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Welcome! This is the home base for Paul Lesinski's musical endeavors. Thanks for visiting. Pop open a cold one, put your feet up, make yourself at home and enjoy!

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. Show details and links are below, and here is the first promo video. More to come!

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

NEW SINGLE RELEASED - "Show Me" 

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.

Paul

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!

Happy 2023! 

Here is wishing everyone who visits me here (minus the bots!) a happy, safe, peaceful and fruitful 2023. My musical goals for the year include finishing two CDs – my second with Rob Barteletti (which was almost done when he sadly passed in September) and also my fourth full-length solo release, which is shaping up to be a pretty proggy affair. 

In the meantime, the electric band has its first show since last May in a couple of weeks at the Dublin Pub (Saturday January 21) and we’ll be prepping for that between now and then.

Happy New Year! 

Paul

Musings on the Taylor Hawkins UK Tribute Concert 

I had forgotten about the Taylor Hawkins tribute on 9/3 until I woke up and started scrolling around on socials. Wound up watching the entire thing. If you watched any of it, drop me a comment! What did you think? What were the hits and misses? 

For me it was mostly hits. Too many to list here but here are some: 

The Hits:

-The smile on the James Gang drummer’s face their entire set. I can imagine the phone call “Hey man it’s Joe (Walsh). What’s up? So… you wanna put the band back together and play for 88,000 people at Wembley?” Um….. sure, ok, yeah let me check my calendar… 

-Supergrass - who the hell are these guys? Really good band! 

-Of course Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush playing again (2nd time so far) without Neil Peart. Yeah, I cried. 

-Wolfgang Van Halen playing deep Van Halen cut On Fire (and Hot For Teacher) with a permagrin like his dad, another musician lost who deserves tribute. Wolfie has been pretty outspoken about NOT playing VH songs in general so this was so cool. I had chills, actually… 

-Chrissie Hynde and original Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers kicking ass through two of their punkiest tunes. She has not lost one iota of her vocal power. 

-I thought Ke$ha doing the T Rex song was pretty damn good and who would have ever predicted she’d be asked to play? Dave pulled her right out of the “Where Are They Now” file! 

-Stewart Copeland from the Police, he’s still got it and I wanted 1-2 more from him! 

-Everything the Foo Fighters touched from their backing up many of the night’s artists to their own incendiary and emotional set, and of course Dave, poor mourning Dave who barely made it through some of these songs after losing his best friend and musical soulmate. Sigh…. 

-Taylor Hawkins’ 16-year-old son stealing the show with his pummeling drumming on There Goes My Hero. Tears… 

The Meh: 

-Paul McCartney. Song choices were ‘meh’ and both were way out of his current vocal range. Don’t hate me! 

-Them Crooked Vultures. One of my favorite all time shows was seeing these guys in 2009 at the Roseland Theater in Portland. I mean any band with John Paul Jones from Zeppelin is going to be amazing! But their song selection was not my favorite. 

-Queen. OK Brian May doing Love of My Life solo with 88,000 fans singing with cell phone lights going was one of the coolest things ever but I guess I’ve just seen them reformed enough over the years for their set overall to not do a ton for me. The songs were predictable except for I’m In Love With My Car. Them following Rush was a personal emotional down step, too, which I am sure impacted my opinion. 

-The Jeff Buckley songs. Don’t kill me!! Grohl’s daughter is a tremendous singer and her rendition of Valerie later on was super strong. It’s just hard to do Buckley. It was a ballsy choice but I wasn’t a huge fan. 

Other observations: 

-This was a really multi generational thing. Grohl’s daughter and Hawkins son, plus the ‘drum off’ kid (Nandi Bushell) are a new generation of talented mo-fo’s! Queen drummer Roger Taylor’s son as well, but he’s already well established as is Wolfgang VH but I still think of them as ‘new guard.’ 

-Geddy and Alex from Rush need to play more with Omar Hakim on drums. That really worked for me. 

-Rock is alive and well across all of these generations. Six hours of live music with no backing tracks or lip syncing? More of that please! 

I know I’m skipping a lot but it’s late. What did you think of the tribute!?

Musings from a Floydian Slip – 25 Years In A Tribute Band  

Here in the first week of April, I'm smack dab in between rare Floydian Slips shows (the Pink Floyd tribute band I co-founded 25 years ago). We played last Saturday in Eugene, Oregon at the McDonald Theatre and we play this Saturday (April 9) in Portland at Revolution Hall. If you are local, I highly suggest attending! It’s quite a thing and I am not sure when we’ll do it again. We are celebrating 25 years by performing two Floyd albums – The Dark Side of the Moon and Animals, plus a host of other songs. Almost three hours of music. Full on light show. It’s quite a thing, and it’s all ages as well. You can get tickets for this Saturday’s show at the Revolution Hall website. 

This photo is from the Eugene show last Saturday.

We’ve put out a few promotional videos, here, here and here. And I penned an article for Live Music News and Review that talks about what it’s been like doing this for 25 flipping years! 

The first bit is below -- follow the link for the rest. Many of you have supported the band for years and for this I thank you. If you are new to the fold, do consider coming out. It’s going to be a bang-up! 

Musings from a Floydian Slip – 25 Years In A Tribute Band 

When I first heard The Dark Side of the Moon, I didn’t like it. Between the long intro sound collage before Breathe, the lengthy synth pulse of On The Run and the clocks/chiming/ticking intro to Time, I thought to myself, “Where are the SONGS?” Of course, I was in high school, and my jam was prog and heavy rock. Stuff like Yes, Rush, Maiden. Complex songs with a LOT of notes. 

But it didn’t take long for me to appreciate the space (shock!) Floyd left in between its notes, the choices of instrumentation, mix, the ethereal David Gilmour leads, the jazzy Rick Wright piano noodlings, and soon after — the lyrics, oh man the Roger Waters lyrics really got to me. I was hooked…. 

Read the rest here… 

Thanks for your continued support! 

Paul

 

New Album Release “New Worlds”  

I am excited to announce the immediate availability of an album of ten songs called New Worlds: An Instrumental Journey, written by my friend Rob Barteletti, with sonic embellishments, leads, bass and assorted noodlings by yours truly.  

I met Rob in the 80s when, well, 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 now lives in New Mexico but spent quite a few years in Portland where he wrote and recorded several CDs with local musicians including Nick Peets, Storm Large, Dan Decker and my old Strangers partner Bart Ferguson. Even after he moved, we kept in touch over email. 

During our ‘stay home months’ the last year, Rob got on a creative roll and started sending songs one-off to his friends. The styles ranged from jazz to ambient to sambas, blues and everything in between. Some were instrumentals, some had singing. One day, one of them struck me and I wrote to Rob. The ensuing conversation over the next few months could be summarized this way: 

Paul: “Hey Rob would you be cool if I laid down a lead on this track?” 

Rob: “Sure!” 

Paul (3.5 weeks later): “Hey I am still going to lay that lead down. Sorry!” 

Rob: “It’s OK.” 

Paul: “Here you go – let me know what you think!” 

Rob: “I really like this! Thanks! Here is another song if you want to check it out” 

Paul: “This is great! I kind of got on a roll and added bass and acoustic guitar” 

Rob: “Great! Hey, I got inspired, here is another song. And here is one I did a few years ago. What might you be able to add to it…?” 

--Repeat process for about a dozen more songs across about six months— 

Rob: “Hey you know, we have 10 instrumentals done. Want to put out an album?” 

Paul: “Wow, hell yes! What should we call it…?”  

You get the idea. So what we have is ten of Rob’s songs with my embellishments. Much like my other Strangers partner in crime Allen Bush who recorded an entire album using Apple’s Garage Band software (called Juiced), Rob is a Garage Band power user. I am consistently blown away with what is able to put together using this software. I took his tracks, popped them into Digital Performer, which is my recording software, laid down tracks, sent them to Rob and he edited at will, sometimes asking me for a different take or approach and other times, we’d be done with one go at it. I tried to give him a different palate of colors to work with, and he gave me quite a variety of styles of music to tackle. We both had a blast, and I am really proud of what we put together. 

You can find the album on AppleMusic, Amazon Music, Spotify, YouTube, and at my Bandcamp site. I hope you enjoy it – it’s certainly different from anything I’ve ever released to the public. Do let me know what you think!

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Upcoming Shows

Floydian Slips at Revolution Hall

Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St, Portland

Floydian Slips bring the Pacific Northwest’s most authentic Pink Floyd tribute to Revolution Hall on Saturday April 13, 2024 for a lights, lasers and live music experience rooted in the band’s 27 years of playing homage to Pink Floyd’s music and vision. The Slips will perform the seminal Wish You Were Here album in its entirely for the first time, alongside deep cuts and familiar staples of the Pink Floyd catalogue from all eras, done with the Slips’ usual attention and rigor to the musical details you’ve come to know, love and expect from the band. The vibrant lights and lasers are back, and the show is all ages as the band continues its more than quarter of a century mission to keep the music and live experience of the Pink Floyd front and center for generations past, present and future.

Ticket prices are: all ages; $25 plus fees General Admission