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Independent Artist Spot- Light



               It all started one November day in 1959, when into this world came one,
     Paul William Stokes…

Resides in :
Summerville, South Carolina
Born: 11/27/59

During the first half of my life, I lived in central Florida in the small town of Christmas.  Yes, it was Christmas year round.  It was there as a youth that I began singing in the church choir.  I have always loved music, though, a love that I inherited from my mom.  My first experience with playing was when my brother left his electric guitar at home one day.  The draw of making music was so strong that I took the guitar and his chord book to my room and did not come out for hours.  I taught myself to play three songs that day.  

Everything was going fine until I was about 13.  That was when I first heard Kris Kristofferson and I lost my mind!  I loved his style of writing and his lyrics in general because they were so real to me. I learned to play all of his music. I just loved the ease in which it played.  Over the next few years, I played around home in small bands with various friends.  Since I was only 15 at the time, the bars or clubs would allow me inside only when the band was playing.  In between sets, I would have to sit out back drinking sodas.  I kept picking up music and putting it back down again.  That is, until I moved to South Carolina in 1985.  Since then, I have played fairly steady.

In 1999, I met some new players here in Summerville.  I began writing on a bet because of them.  I wrote a verse and showed it to a friend one night.  He said, “That’s cool, but I bet you can’t finish it.”  To me that was a sucker bet, I finished the song in about 2 hours.  This guy, who happened to be a bachelor, had a three-bedroom house that eventually became our studio.  It didn’t take long for us to get a digital recorder and we were off.  All of a sudden, it was like the flood gates opened up for me.  Ideas and inspiration came from everywhere.  I could hardly keep up with my writing and recording.

I really enjoyed writing and recording.  After the events of 9/11, however, I felt a sense of urgency in getting my music heard.  I got a band together and played a few gigs, but the sound wasn’t there.  I can’t really explain, but I decided it was better to not play than to play and the music to have not felt right.  I spent the next 10 years or so writing and trying to improve the recording process.  I tried to generate interest locally, but it just wasn’t happening.

In 2009, I was diagnosed with cancer which changed my focus from music to survival.  So I took a couple of years off trying to get stronger and better in general.  My recovery was marked by my writing “Long Dark Night,” a song about my journey through life and almost death.

Now my cancer is back, and I have begun the fight again.  I have more work to do, however.  There are more songs to write and more music to record.  I don’t know what my future holds, but we all live one day at a time and that’s the best we can do.  It is like I always say, “As long as you’re breathing you have a chance.”  NEVER GIVE UP and NEVER GIVE IN.   LOL!   I think I wrote that in a song once, and it’s still true, so believe it!  

I hope you all keep enjoying my music and as always keep singing along!
Paul Stokes



Previous Independent Artist Spot-Light:
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 The Late          Papa Reese      Mike Nic
Mr. Slamm



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