Thursday, March 31, 2011

Getting to Know American Idol's Paul McDonald

Paul McDonald: Come Pick Me Up - Paul McDonald - American Idol

American Idol Season 10's singer-songwriter Paul McDonald is 26 and comes from Huntsville, Alabama, and currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee, where he auditioned. Paul received his 'Golden Ticket' to compete in Hollywood by singing an original song, "American Dreams".

Paul ~ with his huge, bright white smile ~ is stealing hearts across America! Not only is his smile infectious, his sexy crooning reminds many of a young Rod Stewart. With his colorful taste in clothing and wild dance moves, Paul is one of the most unique and charismatic of the Season 10 Idol contestants. The eccentric Steven Tyler has always liked Paul's individual style, saying, “You define a cool dude in a loose mood. Your swagger up there is way cool. You’re very distinctive. And I like that!" Steven also said, "I love the character and the rasp in your voice. I love that character in you.” Jennifer Lopez raved, “You have real character in the way you move too. Your smile lights up the whole place. You bring joy to the world. You're the most well-rounded, seasoned performer.” And Randy Jackson said, “One of the things I love about you…you were so unique and different. I’m glad that Idol can embrace this kind of singer…quirky and different.”

Paul McDonald's favorite quote comes from Bob Dylan: "A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night and in between he does what he wants to do." Paul's musical influences are all over the place! They include Folk, Country, R&B, Gospel and Rap!

American Idol's Paul McDonald (born William Paul McDonald) was born on August 29th 1984. Since 2005, Paul has been the lead singer of the band Hightide Blues, which was renamed The Grand Magnolias in 2010.

Hightide Blues

In the spring of 2005, Paul McDonald and fellow student Jonathan Pears began writing songs together, forming the band Hightide Blues. Adding two other members, Phillip Gayle and Scott Rollins, they began touring small clubs around the state of Alabama. In 2006, McDonald put his education on hold to pursue a full-time career in music. After releasing a limited edition self-titled EP (Hightide Blues) in 2007, the band released a self-produced album, Love Come Easy in 2008. This album was recorded in an old boarding school turned recording studio called the House of David in Nashville, Tennessee. Hightide Blues saw some radio play from the songs "Dreamin' Alone" and "Let It Roll". Also included was a song called "Dancing with the Angels (Meg's Song)". Paul McDonald wrote this song the night before the funeral of a very close friend to the band, Meg Ingram, who passed away from cancer at the age of 21. The band performs annually at the Meg Ingram Memorial Scholarship benefit concert in Huntsville, Alabama.

Hightide Blues has also had success on the Internet, winning multiple awards on, including over fifteen Top 10 placements, as well as reaching #2 on Best of Pop for 2011. From 2007-2010, the band continued touring around the country, performing with musicians such as the Zac Brown Band, Sarah Barellis, and JJ Grey and Mofro. Hightide Blues also played festivals such as the Bonnaroo Music Festival, the Florida Music Festival, the Hangout Festival, and the Lynyrd Skynrd Simple Man Cruise. Between 2007-2010, Hightide Blues averaged around 150-200 shows per year.

The Grand Magnolias

In August 2010, Paul McDonald and his band members moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and launched a campaign to let their fans choose a new name for the band. The group's first album under its new name, entitled The Grand Magnolias, was released in 2011. The songs were written by McDonald and band member Jonathan Pears and produced by Dan Hannon and Ken Coomer. The album has seen a boost in sales since Paul McDonald's appearance on American Idol, and it reached #16 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and had sold 4,000 copies by March 23, 2011.

Want some great music by Paul McDonald's 2 pre-American Idol bands???
Just click these links for The Grand Magnolias and Hightide Blues!

Get the American Idol Season 10 Top 12 performances! Click below:
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