The Blues...Often it speaks of regrets, hardships and sorrow, but those words do not reflect the style or lyrical expression of blues artist Paula Harris. She may be described as enthralling, feisty, uplifting and wildly entertaining. With her dynamic vocals, she has evolved a sort of contagious following with a new generation of
blues lovers wherever she goes. With so much focus on keeping the blues alive, this diamond-in-the-rough may be just what the industry ordered, as she sets a new standard for up and coming artists.
The forty something "come-out-kid" has given the industry something to talk about. Members of the press most often say "If Etta James fronted the Tower of Power and they were a funky blues band it would sound a lot like Paula Harris." She has also given the world something to vote about with her recent nomination as "Best New Artist Debut" for a Blues Music Award (BMA).
To refer to her as bold or sassy would be an understatement. With her songs "I Just Don't Look Good Naked Anymore", "Turning on the Naughty", "Scratches on Your Back" and "Nick of Too Damn Late" she sets a new bar for witty impudent lyrics. When asked recently in an interview with KRML radio disc jockey/host/music publicist (and author of this biography) Tanya Moore, "At what age did you begin to sing?" Paula replied with, "When they slapped me on the hiney!" That answer seems to catch the light and saucy demeanor of this classically trained vocalist, opera and former jazz singer.
Harris has finally found her true spirit in music through blues and is now singing by passion rather than design. With an intention of "Going-for-it", her career has gained steady momentum in the last couple of years. Paula is a pro-active prodigy of sorts, while she continues to develop a true hybrid of blues, married with funk, soul, and jazz in her music. Her approach can best be described as having a "retro-hip" delivery, bringing great originality and appealing to a new generation of blues lovers. Her career seems to be on an upward trend and had begun grabbing the attention of major music executives across the country.
If one was forced to wrap Paula Harris into a nutshell, Lou Rawls would have done so best, when he told her "Paula, You're a vanilla coating on a chocolate soul". Stand out of her way because Paula Harris is breaking the blues mold and leading a path for future artists to follow.