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“Ain’t No Sunshine” — Paul Bogart Puts His Branding on the Bill Withers’ Classic

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Though his songs are fresh and he himself is young, Paul Bogart is an old soul with a knack for capturing time-honored traditions and summing up classic sentiments in catchy, commercially-viable songs. Exuding sincerity and a rare, down-to-earth charm, he is, simply put, the epitome of traditional country music.

After nearly a decade of writing, playing and touring, Bogart has begun pulling in big numbers in every arena, literally. Whether it’s the main stage at the AQHA World Championships with thousands in attendance or the social media scene with over 3.5 million fans reached through all social video platforms, Bogart’s songs have connected with America’s Heartland in a real, tangible way that modern country has perhaps missed.

Congratulations on Baby Bogart Number 3! Traveling to Yellowstone National Park. What are some of the best places to camp with children?

Thank you! We are super excited to be parents of three little ones. We weren’t able to take our kids with us on our recent trip to Yellowstone because it was a work trip where my wife and I tagged on a three day vacation after the band headed home. But, so far, with my little guys, they don’t care if we literally set up our tent in the basement or backyard, they think it is quite an adventure “camping with dad”.

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Balancing family and career time. What has been the best, but most unexpected, part of being home these past months? Do you think it will change how you plan touring in the future?

The best parts of the past months at home have been the impromptu family outings like BBQ dinner and ice cream on the tailgate of my truck, turkey hunting with my four year old, and my youngest catching his first fish and reeling him in all by himself. Along those same lines, one of the most unexpected parts of the last few months were my homebound hoedowns. I never thought I would ever do live stream shows in my living room and be able to include my whole family in the shows.

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America’s Horse Magazine. Growing up on a ranch in Oologah, Oklahoma. Winning a World Champion title in the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Amateur Heeling event with your father Jack. Future competition plans for The Lucas Oil World premier equine industry event?

This fall is going to be a busy one for sure! I will compete at the American Rope Horse futurity World Championships in Ft. Worth in October, I will compete in the team roping and calf roping at the American Quarter Horse World Championships in Oklahoma City in November, and later that month we are planning to release a full length album called Won’t Have Far To Go. Lots going on for sure!

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Horse events with your father. Turkey hunting with Jett. Can you share tips for parents who want to take their children hunting?

Hunting with kids is brand new to me. Last fall was the first time to take my son, Jett, who was three at the time, hunting with me. Of the six deer that I killed last fall, Jett was with me for four of them. There were several hunts that we sat and didn’t see anything, but Jett didn’t mind because we brought him a backpack full of kids books, crayons, Gatorade, candy, and all the bubble gum he could chew. We had a blast! Every hunt was an adventure, and I hope we get to hunt together from now on. I guess the only “tip” I have about taking your kids hunting is- make it fun, bring a propane heater, and pack good snacks.

“Ain’t No Sunshine”, your version of Bill Withers’ classic and the first single from the upcoming (11/13) album Won’t Have Far to Go. The inspiration for his song was the 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses. A number of artists have recorded the song that won the Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1972. Can you describe how you were able to put your own spin on the song?

I have loved this song since the first time I heard it riding down the road in our family car. My mom was singing along with the bridge where Bill Withers breaks off in the “I know” section. It was at that point when I realized that creativity and music aren’t bound by rules- it was so freeing. I’ll have to give lots of credit to my guitar player Nick Palmer for coming up with the guitar lick on the intro of my version of this tune. In the weeks before we recorded this song he sent me several iPhone recordings for pre-production ideas and that guitar lick was one that he sent. I told him that was the specific intro that I wanted for my version of “Ain’t No Sunshine.” Casey Driscoll laid down the haunting fiddle parts, Cody Martin and Alex Nixon were the rhythm section, and, as always, they did an outstanding job. I felt like we made this song our own, but, respectfully, we didn’t depart too much from the original Bill Withers recording.

The new album. What is your favorite part of the creative process and why?

It’s hard to pick one favorite part of the creative process because each part of the process is fascinating to me. To start with a blank sheet of paper, dream up a three minute rhyming story with a great melody, is such an amazing gift, and it never gets old. But, I think my favorite part of the creative process is hearing a band breathe life into my song the first time it is ever recorded in a studio. Normally, that is the first time I ever get to hear a band play my song.

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Playing festivals and events like the Don King Days in Wyoming. Which festivals and events are on your bucket list and why?

For years I wanted to play the biggest cowboy party on the planet, the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) in Las Vegas. That goal became a reality two years ago, and I am excited to say we are playing it again this year. The next two aren’t festivals, but they are bucket list shows for me. I would love to play at the Cheyenne Frontier Days because it is one of the most iconic rodeos in North America. At the top of my bucket list is the Grand Ole Opry. One day, if I ever get to play that stage, it will be the culmination of years of energy, effort, and hustle. If, and when, that day ever comes, it will be one that I am thankful for and will remember from now on.

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