Tawl Paul talks starting out, scene changes and The Club

By Chase Myers, @chasemyers_DE

A few Carbondale musicians who have been around long enough to be considered “legends” have their own designated day at a venue, and “Tawl” Paul Fredrick is one of them.

Fredrick will perform his signature “Tawl Blues” with his band Slappin’ Henry Blue at 10 p.m. Friday at Tres Hombres.

Slappin’ Henry Blue is comprised of Bill Carter on lead guitar, Bill Stillwell on guitar and T Thomas on bass guitar, with Brian Camden on drums and ‘Tawl’ Paul Fredricks on vocals as the band’s remaining two founding members.


The Daily Egyptian talked with Fredrick about his experiences with the Carbondale music community.

How did you get started with blues and music in general?

Well, I’ve always been in to music. Growing up in Chicago, I got to hear a lot of different kinds of music, but I always drifted toward the blues. I started actually singing down here in Carbondale when I graduated from SIU and would sing in different bands.

What blues artists influenced you as you developed your sound?

Howlin’ Wolf mainly, and that Chicago-style blues.

What is, or was, your favorite Carbondale venue, past or present?

“Was” was The Club … It was like seven nights a week. You hated to miss a night. You had to be there. There was always something going on. After it burned down, there was a big void in the downtown scene, but PK’s, now, has kind of taken that over. PK’s is a more local bar and it’s just the people too, you know? Tres Hombres is fun too; I like playing up there. Another thing too is that the wineries help out local bands a lot.


So how would you say the crowds at the bars differ from the wineries?

A lot of people who used to come to Carbondale that live just outside of Carbondale don’t come to town anymore, so I see people at the wineries that I haven’t seen in years. They just don’t come to the bars and it’s an older crowd. It’s a more laid back thing, you know, wine drinkers.

In what ways has the music scene changed here and how has it stayed the same?

It’s never the same. It’s always different, I mean, in the ‘70s country-rock took over, but there’s always been bluegrass, country and blues. Blues was always main stage. It’s always changing and Curtis Connelly and the coalition are really trying to revive the music scene.  I think it’s a good idea.

What do you want people to take away from one of your shows?

Just to have a good time and forget their troubles for a couple hours.

Chase Myers can be reached at [email protected]