Paul Picks Down The Escalante

Down The Escalante

This week’s Pickin’ & Grinnin’ In The Kitchen Spot features Paul’s latest production- Down the Escalante. Paul wrote the song when he was in high school. He never did anything much with it, other than just playing it every now and then.

Over the past few months he was inspired to pull it out and work out the rough edges.

He used several instruments (all played by him), laid down one track at a time for the recording. The main guitar used is a Recco Classical.

Paul was pretty young when the bridge on his cheap hand-me down guitar came loose. While visiting Wade Powell (a friend of the family who owned a recording studio) Paul asked if he had a bridge he could have. Wade told Paul he thought there might be one in an old barn down below his house and Paul was welcome to go see.

Paul found the classical guitar. It was old, dirty, and actually had rats living inside it. He took it back up to Wade and asked if he could have the bridge from it-Wade said “You can have the whole thing.” Paul took it home. He helped Pap clean and fix the guitar. It has an excellent sound to it and Paul has kept it ever since.

He played Pap’s Gibson Dove for the rhythm. Lastly he added the bass and the whistle. IĀ  admit I’m always proud of my brother-but this song has totally blown me away!

Down the Escalante
makes me wish The Deer Hunter and I still had horses so I could…ride off into the sunset.

It also makes me wish I had a fancy car to drive…down a long straight road with the windows down and the music turned up.

Hope you enjoy Down the Escalante too-and please tell me what it makes you feel like doing?


p.s. Paul was recently spotlighted at Riffs: Daddy’s Guitar, Paul Jackson Jr., Foo Zeppelin, an article for “Premier Guitar Magazine.”

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  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    January 23, 2019 at 8:41 am

    Would have been nice if Paul’s music and him playing the music had been the theme music for this movie?
    Alfonso Escalante Gutierrez (December 31, 1930 ā€“ March 30, 2010) was a Bolivian educator known for teaching students calculus from 1974 to 1991 at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. Escalante was the subject of the 1988 film, Stand and Deliver. The whole time I was listening to Paul perform, I kept thinking That Ought To Be The Theme For A Movie.
    Had no knowledge of the afore mentioned movie until looking up the word Escalante.

  • Reply
    Stacy A
    July 14, 2008 at 1:42 am

    I am so far behind commenting. Your posts are all so good and bring so many thoughts to my mind that sometimes I have to think for a bit first. Unfortunately, sometimes I think too long.
    What a beautiful haunting song. This easily could be a theme for a movie about Mexico or South America that Paul Simon writes lyrics too and makes famous. But it has so much character it really doesn’t need words. It makes me think about the times I have left everything behind to make a new start. It echoes the conflicting emotions of excitement and fear. Paul really hit the mark with this song, truly.
    I have been meaning o email you, I will soon I promise. Hope everything is well with you and the fam. Tell the girls I enjoyed their song this week as well, especially the acrobatics at the end. You take care my friend. Love Stacy

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 9, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    WOW!!! That’s a great song and a wonderful story too. I’ll chip in on the gas if you’ll let me ride with you in Paul’s car.
    It’s amazing that Paul played all the parts on different instruments them put it together.
    The song makes me want do do some kind of exotic dance—and that’s saying a lot cause I’m not much of a dancer.

  • Reply
    Missy K
    July 8, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    I loved the song– for me it suits a rocking chair-cool breeze-front porch evening.
    Found your blog through a comment at Two Square Meals and I’ll be back!

  • Reply
    July 8, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    I love this…Paul is so talented. It makes me just want to sit on my deck overlooking the green valley and mountains in the quiet early morning. Yep the drive in the camero should be a given.

  • Reply
    July 8, 2008 at 1:04 am

    Hey Tipper – this is a great piece! So glad you are able to share such treasures.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    What a great story and what a great song. I enjoyed both. BTW, I tagged you on my blog tonight. I hope you enjoy it. Blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    The Texican
    July 7, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    You’ve been tagged by me to participate in a seven song meme. Go to my blog for the rules. Pappy

  • Reply
    July 7, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Your brother Paul is so very talented. My brother Wesley’s only musical talent was making the dog howl when he tried to play his clarinet!

  • Reply
    Mark Salinas
    July 7, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Great sound…very cool! Nice pics!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2008 at 1:29 pm

    I want to thank everyone for the kind words about my music. I really appreciate it. I’m glad that the song stirred your imaginations. I didn’t know if it was any good or not.
    And since the vote is unanimous, I’ll let Tipper take the Camaro out for a drive soon. With the price of gas, I know she can’t go too far. šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    July 7, 2008 at 10:23 am

    Beautiful! It makes me want to dance under the stars and paper lanterns in my garden. There is a soft breeze blowing and the moon is bright…

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    July 7, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Tipper: Paul does a really nice musical interpretation on the song. It makes me feel that I take my boat down a nice lazy stream and enjoy the peace and quite of the flow.
    I enjoyed the guitar story.
    I think Paul should let you take the Camaro for a ride if you promise to behave and bring it back.

  • Reply
    July 7, 2008 at 1:01 am

    I love it!
    It’s that kind of music that makes me think of driving down the road with the window down and the wind blowing my hair. There should be curves in the road. šŸ™‚

  • Reply
    July 7, 2008 at 12:14 am

    Great song – can imagine myself listening to it in the early morning driving the High Road to Taos. Perfect.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2008 at 10:51 pm

    I find that music very relaxing. Pictures of nature run through my head as its played.
    I think the least he could do is let you borrow the comaro! What are brothers and sisters for anyway.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Thanks for your great post about the USA!!

  • Reply
    noble pig
    July 6, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    Very nice story…love that guitar shot.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2008 at 10:00 pm

    Def. should let sis borrow the camaro!
    Have a great week!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    Amazing! How talented is he? Sheesh! This song makes me feel like I’m in a small ramshackled town in old Mexico looking out my broken window with my pistol in my hand. Maybe that is just me though. Love it!
    Hey, we could be Thelma and Louise in that old muscle car!!

  • Reply
    July 6, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Fantastic! Made me feel like sitting around a campfire in the Rockies after a good day’s hike.

  • Reply
    July 6, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    I loved the song! Though I love hearing a good band or ensemble, I’ve always loved listening to a solo guitar. It’s such a soothing sound, and it’s amazing how it can seem to tell a story without a human voice ever speaking.
    You are so blessed to come from such a musical family, and yes, I think Paul should let you drive the Cam! šŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    July 6, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    That is a gorgeous piece of music, Tipper. Where can I buy it?
    I enjoyed reading this story. It is a beautiful reminiscence and a great tribute to your bro.

  • Reply
    The Texican
    July 6, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Tipper, Your little brother Paul is quite talented. Down the Escalante is a great piece. I love stories of success like his. You are certainly giving him some great press. I think the least he could do is let you take a spin in his car. Always a pleasure to visit here. Pappy

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    July 6, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    Wow! Paul, great job! Have you ever been to the river canyon in Utah? I’ve seen that picture before. The tune reminds me so much of a flamenco dance, or maybe watching Jesse James and the boys riding across the prairie in an old Western. Your music takes me to places I had almost forgotten, thank you for bringing me back. xxoo

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    July 6, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Your brother’s song was playing earlier! He is absolutely wonderful! Since I was listening to his music without realizing it was your brother, I can say without bias that I assumed he was a professional/produced artist. And, yes, brotherly love includes lending his Camaro to his sister. “Down the Escalante” has a classical feel to it. But enjoy his various styles. Thank you for sharing, Tipper. Petra Oh, p.s. Ellen Page and Elijah Wood are the winners of the mini-script, “How much money?” Thank you for voting, Tipper.

  • Reply
    city Mouse/Country House
    July 6, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    I do love Down the Escalante! And it makes you feel like taking a walk in the woods – not too slow, but not too fast. I can definitely picture it being on a nice clear trail too. Awesome playing!

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