Paul Colman Trio (PC3) Biography
Since the release of its first international album New Map of the World, the Paul Colman Trio (guitarist/vocalist Paul Colman, bassist Grant Norsworthy, and drummer Phil Gaudion) has been criss-crossing the United States, Europe and Australia spreading a serious message wrapped up in an infectious blend of power pop and rock music.
The masses took notice, propelling pc3’s singles “Turn” and “Run” to No. 1 and turning out in droves for its tour appearances with labelmates Third Day and FFH. The music industry responded as well, with Radio & Records magazine naming the band to its annual list of Top 10 Breakthrough Artists, the Recording Academy bestowing a Grammy nomination for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album, and the Gospel Music Association honoring Paul Colman Trio as New Artist of the Year at the 2003 Dove Awards.
But as time came for the band to head back to the studio for its follow-up to New Map…, a single theme emerged: reconciliation--among friends, among family, among individuals, and among the church.
“God said that in order to be reconciled to others, you have to be reconciled to Him, and in order to be reconciled to Him, you must be reconciled to others,” Colman says. “They’re impossible to pull apart, but I think a lot of Christians say ‘I’ve left that at the foot of the Cross; I’ve dealt with that,’ and yet they’re alienated from others.”
“In John 17, Jesus says, ‘I pray that they be one,’” he continues. “This album is an exploration of what that sounds and looks like. We hope it’s a challenge in a spiritual way but not at all preachy.” Paul Colman Trio fans know that the band is anything but preachy; its high-energy, humorous and entertaining live shows counterbalance the weight of its message.
“I’m excited about One being the title of the album, because ‘reconciliation’ is probably too long a word for people to get their arms around,” Norsworthy says. “I’ve often wondered what it would be like if everyone who professed to follow Jesus lived in harmony with each other. What if in the Christian community there were no divorces and families were truly reconciled? Wouldn’t people be busting down the doors to see what was going on?”
Those are not the idyllic sentiments of naïve musicians wishing for a textbook perfect world, but rather three men who desire to help shine light on unity, resolution and compassion within the Christian community, albeit in the approachable form of a pop song. Songs like “Solution,” with the straightforward hook of “Do you wanna be a part of the solution?” and “One Generation,” which calls for this generation to be the first to bend a knee, serve this purpose.
“Every song is an exploration in vertical or horizontal reconciliation and what the implications of that are,” Colman says. “Jesus said if we love one another, the world would know we are His disciples.”
These are heady matters, to be sure, but a listener encouraged to think does not have to be a listener discouraged to rock out, as Paul Colman Trio delivers again on One.
Even though Colman serves as the primary songwriter, pc3 is a fully integrated group capable of serving up the heartfelt ballad right alongside the rollicking, crowd-pleasing pop tune.
Colman knows his musical efforts wouldn’t be the same without this set of partners beside him. “Grant and Phil are tremendous musicians and add greatly to the music’s sound and impact,” he comments.
For One, the Trio brought a new partner into the mix, producer Brent Milligan, who has been behind the boards on projects by The Elms, David Crowder Band and The Waiting. Colman says Milligan caught the vision pc3 needed for its second stateside release.
Milligan and the Trio began work on One in the legendary confines of Melbourne, Australia’s Sing Sing studio, where international superstars U2, Crowded House and native band Midnight Oil had recorded. The pc3 members agree that recording in a place with so much history on their home continent added to the energy of One.
“We had been living in America for more than a year, so it was good to go back home and combine the best of our experiences in both cultures,” Norsworthy says. “I believe this has shaped the music in a very positive way.”
That merging of musical cultures can be heard throughout One, from the rich pop refrains of the opener “I’ll Be With You” and the crunchy rock punch of “Live It!” to the lilting sensitivity of “Into Your Arms,” and the doo-wop-infused “Save My Soul.”
The musical versatility shown by Paul Colman Trio, both on its recordings and during its live shows, not only helps highlight the band’s multi-faceted personalities but also brings in a wide swath of fans.
“The album provides us with the tools to do our job, which is connecting with people on the CD and in person,” Colman says.
Taking those tools, the live show and the record, and making them one. Taking an audience, young and old, believers and otherwise, and making them one. Taking a message, both timeless and contemporary, and making it one. Those are the goals of the Paul Colman Trio.
And they accomplish it with One.
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