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Paul Rishell & Annie Raines

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Biography

Paul Rishell was born in 1950 in Brooklyn, NY. His early musical experience was as a drummer playing rock ‘n’ roll and surf music in Connecticut in the early 1960’s. In 1963 a friend introduced him to the country blues recordings of Son House and Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton and Blind Lemon Jefferson. Thus began Paul’s lifetime devotion to this uniquely American form of music. By 1970 he was proficient on both acoustic and electric guitar and worked as a sideman and studio player in Boston. He played with Son House, Johnny Shines, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, Howlin’ Wolf, and shared the stage with many of his blues heroes. He also was a member of The Manic Depressives, together with Peter C. Johnson and John Payne. In 1975, Paul began performing regularly as a solo acoustic blues artist, and also attracted a strong local following with his own blues band.

In the mid-eighties, Paul took some time off to start a family. In 1987, his daughter Vanessa was born, and he began work with Tone-Cool Records on his first CD, Blues on a Holiday, released in 1990 to remarkable critical acclaim and recognition of his contribution to the blues tradition. He has dedicated himself to teaching the guitar styles of the masters and to educating his audiences about the original recordings of the country blues that inspired him.

While working on his second Tone-Cool CD, Swear to Tell the Truth, Paul Rishell met Annie Raines. Her work on the project heralded the beginning of a productive musical partnership: Paul and Annie have become a steadfast touring and recording team, working as an acoustic and electric duo, as well as with a full band.

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