6/18/2014 6:00:00 AM Quartzsite's Paul Winer invited to play New York City this fall
Times file photo
Paul at the piano in the bookstore.
Joanne Winer QUARTZSITE TIMES
QUARTZSITE, Ariz. - When Paul Winer moved to Quartzsite 24 years ago, he gave up a very successful music/comedy career so that his daughter Celia could go to school after being on the road ever since she was born. Paul spent 25 years travelling all over the East Coast and across Canada doing his very special brand of boogie/woogie blues music, along with slapstick comedy routines that were totally off the cuff.
After playing in hundreds of towns and cities to over a million and a half people, and making such a successful career at it, Paul decided that life on the road for his daughter Celia was not the best thing at the time she had to start school, so he didn't play piano for many years after moving to Quartzsite.
A while after their daughter Celia passed away in 1994, it just seemed the time had come to start playing again. Paul was given a piano from one of the local churches, and he also got another one given to him for the store. Now he has two pianos at the bookstore, one an upright that is one wheels for doing some shows around the area, and the other a baby grand that he loves to play for customers in the store when he has time. He still had no plans to do much more than that.
Fate stepped in several years ago when he got a call from Salisbury Beach, Mass. from a club where he used to play on the beach. They were trying to contact many of the old acts who played there in the 70s to put on a reunion concert to benefit the local preservation beach society. Paul initially was not going to consider it, since he never flew in his life (afraid) but after thinking about it, decided he wanted to do the show bad enough to fly back east for the concert, where he was greeted by over 1000 fans of his show from the 70s. What a joyous event--it started him thinking again about reviving his show but doing it a little different--he used to do it to an adult audience with very little on, now around this area he is fully clothed (some would say overdressed) and has played local venues like the Q.I.A. in Quartzsite to 800 seat sell out crowds for the past 4 Januarys to the Blues Festival in Blythe, Palo Verde College in Blythe, Elks Club in Parker, and many local RV Parks and recreation halls.
Over a year ago, he was approached to work with a young producer from New York named Pierce Cravens, who had heard of him and flew out to meet with him about doing a reality show for television based in Quartzsite. Pierce flew out several times to film his concerts at several events, and at the store. The show is still in the planning and editing phase and it is hoped to be produced very soon. In the meantime, Pierce invited Paul to come to New York to play at one of the premier theater venues in the area--The Public Theater, on Lafayette St. in New York City. The place is called Joe's Pub, and from the photos on their website it is a very classy and well-attended venue for some great shows. Paul is now officially booked for a concert on Sept. 6 at 9:30 and perhaps another show if all goes well.
He is so excited to be flying again (once he got on the plane he loved it) and meeting up with his blues harmonica player Will Pirone (who flies here every January to do the shows at the Q.I.A. with Paul, and they will have a blast doing this concert together--while being filmed by Pierce for future promotion. What a great opportunity--they are planning to contact a lot of places where he was booked back in the 70s and hopefully that will lead to more work while he is on the east coast. Planning to see a lot of old friends from way back when, too.
If you happen to be going to the New York City area and will be there Sept. 6, you might want to take in this show, or if you know anyone who will be in that area, let them know about it. This special engagement after a 30-year hiatus in that area, along with Paul's improv storytelling, hilarious songs, and cabaret type concert has to be seen to be believed--who would have thought this little town would be the subject of a reality show idea or all the concerts and other events that have come along? Paul is now ready to revive his music career on a bigger basis, and is still writing new songs and making CDs and DVDs at 71--guess when you do something you really love, age doesn't matter, eh?
To check out this upcoming concert there is a link to the information: http://joespub.publictheater.org/en/Tickets/Calendar/PlayDetailsCollection/Joes-Pub/Sweet-Pie/ You can also just google Joe's Pub, New York City and that will get you there too. Tickets are on sale already and box office sales look very promising as well. Hope he has a great time and a very successful show.