Paul J McInnis

Paul J McInnis

 Goderich, Ontario, CAN

Paul J McInnis music is folk music. It's about roads, girls, and small towns. It channels John Prine, Adam Carroll, and every musician he’s had the honour of playing with. It is literate, joyful, melancholy and timeless. Paul's music is what he believes all music should be: Simple and real.


If he were alive 100 years ago, Paul J McInnis would have been found strumming on a street corner, singing his songs about roads, girls, and small towns. His closest friends would have been pickers, singers, poets, painters and the local butcher. He would have enjoyed a simple life surrounded by the things he loved. Today, 100 years later, not much is different. If you look for him, Paul can be found strumming on a street corner in some small town, singing songs about roads, girls, and the things he loves. He may slip into his local pub on the way home for a pint with some old friends. It`s a simple life. 

Paul J McInnis’ music is folk music in the truest sense. It channels John Prine, Adam Carroll, and every musician he’s played with. It is literate, joyful, melancholy, and timeless. He prefers to play in the moment; recording live off the floor with open mics and no overdubs. Mistakes happen, he’ll say, but so does magic. The resulting album, Broken Down Waltz, is a collection of some of those magical mistakes, all written and arranged by Paul and performed beautifully with some of his closest friends on mandolin, harmonica, accordion, cello and guitar. It is what Paul believes music should be: simple and real.

Paul has seen Canada through a windshield. During the years spent travelling with Juno nominated troubadour Craig Cardiff, the duo played every club, pub, and dive student bar they could find. They even hosted a conference on independent music at the North American Folk Alliance’s annual convention. Over the past decade, Paul has had the honour of opening for acts as diverse as Serena Ryder, Jim Cuddy and Big Sugar. Closer to his current home in Goderich, Ontario, Paul has played countless small festivals both as a solo act and as a sought after sideman. As for his joyful and timeless songs, Paul has twice received accolades from legendary songwriters David Foster and Carol Bayer Sager.

What does the future hold? Paul would say the only thing we can expect is uncertainty. There is, however, one thing we can count on. Paul will keep playing, singing, and surrounding himself with the things he loves. It’s what he’s always done. It’s what he’ll always do.


Slip Away

Written By: Paul J McInnis

The song almost stopped the car
Pre 100 on the FM dial
The sort of thing written as wallpaper
But this morning seems somehow worthwhile
They must have known that I was weakest
When I’m feeling just a little homesick
All this seems to make sense
When you’re not trying to enjoy it

You’re so far away so I scream it out
It could be the last time

You were on my mind any given time of day
But I let you slip away

Twist and turn over patchwork road
Which seems like it’s never going to be done
The hum of the tires almost puts us to sleep
As we drive away from the setting sun

You’re so far away but I scream it out
It should be the last time

You were on my mind any given time of day
But I let you slip away

Be that as it may
We all learn to do without
I regret some things I didn’t say
We all have to tough it out

Stories Of Lily

Written By: Paul J McInnis

Stories Of Lily
Written by Paul McInnis

I remember stories of Lily
That my father used to tell
She was the prettiest girl in Grey County
My father loved her well
After mom went to bed
My dad turned to me and said
Please indulge me these stories of Lily

Lily would see my father
Who lived just up the road
Her step-daddy used to drink
Until his heart would turn to stone
And on those nights when
My dad would hold her tight
He’d say “Don’t worry, I’ll save you Lily”

But Lily got engaged at sixteen
To my father’s buddy Dan
He’d got her drunk and knocked her up
But he was trying to make amends
Then Lily’s step daddy beat them both
She wasn’t pregnant anymore
Dan said I’m sorry it’s over Lily

Lily left that night
Started singing for her life
Picked up a couple of habits
Got skinny got sunken eyes
But she had some friends who still cared
They paid for her bus fare
And said get healthy my fragile Lily

I remember stories of Lily
Asked my dad where is she now
She’s married with a couple of grown boys
Lives in a house on the flats downtown
Even though she is so close
I don’t see her anymore
But I still remember these stories of Lily


Written By: Paul J McInnis

Do you remember how it felt the first time our hands touched
Do you remember when you said oh my god I love you so Much
Do you remember that you kept all the letters I sent
Do you remember how it felt when you went

I've been over it under it beside it I've even backtracked
but I can't figure out how to get those years of my life back

Do you remember how it felt the first time we made love
Do you remember knowing the difference between push and shove
Do you remember you hated the first time that we met
Do you remember everyday to forget

I stole every minute we had
If taking your hand was a crime
then I'm doing my time

Last Thing On My Mind

Written By: Paul J McInnis

Running for a while
I wanted something better
A long time coming is a long way to go to get to nowhere

Sideswiped by this life I've seen
You fall down onto your knees
The weight, it's just too heavy too
Barely have the strength left to
Carry on an on I mean
This day has been so it seems
To have begun before
Yesterday had a chance to end

Everything is fine
Was the last thing I remember
Left this place behind
So now it doesn't matter

I was the last one to hear
The last one that they called
You were the last thing on my mind

Broken Down Waltz

Written By: Paul J McInnis

Broken Down Waltz

Jen worked the late shift at the corner store
Joey walked in as she was locking the door
Had a knife in his hand and tears in his eyes
Barely got through saying “Your money or your life.”
His hand shaking wild, his nerves shot to hell
He lowered his knife then he asked her for help
Jen took his hand and they fell to the floor
Fell in love with each other at the convenience store
Could be his, could be hers, doesn’t matter whose fault
It’s just the two of them now and the broken down waltz

Jimmy was a local hero in his day
Took his 52 Tele and moved to LA
Two years went by until somebody heard
Jimmy was coming through town on tour
We all packed the place and the house lights came down
And the band took the stage to roar of the crowd
But Jimmy was sloppy, his eyes bloodshot red
Reached for his guitar, fell over instead
Lay him face down, and check for a pulse
He’s been too long dancing the broken down waltz

Eric and the boys out on Friday night
Just got paid so they were doing it up right
They went drink for drink, they went shot after shot
They went hard all night till they close down that spot
Eric calls a cab and climbs in the back seat
Says turn up the tunes man as they pulled onto the street
Delivery truck hits them fast and hard
Eric is thrown out the side of the car
The music plays on as traffic grinds to a halt
We all take a turn at the broken down waltz









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