs that no one’s ever heard that I dug and that’s kind of, that was the start, you know?”

So thank the Algo-rhythm Gods of the Internet for their contribution to Size’s new album, “Can’t Lose Playing The Blues,” and its stellar lineup of songs by B.B. King, Earl Hooker, Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, Frankie Lee Sims and more.

Known for his fiery Chicago blues playing with The Red Devils, “Can’t Lose” presents a different Size. He doesn’t sing, plays a lot of rhythm guitar and works sympathetically with the other musicians for a true band sound. That’s not the usual “solo” album recipe, but that probably makes it the most “Paul Size” record it can be.

“I wanted to make it a good listening record too, not just a big guitar hero record,” he said. “And Jeff really wanted to show off my rhythm playing. He goes, ‘you’re a great rhythm player. Let’s show that off.’ … So I went with the flow.”

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REVIEW: Paul Size tells it like it is on debut solo CD, ‘Can’t Lose Playing The Blues’

Posted in paul size with tags , , , , , , , on March 21, 2021 by J.J.

“Let the music do the talking” goes the old warhorse. On his debut solo album, “Can’t Lose Playing The Blues,” guitarist Paul Size lets his fingers tell the tale of his life in blues.

Size, most known as the white-hot soloist from The Red Devils, offers the record as a reintroduction to listeners. Free from the restrictions of someone else’s vision, Size dishes out nearly an hour’s worth of diverse, rollicking music that stands as his word on the blues.

With a sympathetic band and some tried-and-true musical inspirations, “Can’t Lose” is the sound of a live band communicating in real time, in an intimate environment shepherded by producer/engineer (and bassist/vocalist) Jeffrey Berg.

The album is bookended by off-the-cuff acoustic guitar numbers, “Welcome” and “It’s Been A While,” which act as the preface and afterword of Size’s musical biography. In between, like a good barroom meeting between old friends, everyone gets a turn to jump in.

And jump it does on “Do The Boogie,” Size’s take on B.B. King’s “Boogie Woogie Woman.” The band’s agenda is clear, with stellar playing for the good of the song. Jeremy Berlin (Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish) takes the lead on piano — in fact, taking the first solo on the record, supported by Size’s essential rhythm work. (For the record, the album’s first electric guitar solo starts at 1:53 of track 2.)

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Paul Size solo album pre-order up + Bateman/Bartel streaming live tonight

Posted in bill bateman, jonny ray bartel, paul size with tags , , , , , on February 6, 2021 by J.J.

Lots of Red Devils-related stuff going on this weekend. Let’s jump into it:

‘Can’t Lose Playing the Blues’

The debut solo album from Paul Size, “Can’t Lose Playing the Blues,” is available for pre-order now on Bandcamp. The digital album will be up on March 5; physical CDs will be shipped March 5. Both are at the recommended price of $15.

Based on the little song snippet previews, this promises to be a great blues release. It pairs Size with a small ensemble (featuring Hash Brown and Jeremy Berlin) on a series of tried-and-true, good-for-you blues. (I’ll be most excited for “Universal Rock” and “Sadie.”)

Really intriguing is this nugget from the album summary: “Throughout 16 tracks, the record tells a story with purely improvised acoustic blues and studio banter woven throughout giving the listener a glimpse into the mind and heart of Paul’s musicianship.”

We’ll have a full write-up here on NoFightin.com when the record arrives, and more.

Order now at paulsize.bandcamp.com.

Blue Shadows streaming live from L.A.

The Blue Shadows assemble tonight, Feb. 6, with past and present members reuniting.

The band will be Javier Matos, Bill Bateman and Jonny Ray Bartel (filling in for John Bazz).

If you recall, it was Bateman, Bartel and Dave Alvin, as The Blue Shadows, that in 1988 started the Monday night King King tradition that eventually morphed into The Red Devils.

Tonight’s gig from The Redwood Bar in Los Angeles begins streaming live at 8 p.m. Pacific Time (for our friends in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, that’s 5 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 7).

The show will stream live on Twitch as a “pay what you can show,” and will be available later on YouTube.

Paul Size, the guitarist and the guitar

Posted in paul size with tags , , on November 4, 2018 by J.J.

Photo by Tina Hanagan

You can’t be an “underrated” guitar player if everyone who hears you play is blown away.

Paul Size might be underground, but he is never underrated.

The mighty Rev. Billy F. Gibbons again touts The Red Devils’ guitarist, this time in a Music Radar story, “The 10 Guitarists Who Blew My Mind”:

8. Paul Size: “This next block I’d like to give to the guitar players from a band called The Red Devils. Paul ‘The Kid’ Size on guitar, he had this real angry Strat, Stevie Ray Vaughan kind of tone. He would do this thing where he’d play a blues lick at speed and then all of sudden quicken the pace before anyone could see it coming.

“Then there was Dave Lee Bartel, a wonderful rhythm player, and Mike Flanigin who despite being known for the Hammond, started off as a guitarist! A lot of people have underrated his guitar work because he’s become so accomplished on the Hammond B3. That’s the sound of Texas meeting California.

Gibbons rounds out his Devils love with a shout-out to former James Harman Band guitarist Hollywood Fats.

Here is his full top 10:

  1. Van Wilks
  2. Jimmie Vaughan
  3. Jimmy Page
  4. Jeff Beck
  5. Hubert Sumlin
  6. Eric Johnson
  7. Andres Segovia
  8. Paul Size
  9. Jimi Hendrix
  10. Mystery No. 10

Last summer, Gibbons gifted The Red Devils’ guitarists with custom-made Devil guitars that the boys used all summer as the opening act on ZZ Top’s European “Tonnage” tour.

Courtesy @reddevilsmusic Instagram

Size recently posted on his Facebook (since deleted) that he was entertaining offers for this rare guitar — commissioned by one of the greats, played by one of the greats on an earth-shaking reunion tour.

Interested? Reach out to Paul Size on Facebook.

BREAKING: Red Devils reuniting for summer 2017 European tour

Posted in bill bateman, jonny ray bartel, paul size, red devils with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2017 by J.J.

reddevils_kingking_sleeve2

The rumors are true …

In 2017, on the silver anniversary of “King King,” The Red Devils return to Europe, to the crowds that have kept their memory, spirit and music alive.

Bill Bateman, Paul Size and Jonny Ray Bartel return with one-time Red Devils guitarist Mike Flanigin (Jimmie Vaughan, Billy Gibbons and the BFGs).

And picking up the bullet mic and fronting the band is Dutch bluesman Big Pete, Pieter van der Pluijm, filling in for the late Lester Butler. As a solo artist, Big Pete has carried on the Devils’ tradition, bringing Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter and Chicago blues harp into the 21st century.kingking_vinyl

The first date has been announced: Sunday, June 4, at Ribs & Blues, a free roots and blues festival in The Netherlands.

Early-June club dates are expected to be announced soon, as well as a full summer tour lineup.

WATCH NOFIGHTIN.COM FOR UPDATES.

START HERE: The very best posts on nofightin.com … music, videos, lyrics, myths, more.

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Return of the funky Texans

Posted in paul size with tags , , , , on May 8, 2015 by J.J.

Johnny Moeller: Guitar (mainly R. channel)

Paul Size: Guitar (mainly L. channel)

After he decamped from The Red Devils after a three-year stint, Paul Size found himself back in Texas making a small homeboy record.

Far away from the edgy, Hollywood rock-star vibe, with Size as the gunslinger for hire, 1996’s “Return of the Funky Worm” couldn’t have been any further from the Devils.

Return of the Funky WormThe focus here was on Texas blues and funk-fueled workouts with longtime running buddies. There is a comfort level on this disc, issued by Dallas Blues Society Records, that only comes from familiarity.

The record was co-billed “Moeller and Size,” with other Texas players such as Johnny’s brother Jay Moeller on drums, erstwhile Red Devils tour guitarist Mike Flanigin on all kinds of keyboards and vocals, Bret Coats on bass, Rhett Frazier on vocals and Texas mainstay Brian “Hash Brown” Calway on harp.

It’s hard to imagine what a relief it might have been for Size, coming from cross-country tours, European festivals and Planet Hollywood openings, to find himself as the foil on such tunes as the grooving Richard Berry-penned opener “Sweet Sugar You,” or old-school R&B dynamite of “Watch My 32.”
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Paul Size sells guitar licks

Posted in paul size with tags , , on March 11, 2014 by J.J.

Paul Size is selling cool little blues licks via video from paulsize.com.

“I decided to start selling very cool and special licks that I think anyone interested in my style will dig,” Paul told us. “All licks include tablature at the end.”

It’s easy to get into a rut with a shuffle, but Size comes from a long line of Texas guitarists with turnarounds for days. The sample above puts some specialness onto a standard blues shuffle.

1992: Red Devils find the Size that fits

Posted in paul size, red devils with tags , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by J.J.

Very nice article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on the early days of Paul Size in the band.

RED DEVILS FIND THE SIZE THAT FITS
by Dave Ferman, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Sept. 11, 1992

Texas-born blues guitarist Paul Size readily will admit that he’s been real lucky so far in his musical career.

Born in Dallas and raised in Denton, Size, 21 just weeks ago, was happy playing blues and R&B in Denton bars backing legendary singer Pops Carter; he was playing the music he loved with good buddy Jon Moeller (now guitarist for Texas Heat) and just having fun.

Then a friend told him the Red Devils — Los Angeles’ hottest blues band — was looking for a new guitarist. Size packed, journeyed to California, auditioned, got the gig, and less than a year later the Devils (having gained a rep as the favorite El Lay band of Mick Jagger, the Black Crowes, Bruce Willis and other slumming celebs) have a CD, “King King,” out on Def American, have cut 13 tracks with Jagger and spent the summer touring with the Allman Brothers, Little Feat, Bob Dylan and Los Lobos.

“Yeah, I was walking into something pretty big without knowing it,” says Size by phone from South Carolina on the eve of the band’s final date with the Allmans (the Red Devils headline Dallas’ Trees on Thursday). “We just kind of clicked together — the band needed a guitar player and they decided to keep me.”
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Paul Size on getting robbed at Mick Jagger’s birthday party, more

Posted in paul size with tags , , , , , on February 7, 2012 by J.J.

As part of the interviews for his 2011 book “Jagger: Rebel, Rock Star, Rambler, Rogue,” author Marc Spitz has uploaded some of his audio interviews to SoundCloud.

Paul Size was a prime source for Chapter 19, “The Red Devils’ Blues,” which once again tells the tale of the Devils, the King King, Jagger’s blues mojo and the ill-fated Jagger/Devils album that never really came to be.

In this clip, Size talks about playing Jagger’s birthday party in London — and getting robbed for his troubles. The elusive Dave Lee Bartel makes a cameo in the story to save the day in ultimate rhythm guitar fashion.

Spitz next draws comparisons to The Red Devils to two other blues-based “color” bands: The White Stripes and The Black Keys, then Size gives his take on the Jagger sessions, and if he’d like to see them released officially.

Paul Size fans will get a chance to see him in action as he joins Big Pete as special guest at the Simi Valley Cajun and Blues Music Festival May 27.

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