Music for the Journey
He breathes into the microphone and music comes out. He strums his acoustic and the cadences tell the stories that his soul longs to communicate. His music surrounds you, and with it, his thoughts, emotions, questions and yearnings. You're immediately engaged because his music forces you to listen. As the melodies glide up and down, in and out, all about the room, a sense of unity and connectedness sets in. And that's when you know Paul Atkinson's playing. A Wilmington, NC native, Paul Atkinson has been playing guitar for over a decade, and writing insightful songs for the latter half of that time. Having honed and refined his skills as a musician, he has emerged as a crucial component of the acoustic music scene in North Carolina and beyond. Heavily influenced by a unique blend of classic and contemporary songwriters, Atkinson credits his inspiration primarily to Ben Harper, Bruce Springsteen, David Gray, Widespread Panic, Eric Clapton, and Adam Duritz of Counting Crows. "Effective songwriters throw a lot of themselves into their music. They form an instant connection-a communication that could never be reached through mere conversation. They move us. They speak to us on every level: mind, emotion, body and soul. The good ones do, at least," Atkinson says. Most would agree that Paul Atkinson is definitely one of the good ones. Songs like "Goodness is Her Meaning," "Angelina, Please," and "The Divvy" represent his abilities as a true conveyer of life and human emotion. Atkinson is explicitly soulful and candidly emotional. His music strips him of his armor and humbles him. Nothing in his profound lyrics lacks meaning. His melodies unite us in the trials of everyday life, while simultaneously providing a unique level of comfort. "I want to connect on some real level of humanity-on all the peaks and valleys, all the questions, all the mystery. But then I want us to know that we're all in it together. And we're alright." Lines to the chorus of Atkinson's "Goodness is Her Meaning" come instantly to mind: You can laugh or you can cry You can tell the truth or lie, But we're gonna have to live while we're alive.