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Video from Strum Guitars Album Release Celebration 

The “Across the Light” album release celebration took place on Sunday May 19. The next day I flew to New York for work and things got away from me a bit. But now with a little time, I wanted to share some video from the event taken by a friend.

Backing up a step, we took a different approach for launching this album. Instead of a big loud power trio album release gig at a club, we booked a stripped down seated show at a high end guitar shop with a bar attached, called Strum Guitars in Portland. It was more intimate and celebratory and we could tell stories between the songs and people could sit, enjoy, and be part of the celebration with us. It went over better than I could have imagined and I remain thankful to those that attended and paid attention to the music and back and forth. Also major props to my pal Christian Troche who joined on guitar for four songs to help round out the sound.

While I didn't get great video of any of the new songs, there were a couple of live debuts of original material on account of the more intimate setting. We'll be booking more things this year and there may be some other surprises coming, stay tuned.

What You Hold Near, from the last album of the same name:

Shouldn't It Be Different, from the debut album. We've only played this one other time live, back in 2010.

Numbers Radio, from Hearts and Reason - we had never played this live before this gig.

…and finally, Forgotten Be Found from the last album (What You Hold Near), sadly still relevant for the 2024 election cycle…

Announcing the Release of Across the Light! 

I am excited to announce the immediate availability of my fourth full-length album, Across the Light. 

Recorded with my long-time musical partners David Kendall (drums, vocals) and Mike Budd (bass), Across the Light is probably my most “progressive” album, with two eight-plus-minute epics (Your Last Song, and the title track, Across the Light), an upbeat guitar-based instrumental and songs boasting several ethereal, extended musical passages. But this is offset by more “accessible” tracks Show Me and Right Day, and the lush acoustic based Be Better Be Bold and October Wind.

Lyrically, I think this one is direct and visceral, exploring themes of self-reflection, societal challenges, personal struggles, and the desire for change. The lyrics also touch upon themes of love, forgiveness, and the passage of time evoking a sense of emotional depth and a call to embrace one’s true self and seize the moment. Boom! 

Recorded at Dave’s DJK Studios in Vancouver and my Portland home studio between 2020 and 2023, Dave and I co-produced and mixed Across the Light. Steve Turnidge at Ars Divina/UltraViolet Studios tackled the mastering and sequencing, while Grace Jensen created the album artwork based on my concept of a silhouette precariously walking across a tightrope of light. Portland keyboardist Asher Fulero cranked out the synth solo on the title track and Hailey Kendall-Bray contributed backing vocals to album closer Right Day. 

The album is designed to be listened to in one sitting (or run, or drive) if possible. I took great care on the song selection, order and flow to hopefully create a 45-minute journey. Of course you can “drop the needle” anywhere you like and I am sure you’ll enjoy it just as much, so whatever floats your boat, go for it! 

Finally, if you are local to the Portland area on Sunday May 19, Dave, Mike and I will be playing a stripped-down acoustic/electric show from 3-5 p.m. at a fantastic guitar shop and bar (!) called Strum, located at 1415 SE Stark, Portland, OR 97214. Tickets will be $10 at the door and the show is open to all ages. 

Thanks again for your support! I am eager to hear what you think of Across the Light. You can find the album on the “Music” page of this site, or at https://paullesinski.bandcamp.com/album/across-the-light, also streaming at the usual places like Spotify, Apple Music, etc. 

Let me know what you think!

Second Single from New Album Released - Be Better Be Bold 

Over the weekend I posted a video for the second single from the forthcoming album (called Across the Light, the album will drop on Friday May 17). Called Be Better Be Bold, the song is track number two on the album. 

The song is inspired by my late grandad who immigrated with his mother to the U.S. from Poland in the early 1900s as a boy. His mother (my great grandmother) died in a fire soon after and he was left on his own to figure it out and by the end of his life at age 90 he had basically created my entire extended family. I always wondered what must have been going on in his head in those early days, and this song came out of that. 

The video was created using Fireframe AI, which is a text-to-video AI program. It took some trial and error but I am happy with my first foray into AI video creation. Take a look and let me know what you think. The lyrics are below the video.


Be Better Be Bold

Thunderheads off the ocean

He looks to the light

Skipping stones with devotion

No solace in sight

No choice, he’s got no voice

No future, no fight


Setting out to start over

What’s right and what’s true

No swim, no fly

No walk, no cry

So what can he do?

Raise his gaze through the mud and the haze

To the red, white and blue


Who has taken your voice

While you’re making your choice

All that shines isn’t gold

So be better, be bold


Change, it came just as quickly

It was sent through the flames

Is it prison or, is it freedom?

‘Cause it tastes just the same

Can you conquer your demon by

Giving it a face and a name?


Who has taken your voice

While you’re making your choice

All that shines isn’t gold

So be better, be bold


Who has taken your voice

While you’re making your choice

All that shines isn’t gold

So be better, be bold


Thunderheads off the ocean

All over again

Life ain’t easy, but it’s simple

It starts and it ends

Taking strength from the loves and the losses

The foes and the friends


Who has taken your voice

While you’re making your choice

All that shines isn’t gold

So be better, be bold

You’ve been given a choice

Oh you’ve been given a voice

Can’t be bought, can’t be sold

So be better, be bold

Oh so be better, be bold

So be better, be bold


Slips Post-Mort 

It was incredibly satisfying playing to full houses in Eugene and Portland the past two weekends with Floydian Slips. Finally learning the back half of Shine On You Crazy Diamond led us to be able to play the whole Wish You Were Here album for the first time ever. We also brought back Echoes for the first time in a few years and I forgot how much I loved to play that song. The band has a renewed energy with Ehren taking over the bassist role in earnest, and new keyboard player Carl “Solovox” Tietze brought the show to a whole new level as he spent untold hours modeling the right keyboard sounds, re-crafting the samples and bringing a really mature and rehearsed yet loose pacing to his playing. Dude knows that to do Floyd right, you gotta leave space and keep it slow! The Portland show was professionally filmed so for the first time in 27 years we’ll have some good professional video, and that will be posted to our Facebook and YouTube pages when the time is right. Now I am turning my attention to the album release, which will now be on May 17 – in about a month! Good stuff.

Gearing Up for the April Floydian Slips Shows 

Quick update on the Floydian Slips front. The band got together for its first rehearsal last weekend, playing with our brand new keyboard player for the first time! The short story is, he is fantastic and has spent hours modeling and building the sounds and samples needed for this particular show, to the extent I don’t think anyone has in the last 27 years of the band! That is no small statement. So to say it was a great rehearsal and that we are very fired up for the shows is an understatement! As noted we are playing the full Wish You Were Here album for the first time ever, alongside familiar songs and deep cuts from all eras of Pink Floyd.

Saturday April 6, 2024 at McDonald Theater in Eugene, Oregon - https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/7875569/floydian-slips-eugene-mcdonald-theatre

Saturday April 13, 2024 at Revolution Hall in Portland, Oregon - https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/8092560/floydian-slips-portland-revolution-hall



I’m excited to share the first single from my next album! The song, called “Show Me,” is available now wherever you stream or download music and I encourage you to check out the lyric video, embedded below.

The song was written by me and my musical partner, drummer David Kendall. Dave, a drummer who mucks about on guitar now and then, came up with all of the music on guitar and I did the lyrics and melody. Dave’s chords are super unorthodox (same thing happened with our song Silver from the Hearts and Reason album) so the sound is really unique (I had to write down how to play these chords because they are not anything I’d be able to figure out later). The riff is also his, and the whole outro was his idea. He called me and literally sang parts to me on the phone, which I recorded and sent to him over Dropbox. So this one was a real collaboration. Thanks, Dave! Mike Budd plays the bass and as always adds a unique, slinky element. Thanks, Mike!

My pal Henry Smith from my old band The Strangers said the riff is “like a murky chainsaw right to the chest.” I might have to use that in the press kit, ha ha!

The album is going to be called “Across the Light” and will be released in spring, probably in May. We are still wrapping up one last tune and then we want to make sure we launch the thing right. This is shaping up to be something I will be very very proud of. Until then, enjoy “Show Me,” and let me know what you think! 

Happy New Year! 

Just a quick post to say I am fired up for 2024. Lots of work behind the scenes from 2023 will come to fruition in 2024, including the new album. Just one more song to finish but the first single has been selected, artwork created, and 80 percent of the wheels are ready to get into motion. So, stand by and more to come, soon!

I am very thankful for the gift of music and for family, friends and fans who are always so encouraging and supportive. I am also thankful to JT at the Dublin Pub in Raleigh Hills, where I am excited to announce a continuation of my monthly acoustic nights, every third Thursday. These gigs give me so many opportunities, from trying out new songs, pulling old originals out of the cobwebs, keeping the fingers and voice nimble(ish) and of course connecting with folks! 

New Album Coming Early Next Year! 

I hope everyone had a fab summer and as fall 2023 becomes official (yesterday!), it’s time for a quick update. There was good momentum over the summer on the new album – my fourth full-length release since 2010. It’s looking positive for a February 2024 release, as half the album is mixed and mastered, the artwork is done and all the other various bits and pieces that come into play – sequencing, duplication, promo, events, advance reviews, etc etc – are starting to take shape too. I will start to post updates and sneak peeks as things come together but remember I post more frequently to my social media handles on at Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Follow there for the most recent and real-time stuff! I have also been doing a little housekeeping on this site and added some more recent photos from Floydian Slips shows last year. Head to the photos page for more! Thanks as always for everyone’s support and I am stoked for the next few months and beyond as this new album is shaping up to be a real killer.

Surprise Release w/Rob Barteletti Available NOW! 

I am pleased and proud to announce the immediate release of my second full album of instrumental music with my friend Rob Barteletti, who sadly passed away unexpectedly last September. Called Between The Lines, the album contains nine brand new songs written, arranged and produced by Rob with accompanying guitar and bass from me. You can listen to Between the Lines now, at Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music at my Bandcamp site and pretty much wherever you stream or purchase music.

Rob and I put our first album out almost exactly a year ago, called New Worlds: An Instrumental Journey. To refresh, I met Rob in the 80s when he was an English teacher at my high school. We re-connected in Portland when both of us found our respective ways into town. Rob later moved to New Mexico and we stayed in touch. During our ‘stay home months’ of 2020-21, Rob got on a creative roll and we started working together virtually, culminating in last year’s New Worlds album and now, Between the Lines.

Although his passing was a total shock (he had just sent me a new song that morning…), Rob and I intended to complete this new album and he left me pretty much everything I needed to get it released. He had uploaded his final mixes to a Dropbox folder. He had shared his vision for the cover art and had chosen the name for the CD. And because he had shared early mixes of the material with his private mailing list, I have Rob’s own thoughts about every song, which I’ve pasted below.

I wish Rob was here to enjoy the response to the album. He was a creative, passionate, prolific and empathetic human and I miss him dearly. The least I can do, with the blessing of his family, is to make sure this music gets out into the world. So, please give Between the Lines a ‘virtual spin’ and while you are at it, a search for “Rob Barteletti” on your go-to music streaming service will pull up much of his work from over the years. I hope you enjoy it all. And please share if you are so inclined.


Between the Lines

Rob Barteletti and Paul Lesinski

These song notes are from Rob’s emails: 

Serengeti - “Serengeti” is sort of a blues-jazz piece, with a little funk and Latin influence tossed in. Paul plays solo guitars and bass. He interpreted my original concept beautifully and made the song come alive. I’m in the background with the organ, drums, percussion, and rhythm guitar (using my MIDI keyboard and loops). Makes me think of listening to live performances by Dan Balmer and Tom Grant back in the early 1990s in Portland. It’s a song in two parts. I love the way it reflects the Serengeti with the long, lazy first part, like lions napping in the midday sun. Then we suddenly get the musical payoff (what Sting says is necessary for a “flagship” song) when the lions wake up and are off on the hunt. Those are the two images in my head when I was creating the song.

Funkyville - [This song] came to me quickly. We hope you like it — and, if you like funk, you might even love it! Paul and I had a lot of fun with this one. [Paul note: Rob’s wife told him “it reminds her of The Jazz Crusaders. It’s great funk!”]

Love Story - For lack of a better name, I’m calling this, for now, “Love Story.” It’s a sweet tune, but for now it’s just a template. Paul is awesome filling in for Mark Knopfler, who had a cold and couldn’t make it to the recording session! [Paul note – we finished it!]

Riding Tall (In The Saddle) - Changed the title (used to be “Riding High — didn’t want to give anyone the wrong impression:). Then after countless revisions, I finally sent Paul the version I thought was the one he would be able work with. Wrong. He made a valiant effort, but the basic structure and arrangement I had created for the song was all wrong. Fortunately, Paul had given me plenty of guitar (and bass) to work with. So I performed major surgery, — rearranging, editing, and mixing what had been a bit of a mess (my bad), and Paul’s guitar work shines again. This is the final result. Welcome to "RIDING TALL (IN THE SADDLE).”

Remembering Brubeck - I was listening to a Dave Brubeck and all-time jazz classic, “Take Five,” which he wrote in 5/4 time. I wanted to take my stab at that difficult time signature, so I composed ”Remembering Brubeck” with that in mind. I was also listening to renown vibraphone artist Gary Burton at the time, so I added some vibes to the song. The organ just found its way into the recording for a cameo appearance!

Just Around the Bend - Paul sent me an abundance of options, so after consulting with him, I did more editing and mixing and finally came up with this new version of “Just Around the Bend” featuring Paul on solo guitars and bass.

Cloak and Dagger - I call this instrumental piece “Cloak & Dagger” because it was inspired by the theme for an old private eye tv series — one of my all-time favorites — The Rockford Files

Between the Lines - I wanted to do something with a hip-hop beat, since I had never tried that before. I found some funky guitar loops to cut-and-paste and came up with this song.

La Puerta (Siempre Esta Abierta) - [Paul Note – this was the last song Rob and I worked on together. He sent me the final mix two days before he died. It seems fitting both musically and in the title he chose for it – Spanish for “the door is always open…” RIP Rob, my buddy…]

National Anthem at the Portland Winterhawks 

Wanted to post video of my performance of the National Anthem at the Portland Winterhawks hockey game in late December. As many of you know I’ve been honored to play the anthem for the Hillsboro Hops baseball team the last ten-ish years and just did it for the Portland Timbers2 soccer team last year.

But this was my first indoor anthem and I will say there is a difference! The Hawks play hockey in the Portland Veterans Memorial Coliseum, adjacent to the Moda Center arena. So many bands have played the coliseum from the Beatles in 65 to Van Halen in 78 to of course KISS on many tours. Knowing this, plus the rock and roll vibe of the Portland hockey experience in general led to a little extra something when I played (also a couple of little ‘extra’ flubs, but hey it’s rock and roll). It was really fun and I am eager to do it again February 4th!

The back office folks were amazingly well organized, friendly and overall super cool. Thanks and go Hawks!