Paul Woolner and Limehouse

Paul Woolner and Limehouse


Paul Woolner's Limehouse serves up a fresh squeeze of superb songwriting and amazingly eclectic music -- from roots, blues and folk to reggae, pop and punk!


The title of his most recent CD with his band Lime House, "Many Rooms" is indeed a metaphor for the approach Paul Woolner takes towards the craft of writing songs, making music and working with fellow artists. The music itself is remarkably varied, like a house where each room has its own distinctive feel yet still maintains a welcoming and cohesive atmosphere. Some of these rooms are occupied by permanent collective members, while others are reserved for musicians who come and go. Woolner's resonant acoustic guitar and commanding voice are both the foundation and the head of the table.

Musicians with whom Woolner has recorded and performed include some of Canada's most visionary and respected artists:

Gary Craig (drums: Bruce Cockburn, Jann Arden)
Paul Chapman (strings: Susan Aglukark, The Arrogant Worms)
Gideon (guitar & vocals: The Viletones)
Richard Bell (keyboards: Janis Joplin, The Band)
Chris Whiteley (trumpet: John Hammond, Prairie Oyster)
Brent Titcomb (vocals, percussion: Anne Murray, Oliver Schroer)
John Dymand (bass: Bruce Cockburn, Blackie & The Rodeo Kings)
Jason Wilson (keyboards: Pee Wee Ellis, Jamaica to Toronto)
Fergus Hambleton (guitar, sax & vocals: The Sattalites)

Starting in the late 1960s performing in coffee houses to opening for major international acts, Paul Woolner has been writing and performing for over 40 years. He came of age as a musician in the late 1960s and 70s. It was a time when there was a great deal of active experimentation going on in songwriting; genres and song structure were not so defined as they are today. That sensibility has stayed with him, reflected in his writing and the rich diversity of styles and influences on his records and at live concerts, including: folk, Celtic, rock, reggae, Delta blues, jazz, country and even funk and Portuguese fado. He holds a doctorate in educational theory and specializes in organizational behaviour. This well-honed ability to understand the skills, dynamics and subtleties of people and groups clearly shines through in his music.

Woolner plays the role of a master architect and builder with Many Rooms, letting the skills of master craftspeople shine and managing to maintain a sense of feng shui in a richly complex and varied sonic design. The album leads off with "Simple Wind", a James Tayloresque ballad with Celtic vocal accents. The guitar-mandolin interplay of "Bolinas Road" is reminiscent of Jerry Garcia and David Grisman's classic collaborations. "Ordinary Joe" rocks to a Jamaican reggae and rock-steady beat. "On The Train". "Half Mile Wave" and "The Wolves are All Silent Now" layer orchestral string arrangements over a gentle acoustic folk foundation. "Flyin' Blind", "Love is For the Serious Not the Sane" and "Paint Your Money Green" are a 3-part roadhouse rock & blues suite with a punk-rock flair. The final song, "Esplanade", is appropriate the most eclectic of all -- a reverb-heavy fusion of jazz, psychedelic & prog rock, and Latin that sounds like Carlos Santana dropping in on the tail end of a jam session with John Scofield and McCoy Tyner.

Come on in to Paul Woolner’s Lime House. The music’s cooking and there’s room for everybody.


Many Rooms: 2008
Where I Live: 2006