Blurbs | Reviews

“Songs That Tell A Story” was listed in “The year 2012 in top country albums” by the New Country radio show in co-operation with US Country Music.

“Paul de Bijl stands out. His writing is touching and heartfelt, his voice is sincere and his songs show an attention to the craft. In his debut EP, we get to see a snapshot of a guy following his dream.”
Ed Romanoff, singer-songwriter, New York City, NY

“Paul de Bijl works hard at his craft and it shows. His strong songs are poignant and refined while maintaining a light and genuine quality, much like the songwriter himself. I look forward to watching this artist grow and hearing more from him down the road!”
Nancy Dutra, singer-songwriter, Toronto

“I met Paul at a songwriters workshop in Nashville and was impressed with the depth of his lyrics and his understanding of the music that goes with them. We have been writing together via the internet ever since. He has a great eye for what works in a song and working with him has made me a better writer.”
Darden Pierce, songwriter, Oklahoma City, OK

“Paul is a gifted storyteller who will draw you in with a lilting melody and imagery that immediately puts you in a different place and time as if you were right there with him – as a welcome companion on his journey, sharing the experiences that live and breathe in his songs.”
Don Walters, singer-songwriter, Takoma Park, MD – producer/host of Americana Music Series in the Washington, DC area

“Through his talent, his travels and his love of the music Paul de Bijl has absorbed the essence of American roots music. He combines this with his own voice to create songs that will touch your heart, smile your lips and move your feet. Give a listen. You’ll be glad you did!”
Marc Pessar, singer-songwriter, Virginia Beach, VA

“Paul de Bijl has a natural likeability and ease of confidence that he conveys in each song that he sings. Sharing the same carefree sensibility of John Prine and the profound intimacy of Rodney Crowell; Paul is a singer songwriter that will make you smile while simultaneously pulling on your heart strings.”
Erin McDermott, singer-songwriter, Nashville, TN

Danny McCloskey – The Alternate Root (May 4, 2013): “Paul WJ lives in the Netherlands. He is an economist by trade, a songwriter by heart. In the spring of 2009, Paul traveled to Nashville, TN, for a Songwriting Intensive by Mary Gauthier and Darrell Scott. Songs that Tell A Story is Paul WJ’s debut album. The record features Thomas Lina and songs that were the result of Paul’s pilgrimage and learning experience. Paul is a Roots artist by choice. You can hear both the fan and the performer in his music, both sides represented in equal measure. Paul WJ shared his thoughts on the adventure; “Being a fan of acoustic guitar blues, one day I was scouring the blues section in a record store. Between the regular stuff, I noticed a CD with the cover depicting, in black & white, a man holding a battered acoustic guitar. The album was Dublin Blues, by Guy Clark. More than ten years later, in May 2009, I participated in a Songwriting Intensive with Mary Gauthier and Darrell Scott in Nashville, TN. On the second day of the workshop, Guy Clark made a surprise appearance as a guest teacher, and I broke down… (Later I found out that Darrell Scott was one of the musicians on Dublin Blues.)” Oh well. Hey, Josh Ritter once said that Guy Clark “is so imposing that even his hair looks like it could kick your butt”.” Dromen van Nashville en de Delta blues (in Dutch; May 21, 2012): “Paul WJ […] heeft ontegenzeggelijk veel en vaak geluisterd naar de grote Amerikaanse troubadours. De titel van zijn CD Songs that tell a story verwijst dan ook naar zijn ruime hoeveelheid veldwerk en emotionele verkenningen tijdens meerdere indrukwekkende reizen naar de USA, waar hij het spoor van de muziek volgde: Memphis, de Mississippi Delta, Chicago en uiteindelijk Nashville, waar tijdens een workshop van Darrell Scott plotseling Paul’s grootste idool, Guy Clark, binnenstapt als gastdocent. De gevoelens van verwarring, bewondering en onzekerheid die hem op dat moment overvallen en die hij beschrijft, zowel in de begeleidende tekst als in het lied Nashville, zijn zeer invoelbaar.
Zelf zegt Paul over zijn mini-CD: “Het heeft wel iets weg van een persoonlijk dagboek.” Het is inderdaad een zeer persoonlijk, bijna intiem document geworden, waarbij je je als luisteraar soms bijna een voyeur voelt. Je merkt aan alles dat de zes songs tellende cd met veel liefde en bewondering voor de muziek van zijn voorbeelden (Guy Clark, Johnny Cash, Darrell Scott, Merle Haggard, Steve Earle etc) gemaakt is. Alle liedjes schreef hij zelf, in één geval samen met de Amerikaan Darden Pierce, die hij leerde kennen tijdens eerder genoemde workshop in Nashville, en waarmee hij sindsdien vaker samen schreef.
Het is dus duidelijk te horen welke artiesten Paul WJ geïnspireerd hebben. Net als bij zijn voorbeelden wordt zijn muziek gekenmerkt door melancholieke gitaarklanken en vormen zijn liedjes stuk voor stuk kleine verhaaltjes. Het is natuurlijk vrijwel onmogelijk om het niveau van een Darrell Scott of een Guy Clark te evenaren. Het zou dan ook niet eerlijk zijn deze sympathieke cd langs dezelfde meetlat te leggen.”