Versatile Westfield musician releases 48th album


The inspiration to create new music is never far away for Brian E. Paulson, a Westfield resident the past 19 years.

Nor, as it turns out, is a place to do so.

Paulson, who records music in Bonebox Studio — (a.k.a., his basement — has released “Walking to Rio,” the 48th album of the multi-instrumentalist’s career.


Paulson, 71, describes his music as a blend of hooky, melodic lines mixed with the poignant idioms of rock, soul, funk, swing, rhythm and blues and eclectic-tronica. He plays all the instruments, writes all the music and handles all of the production.

If Paulson’s approach to the music he creates sounds diverse, there’s good reason.

Born in Laurium, Mich., once a flourishing copper-mining town of approximately 2,000 residents in the Upper Peninsula, Paulson had lived in seven states by the time he graduated from Bryan Station High School in Lexington, Ky.

“Just like living in all these different places, my music is a fusion, of sorts,” Paulson said. “Growing up in a place like Missouri, I would listen to Dolly Parton, Buck Owens and that whole country scene.”

By the time the family relocated to Lexington during Paulson’s teen years, the horn-dominated sounds of bands such as Chicago and Blood, Sweat & Tears were his favorites.

Paulson’s new album includes 13 songs, including the title track, “Walking to Rio,” as well as “Dancing in the Devil’s Pocket.”

The songs range in length from 3 minutes, 26 seconds to 5:37.

“It’s almost like a diary of my thought processes,” said Paulson, who would like the opportunity to one day write the score for a movie. “A lot of times, I will wake up and go to the keyboard and just play the song in its entirety.”

The album is available on all major streaming platforms.

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