Paul A George, most well known as vocalist & guitarist from Tijuana Cartel has taken a back seat and brought to life Black Rabbit George, a raw solo venture. FOCUS chatted to Paul and asked, who is Black Rabbit George?
Hi Paul. Most will know you from being Tijuana Cartel’s front man. Tell us about your project, Black Rabbit George; how was this idea born?
I’ve had a love for folk music, mainly 1960/70s for a long time; it was the music played around our house as a kid. I think I’ve always wanted to make my version of it – it just took a long, long time to happen. It’s taken a lot longer to hone what I’m trying to create with it too, though lately I think I’ve been settling into where it’s meant to be. I was watching an old cartoon called Watershed Down, and the idea for Black Rabbit George came to me through it.
Fans of Tijuana Cartel may or may not be familiar with your solo music. For those who aren’t, how does TC music translate into BRG?
It’s very different, in a lot of ways. I actually found finding my own voice in this style quite difficult, as it was so different to the music I was making. Some bits from Tijuana Cartel did come though, particularly the Flamenco and Latin feel in some of the songs.
It’s interesting seeing what comes out from my years of playing when I’m trying to do something fresh; some things just become engrained after a while and permeate everything else I do.
How would you describe your vibe?
Like if Bob Dylan hung out in Spain for a few years – at least, that’s what people keep telling me. I’m not sure if it’s wise to compare myself to Dylan; I think I can write a good song, but I’m not going to pretend I can do it that well. My aim with this music was to keep it as simplistic as possible, a lot of the songs only have two or three chords, and the lyrics are as direct as I could make them. I found a lot of the singer-songwriter stuff I heard around was quite sweet; I wanted to try something that was a little darker than what I’d been hearing.
What’s your favourite instrument in your collection – and why?
My Flamenco guitar is my favourite piece; it’s a beautiful thing in every way … well, it’s made and sounds blissful, plus I pretty much take it everywhere.
I’ve collected around 20 guitars over the year, including a Sitar that I spent some time in India trying to learn. I always come back to the same Flamenco guitar I’ve had for years though.
You’re coming to Port Macquarie under the BRG name. What can we expect from your show?
Folky vibes, Spanish guitar and a little Rock ‘n’ Roll. I’ll be bringing my drummer, Adam, along for the ride too; he provides a bit of a Rock edge … I keep trying to tame him a bit, but you just can’t keep the rock ‘n’ roll out of him. A lot of the music is very chill, though we amp it up a little at times too.
What influences you both musically and personally?
Everything really. Mainly women, if I’m honest, both musically and personally. Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of Rye Cooder’s early stuff – a little JJ Cale too.
As I’m travelling around Australia a lot at the moment, I’ve been catching as many Folk style musicians as I can. Last night I caught a guy in Perth called Justin Walsch – he has this really classic Australian edge to all his music. It made me think of my own in a new way.
Where can our readers follow you and listen?
If you type Black Rabbit George into Facebook, Insta or Google, I’ll pop up … You can also buy my music here blackrabbitgeorge.bandcamp.com
Catch Black Rabbit George at the Tapp Bar.
When Friday 2nd February; free entry from 6pm.
Where Port Macquarie Panthers, Port Macquarie. portmacquarie.panthers.com.au