Charlie Daniels, Dickey Betts, Chris Hillman, BB King, John Jorgenson, Phil Gelfer, The Desert Rose Band, Toy Caldwell, Tommy Crain, Steven Curtis Chapman, Simon and Garfunkel
Paul’s musical creativity is seen in the numerous songs that he has written that the band has recorded. In addition to being a singer and a song writer, Paul is known for his exciting fiddle and guitar playing. One of his greatest joys is to use the gifts that God has given him to encourage, challenge and hopefully inspire people.
Paul grew up surrounded by musicians. Both of his older brothers were musicians as were many of his cousins. Paul picked up a musical instrument for the first time at the age of 18. His mentor on the fiddle was a gifted teacher and extraordinary musician named Phil Gelfer. After much hard work, he was playing the fiddle professionally in a band within two years. In 1989 Paul had the opportunity to meet Charlie Daniels in Nashville, Tennessee. Charlie signed Paul’s black fiddle and insisted that Paul play a tune for him. It was a day he will never forget! A few years later Paul taught himself the guitar and began singing. Over the next eight years he played in bands opening up for such artists as; the Greg Allman Band, Dickey Betts and Great Southern, the Marshall Tucker Band, Steve Morse, the Oakridge Boys, Steve Wariner and Johnny Cash. Paul’s playing and writing style blends elements of blues, rock, country, bluegrass, folk and jazz. He is just as comfortable playing a finger picking ballad on the acoustic guitar as he is playing a driving, rockin blues song on his Gibson Les Paul. He loves diversity in music and has often lamented that, in his opinion, so much of today’s contemporary music “all sounds the same.”
After years of playing from New York to Florida, Paul became overwhelmed by a sense of emptiness with the music he was playing in the bands he was in. In 1995 he quit the band he was in and was asked to join a band called Trinity made up of gifted song writers that played all original Christian music. Paul composed his first original song with this group. By 1997 the desire to play and perform music was gone as he felt led in a different direction. Paul stopped playing all together and pursued theological studies at a biblically based seminary in New York City. In 2000, while attending a course at the seminary’s main campus in Louisville, Kentucky, Paul met a fellow student and pastor who invited him to play and sing at his home church in Tennessee. In August of that year Paul was honored to play at three churches in Tennessee. The Lord used this trip to gradually spark his desire to play once again.
In 2001 Paul joined a contemporary Christian group called JGnFriends, comprised of friends he had ministered with at his home church years ago. This was a blessed time both musically and spiritually. Then in 2004, Paul felt inspired and began to focus his attention on writing songs. In 2005 he assembled a group of musicians and brothers in the Lord to play what was to be a one-night, one-time, concert of Christian music he wrote. The band was so well received and encouraged by the people who attended that they all agreed to continue and follow the Lord’s leading. The Paul Paoli Band has developed its own sound and is unique in that they play all original music in a variety of styles, yet with a cohesive sound. Though the band is not what some would call a “jam band”, they are certainly a band that can jam and they have a great deal of fun doing it.
The foundation for the path that Paul is traveling on today came back in 1990 when he came to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. His passion is to serve the Lord through music. Paul continues to write songs grounded in the Word of God. He seeks to address a variety of biblical topics and his music has been described as “a sermon in every song.” He describes this season as, “the most creative and musically fulfilling time of his life.” He also describes his band members as the most talented and creative musicians he has ever played with. Beyond the music, Paul’s greatest blessing is his wife and children. They are a great encouragement and support to him. Whether the band is playing for inmates in Riker’s Island Prison or playing an outreach in beautiful Central Park, the message is the same. Paul’s hearts desire is that people everywhere come to know the wonderful, life-changing grace of God in Jesus Christ.