HomeGrown: Paul Brewster- bluegrass singer & songwriter

Paul Brewster has played the Grand Ole Opry hundreds of times. As harmony vocals and rhythm guitar, he's been with Ricky Skaggs and the Kentucky Thunder for 19 years. Bluegrass has taken him all over the world, but his HomeGrown story begins in Knoxville.

"I'm appreciating it more and more the older I get," he said.

But music was never a planned career path, more of a hobby. Paul inherited the bluegrass gene from his dad, Willie G Brewster.

"It was called hillbilly music back then. I think dad started with Cas Walker when he was 13. They did a thing called the "Mid-Day Merry-Go-Round" here with a lot of artists- Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Red & Fred."

To his dad, music was work.

"He'd come home and put the guitar in the closet. I drug it out of the closet and learned to play."

Brewster really fine-tuned his talents after high school at his uncle's store, "Pick 'n' Grin."

"I learned how to play banjo and guitar there. It's kind of where I got started with the Knoxville Grass- a bluegrass group in the early mid-'70s."

He also played some gigs with bluegrass group, the Pinnacle Boys.

"I went to the Opry for the first time with the Pinnacle Boys. Roy Acuff invited us down to play."

Then, at 23, Paul landed a gig with the Osborne Brothers.

"We went to 11 or 12 different cities in Germany the first year I was with them- 1979. I was with Bobby and Sonny about 10 years- really great time!"

However, he put away his guitar after friend and country music star Keith Whitley died.

"It was a bummer time for me because of Keith, and so I played golf a lot. I was pretty good at it."

It took him to Florida where he started teaching and then back to East Tennessee.

"I guess it was 1995 and Ricky called and said, 'Man, would you want to come up and play with me in Nashville?' And, I've been with him ever since. It's been about 19 years.

He's always enjoyed singing harmony, even as a kid.

"I never sung the lead line."

And he's shared the microphone with some of the best in the business.

"Dolly, Marty Raybon, Joe Diffy-- of course, Ricky Skaggs.

Paul also loves songwriting.

"I really didn't get into it until later in my life."

And, he just released his second, solo album titled "3 Minute Heartache."

"It was a very tough time in my life."

The album even includes a tribute to his late father.

"When I write, I write with my dad's guitar and I wrote a song called 'Dad's Guitar.'"

In addition to touring with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder, Paul's hoping to add a few solo stops of his own.

Paul Brewster, born in North Knoxville, HomeGrown in Tennessee.

"It's my home. It's where I'm from. People say you can't go home. Well, I can. I go to my mom's house every week.

For more information on Paul's new album, "3 Minute Heartache," visit his website www.paulbrewstermusic.com. You can purchase it there as well as Itunes and CD Baby.


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