Pauline York Band

Pauline York Band


She's pretty good for a girl.


The essence of Roots music lies in its simplicity. Without flash and fanfare, the music moves the listener in its straightforward and honest delivery. Since jumping into the Chicago music scene in 1997, Pauline York has kept this rule in mind as she has put her personal spin on American Roots and Blues music. York, lead guitar and vocals and her band deliver pure, honest, from-the-heart music. No fluff, guitar tricks, or frills here, just the real thing. At age 14, Pauline was exposed to the driving “Texas Sound,” which inspired her to explore the roots of that music. Rather than becoming another “Power Blues” copycat, she dug deeper into the music of Blues pioneers like Freddie King and Jimmy Reed. Coupled with her love of Stax soul and fondness for modern Rock and Pop music, the result is a fresh new sound…a style all her own.

Blackberry Wine (2001), Pauline’s critically acclaimed debut CD is a blend of her many influences, including Folk-Rock, Blues, and Cajun music. Her 2004 follow-up, Muddy Water, takes her unique style one step further after building chops and confidence on the road between records. Her new release, Get Down and Ride! (2007), showcases her determination to push her music into a new direction. Pauline and her band have performed at many clubs and festivals throughout the country, including Buddy Guy’s Legends, the Arkansas Blues and Heritage Festival, and the Kalamazoo Blues Festival. Aside from York’s own club dates and headline gigs, the band has warmed up the stage for a variety of Blues artists. From the Chicago styling of Lonnie Brooks, to the traditional Mississippi Delta Blues of Paul Wine Jones, to the swampy Louisiana sounds of Tab Benoit, Pauline’s gigs are as diverse as they are impressive.

York, along with bassist Jim Billmeier and drummer Jeff Ruffin, have been together as musicians and friends since meeting on the neighborhood open mike circuit over 5 years ago. Balancing full-time “day” jobs, mortgages, and families, the trio has managed to create and perform music, somehow transforming from “bar band” to “working musicians.” The same trio that plays the yard parties and roadhouses performs at the large festivals and prestigious clubs. Pauline’s “less is more” philosophy applies to the business end as well – she has been known to negotiate shows for “good barbeque” and books every show and tour herself.

As an innovator of contemporary Roots music, Pauline blends the traditional and the modern aspects of Blues with a love of all types of music, daring the listener to pigeonhole her. From club dates, to festivals, to stages both large and small, York, her trio, and her “no fuss no muss” philosophy are finally getting the recognition they deserve. Catch her on the way up.


Home to Lafayette

Written By: Pauline York

How many times can I be the fool?
How many times do you bet?
How many nights my mind is telling me 'no,'
But my heart keeps telling me 'yes.'
I'm sick and tired of sitting here watching T.V.
This town is missing out on something really special, baby.
One day you'll wonder what ever happened to me,
I'm going home to Lafayette.

I can't sleep at all in my own bed
I get so restless for something more.
But rain or shine it's the same old thing,
and I end up down like before.
Sometimes I miss you little baby,
The way that you kissed me always drove me really crazy,
But those days seem so few and far between,
I'm going home to Lafayette.

I'm so sick of working when it don't mean nothing,
It seems so hard to get by
Eat the same old dinner at the same old table,
Drink the same old whiskey and rye.
I step out on my front porch in the morning light,
The air feels good but it's a temporary high,
If I only had the nerve, I'd get a ticket to ride,
I'd go home to Lafayette.

It's getting cold here in the city,
And I don't want the race to ever get the best of me.
All I want to do is see my baby's face again,
This can't be how it's all going to end?

I want to go home and tell it all to my mother,
How I've been such a fool again.
How I lost my pride because I was too damn lazy,
To sit down and work it out like a woman.
Whatever happened to 'home sweet home?'
Whoever thought that up never felt this all alone.
The thought of one more day here just chills me to the bone.
I'm going home to Lafayette.

*I'm going home,
I'm going home to Lafayeette.
Bright lights, big city disappearing down the track --
And I ain't ever coming back.

Someone Like You

Written By: Pauline York

Tell me you love me and I'll run away to a place in my mind I can hide,
I'm going to take in every word that you say and I'll swallow them all whole and dry.
Do you know what you're doing?
You've got the nerve to kiss my lips not once,
but just twice?
Someone like you shouldn't take someone like me for a ride.

The rattling bones in my closet are aching and they keep me up every night,
I hold the key deep inside of my heart but you take it and never think twice.
Do you know what your saying?
You want the girl but you don't want to pay the price?
Someone like you shouldn't take someone like me for a ride.

Someone like you shouldn't act like something you're not.
Someone like me shouldn't fall for the tricks that you've got.
You better mean what you say.
Not that I "took it all the wrong way."
Because if you think that it's funny,
I'm telling you honey,
You've got to lie in the bed that you made.

So next time you're calling me "baby,"
You better not be on that bottle of wine.
Because I want to love you for real,
Not just like all those dreams that I dream to get by.
So lay me down baby, with a love so deep that it flows like a river wild,
Someone like you shouldn't take someone like me for a ride.

Muddy Water

Written By: Pauline York

He's got bad intentions
He's got worn out, dirty shoes
He don't belong to me,
But he sure don't come home to you.

You know I love that man,
but I don't think he cares for me.
He's just like muddy water,
He feels so good but he don't wash away clean.

He comes in through my window
He muddies up my floor
I try to fill the cracks,
But he comes underneath my door.

I got me some soap.
But no soap will ever make him let me be.
He's just like muddy water,
He tastes so good but he's always bittersweet.

I tell him to go, he wants to sit down at my feet
I tell him to stay, he spends all night out in the street
I've got all this perfume on my hands and knees
But I still can't get his dirty ways off of me.

He's got dirty little hands
He's always got something on his mind
He put his dirty little fingers all up and down my thighs.
You know I love that man,
Although he always treats me mean.
He's just like muddy water,
He feels so good, but he don't wash away clean.


Blackberry Wine (2001), Muddy Water (2004). Both albums have received national and international airplay on both specialty Blues programs and regular format. Get Down and Ride (2007) topped the Roots Music Report at #5 and the Living Blues Charts at #19.

Set List

We do a mixture of covers and original material, which is pretty dependant on the venue/event. We don't use a set list, preferring to "go with the flow" of the audience. A typical show consists of 3 one-hour sets and 2 half-hour breaks. However, we are very adaptable and are quite good at doing what we're told.