BACKGROUND & INFLUENCES
"I remember at some point choosing to use slide because it could be so expressive, squeezing up to notes and drawing them out with vibrato. I've always listened to horn players as well as guitarists, and in many ways I was trying to imitate the tone and phrasing of a saxophone. I was also fascinated by the potential to play independent lines on the guitar, maybe incorporating walking bass lines into an arrangement, or adding inner voices leading the ear through chord resolutions, while still playing the melody above. Eventually these two aspects came together ..."
While Paul's musical ability is impressive, he does not like to turn performances into a showcase for special tricks.
"I have some techniques I haven't seen anybody else use," he says, "but they have to be integrated within the music or else it doesn't communicate to anyone but a guitar buff. The guitar playing has to be supporting the song, and the vocals are the most important part of communicating with an audience."
In performing 'covers' he tries not to do 'carbon-copies' or 'museum-pieces', but rather aims to put across the spirit of the original, staying true to the words, melody, etc whilst adapting the song to suit his own voice and guitar style.
"I once read an interview with a famous guitarist, I forget who, saying he'd been influenced by every single guitar player he'd ever seen. I think that's true for myself, and I'd also have to add some jazz horn players, because when I started playing the guitar one ear was tuned to Hendrix and Clapton, while the other was listening to Parker and Gillespie."
"As far as direct influences that can be traced in my playing, for bottleneck style I certainly owe a debt to Ry Cooder and Elmore James, as well as Duane Allman and Lowell George on electric and pre-war acoustic players like Son House, Charlie Patton and Casey Bill Weldon. I also absorbed a lot from the semi-electric solo styles of Lightnin' Hopkins and John Lee Hooker, and artists like Fats Domino, Slim Harpo, Chuck Berry and Jimmy Reed; I particularly liked their sense for melody and lyrics. Over the years I've listened to a lot of jazz musicians, and I still get a buzz hearing Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, and keep coming back to recordings by Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomery, and Django."
"I consider live performance vitally important, for me that's the most satisfying part of being a musician."
Paul Judge Mini-Biography
* Released two CD albums, 'Love and Hard Work' (2002) and 'Person to Person' (1998).
* Acclaimed solo and band performances at major Blues Festivals over recent years including Burnley, Colne and Gloucester.
* Member of teaching faculty for the prestigious International Guitar Foundation (IGF), course tutor and performer at their annual International Guitar Festival in Bath, and for their Guitar Circus (2001 to 2004).
* Guitarist magazine's slide guitar techniques columnist from 1999 - 2001.
* Played with : Steve Phillips, Eugene 'Hideaway' Bridges, Matt Smith, Steve Fairclough, Johnny Mars, Sam Payne and supported Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Geoff Achison, Catfish Keith, Michael Roach, Big Boy Henry, Geno Washington, John Idan Band, Gregg Wright, Aynsley Lister and others.
* Acoustic Guitarist of the Year Finalist (1997).
* Partnered Bob Greenwood in the Rhythm Rascals, performing at major festivals in the UK and Europe.
* Led highly successful zydeco/blues band The Lizards for 7 years; toured extensively and released two albums - 'Cajun Blues' and 'The Promised Land'.