We were pretty sure when we heard that rock and radio legend Paul Carrack was listed as a member of Eric Clapton's touring outfit that we would get to hear him show off his superb chops in Music City. Sure enough, when the band returned for their encore on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee - "the voice" was front and center and it sounded so good.
Paul Carrack in Nashville in 2021 and his most recent solo record "One On One".
It took all night but the keyboard player and respected blues singer came to the forefront on vocals as Clapton's large band said goodbye with "High Time We Went" - the Joe Cocker cover that cooked to perfection as the concert came to a close. Carrack took charge and played the role of musical director leading the band's four guitarists - Eric Clapton, Doyle Bramhall II, opening act Jimmie Vaughan and special guest Marcus King through guitar solos as the verse and chorus breaks arrived. It was a thrilling and joyous way to wrap up the night.
But, it wasn't the first time that Paul Carrack has made his mark in significantly important rock groups. If you were in Music City and thought he sounded familiar but couldn't quite place where you heard him before, well, let's back up. In 1975, Carrack co-founded the group called Ace whose debut single, "How Long" was written and sung by him going on to become a monster hit in both the UK and the United States. Ace's hand soon folded, however, and in 1977 the group disbanded.
In 1981, Glenn Tilbrook recruited Carrack to join Squeeze as a replacement for long-time keyboardist Jools Holland. Paul was the featured singer on the new lineup's song "Tempted" from the "East Side Story" album and that track became their biggest U.S. hit to date as well as a staple on MTV music television. Carrack left Squeeze but would return again in 1993 for their album "Some Fantastic Place" landing another soulful lead vocal on "Loving You Tonight".
In 1985, Paul Carrack took a high profile a role in Mike Rutherford's new band. The Genesis guitarist created a side project called Mike + The Mechanics and Carrack was drafted to be a co-lead vocalist and keyboard player. It was a good move because his tendency to create radio gold continued with the much loved songs of the 80's "Silent Running" and "The Living Years".
But, please don't get the impression that Paul Carrack is nothing more than a hired hand with a powerful set of pipes. Since 1980, he has amassed an impressive discography of his own releasing 18 full length solo albums with none sounding any better than the amazing 2021 offering called "One On One" that has just dropped from his own independent label. Do yourself a favor and take a listen to this legendary voice at your earliest convenience. And, there's only one question left to ask. How long until we can get a proper Paul Carrack concert booked in Music City???