11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Dave Paulson

Dave Paulson (photo by Steve Cross)

Photo by Steve Cross

I thought it was about time to let some younger folks into the game and stop asking only old people my age who I usually see guesting with the Long Players. So, I went after the younger Dave Paulson who I soon came to realize I’d seen cover Kinks and Clash songs with the LPs!

A busy singer/guitarist, Dave has made a name for himself in Music City as leader of The Privates, a much-loved rock band (read about and watch this cool and clever short film), and on occasion has joined ranks with his friends in the nearly-quite-famous Pink Spiders. He also leads a popular 90s cover band called My So-Called Band that packs them in regularly at the Mercy Lounge. There’s also some solo stuff out there he’s recorded as Norm.

Dave Paulson is also someone whose name you will recognize from his newspaper by-lines since he currently does a bang-up job reviewing all the big local concerts for The Tennessean. (I wonder if he gets good seats?) For those who may not know, he was born with the journalism gene. His Dad is Ken Paulson, a noted journalist, current Dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at MTUSU and the former editor-in-chief of USA Today. Ken also seems to be at just about every concert that I go to!

Currently, there is an exciting Pledge Music campaign that Dave mentions below that I insist you check out. My sincere thanks to Dave Paulson for joining in on the 11 Questions fun.


Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I grew up moving around a lot. My family lived in five different states before settling in Nashville in 1997. I was 14, learning to play guitar and write songs, and I quickly realized I was exactly where I needed to be. Haven’t left since.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

The first was Green Day’s Dookie in a strip mall in Danbury, Connecticut, 1994. There were cassette singles, soundtracks and Weird Al tapes that came before, but Dookie was the big bang for me. The most recent was a pledge for Joe Pisapia’s new album, Connection. Dookie was indeed a CD – in one of those plastic tall cases they used to fit them into record racks. Joe’s is digital. Everything’s digital for me now, and I’m living a better life for it.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

My Dad took me to some incredible concerts growing up, but the first show I bought tickets for and went to was Superdrag at a tiny club in Connecticut, on their Regretfully Yours tour. It blew my mind that I was seeing a band I saw on MTV for $8, and you could stand right up against the stage and get them to sign your t-shirt afterwards. Couldn’t believe it. The last? Katy Perry at Bridgestone Arena, which was probably around the 100th concert I’ve reviewed there for The Tennessean.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

John Prine

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Coffee is Portland Brew on 12 South. They also play awesome unexpected stuff, like the Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth compilation. Pizza? Used to love Castrillo’s when we lived in East Nashville. Now, if we’re talking dine-in pizza, I gotta go with DeSano and their San Gennaro pie.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

No one ever gives just one album, do they? So many different ways to go with this. I could just say Blonde on Blonde and call it a day. But, my personal favorite is probably In the Reverb of the Sounds We Made Together by Lifeboy (2001). It’s a masterpiece, and it’s a crime that there’s no way to hear it currently.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Rosemary & Beauty Queen in East Nashville

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Matt Pelham, Matt “Friction” Bell and John “Not a Matt” Davis

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

Basement East, Basement West, Mercy Lounge and its adjoining rooms

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here?

You know, I’d say we’re good on established musicians deciding to settle in Nashville. I’m rooting for people that nobody’s heard of, who do something fresh and vital here. Bonus points if they don’t use guitars.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

Hopefully making the pop album of my dreams with Sandusky, provided the Pledge Music campaign succeeds. I’ll keep making all sorts of music at home and playing ’90s covers in My So-Called Band.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: