Electric violinist? The musician knows no bounds when playing the violin

A few weeks ago I saw a Facebook event post for an “electric violinist”. Now there’s a listing you don’t see every day when you search for “live music” in Hendersonville.

Admittedly, I sometimes see fiddlers playing bluegrass or country. I occasionally see a violinist who is part of a group or an ensemble. This may be the first time I’ve seen an electric violinist perform solo at one of Hendo’s popular venues.

I was intrigued and wanted to know more. The violinist is Paul Rene McIntire of Asheville. He will play Sunday afternoon at Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards.

After looking at Paul’s website, I got the impression that he plays all kinds of music and leans towards jazz and Celtic improvisation. In his photos, he looks like a blue-collar, Americana.

A Sunday afternoon drinking wine and listening to a violinist might be interesting. Let’s ask ourselves Paul’s 10 questions to better understand what “electric violinist” means.

What types of music will you be playing at Saint Paul’s? Please give some specific songs that we might recognize.

I pursue an eclectic show, exploring jazz, rock, fusion, gypsy, blues, swing, folk, bluegrass, Latin. To name a few, “All Blues” by Miles Davis, “Eleanor Rigby” by The Beatles, “Blues in Minor” by Django Reinhardt, “Dancing Cheek to Cheek” by Irving Berlin, “Blackberry Blossom” ( classic bluegrass), “Flowers of Edinburgh” (Celtic), “Desafinado” by Carlos Jobim and “I Shot The Sheriff” by Bob Marley.

Will you play the violin solo? To sing?

I’m an electric violinist, which means I play through an amplifier. I’m also a bit of a techno nerd and love to play around in my studio working with special effects and process to present more interesting performances.

Being a solo instrument, I use recordings of real musicians to give me rhythmic and chord support for my improvisational explorations. It is very important to me that my recorded backing tracks are as real as they are and that they are an integral part of my music. I hope to create an entertaining show that will make your heart and soul soar, if only for a moment.

Will there be original music?

I am an improviser. I feel like everything I play is a spontaneous creation, which changes every time I play it. I am in the process of creating my own music, and I hope to incorporate it into my show soon.

What is the difference between a violinist and a fiddler?

It’s the same instrument, actually. Some say that the violin is more classical, European music, and the violin is more folk, related to dance. I like to say that I am a violinist – a violinist and a violinist.

Give me the elevator version of your musical history.

I am a third generation musician. My grandfather and my father were both music teachers. I started playing the violin at 5 years old. For a classical training foundation, my dad made me practice every day before I could go out and play. I hated him for a long time.

Around about 15, I started to realize that I was attracting the attention of the opposite sex, and then it was all over – I wanted to be a rock star. I started jamming with local bands in Southern California, playing rock and pop, country and bluegrass, jazz and blues. Then around 18 I started traveling with dance groups doing rodeos and state fairs, special events, theme parks, recording sessions.

Forty-five years later, I’m grateful to have played with great bands. I played in Europe, in Asia, and I played in the streets of Copenhagen, played in blues clubs in Sweden, played bluegrass in an American theme park in Taiwan.

When I look at the photos on your Facebook page, I see you at different ages with different musicians. It sounds like you don’t do classical music. In fact, it looks like you may have walked on the wild side a few times. True? Tell me about this psychedelic bus.

Oh yes, ever since I was raised as a musician and artist, my parents have always said, “It’s good to follow your art” – and I do! In the 80s, I even played with punk bands in Los Angeles at Troubadour and Whiskey a Go Go. It was a scene! I made a lot of groups of different styles.

Yes, 60s psychedelic rock goes well with the soaring electric violin. I’m sorry to say it wasn’t our bus. It was at an art festival that we played in Laguna Beach, California. I also did a lot of cel bands… I was also in the prog rock scene.

I have to mention that I had a great time with country bands in the 80s and 90s. I even got to play for the Country Music Awards after-party a few years ago. I explored a lot of music, and it pours into this cauldron of my mind and becomes a new sum, in which I invent new ideas in my exploration of music.

But you received a classical training? Have you ever played Bach, Beethoven and Brahms these days?

Yes, I was trained in proper technique when I was a kid. But I still practice my scales and continue my study of music theory. I grew up with my father’s string quartets in my living room every Saturday and listened to great classics and jazz from my formative years. I have a new interest in trying to feature classical material in my solo, even music from the Renaissance period would be interesting.

How do you manage to make playing the violin appealing to the public?

Now there’s a question that keeps me up at night! I try to keep diversity in style and diversity in tempo first, then diversity in tone. I hope it is recognized that I am here because of my love for music. I want to share my love with the public. I hope backflips aren’t necessary – just good honest music. I like to think that instrumental music is understood in the soul. It transcends language.

Tell us something that people are usually surprised to learn about you and your music.

I think what people said to me was, “Wow! I have never heard a violin play this kind of music before. I focus a lot on tone and emotional connection – maybe more than the melody itself. I study improvisation; I study silence and sound.

What do you think of the Hendo music scene?

I moved to this area almost three years ago from California. As a player, the first thing I noticed was the crowd – they really like the music here! They care about musicians. They listen intently; they have the music deep in their hearts. They are genuine. I feel very comfortable here: I want to stay and practice my violin here.

Saint Paul Mountain Vineyards (outdoor terrace)

588 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville

Saturday March 13, 2.30-5.30 p.m., Bill & Tad’s Excellent Duo, 12-string guitar, djembe, tunes from the 60s and 70s, originals

Sunday March 14, 2-5 p.m., Paul Rene McIntire, electric violinist

Appalachian Ridge Craft Hard Cider

749 Chestnut Gap Road, Hendersonville

Saturday March 13, 3-6 p.m., Tim and Laura, rock, R&B, neo-soul, originals, covers

Sunday March 14, 2:30-5:30 p.m., Last Full Measure, Jamie Gorsuch and karen corn, folk, blues, loud voices, covers, originals

Burntshirt Vineyards

2695 Sugarloaf Road, Hendersonville

Saturday March 13, 2-5 p.m., Gary Lockaby, classical, jazz, pop

Canteen Phoenix

924 7th Avenue East, Hendersonville

Friday March 12, 7-10 p.m., Outlaw Whisky, classic country, southern rock, classic rock

Dry Falls Brewing Co.

425 Kanuga Road, Hendersonville

Friday March 12, 7-10 p.m., The Unexpected, Gary Richie and Jeff Cassidy, guitar duo, old country and pop

Saturday March 13, 7 p.m.-11 p.m., Twisted Trail, rock band

Handlebar Brewing Co.

415 8th Avenue East, Hendersonville

Saturday, March 13, 7 p.m., Jack Byron, singer, songwriter, folk, roots, Motown, British rock, country, blues, Americana

Mills River Brewing Co.

336 Banner Farm Road, Mills River

Friday, March 12, 7-10 p.m. Roots & Dore Band, blues, roots, soul

Saturday March 13, 7-10 p.m., James Schlender & Friends, bluegrass

Sunday March 14, 2 p.m., Jack Byron, folk, roots, Motown, British rock, country, blues

Oklawaha Brewing Company

147 1st Ave E. Hendersonville

Thursday, March 11, from 6-8 p.m., Josh Dunkin, Mountain Storyteller, will perform What He Feels

Friday, March 12, 8-10 p.m., Blue Ridge Pistols, WNC rock

Saturday March 13, 7-9 p.m., ALR Trio, blues, rock

Point Lookout Vineyards

408 Appleola Road, Hendersonville

Friday March 12, 5 p.m., Eric Congdon, singer, guitarist

Sunday March 14, 3 p.m., Super ’60s, ’60 music

Southern Appalachian Brewery

822 Locust Street, Ste. 100, Hendersonville (outdoor stage)

Thursday, March 11, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Howie Johnson and Bill Mattocks, blues, classic rock, pop

Friday March 12, 6-8 p.m., JED Flandre, “Almost Spring”, rock, jam, indie, reggae

Sunday, March 14, 3 p.m., Love Bubble Trio: Hank Bones, Paula Hanke & Peggy Ratusz, psychedelic 60s, vintage jazz, Vietnam Era folk/pop/rock, harmony-focused

South Rock Sports Grills

830 Greenville Highway, Hendersonville

Saturday March 13, 7 p.m.-11 p.m., Fineline, rock band

The 2nd Act

101 E. Allen St., Hendersonville

Saturday March 13, 6-9 p.m., 3 Shades of Grey, music from the 60s and 60s

The Dugout Sports Bar & Taphouse

430 Main St. N., Hendersonville

Friday March 12, 7-11 p.m., 28 Pages, rock band

The Loft Cafe & Pub

111 Joel Wright Drive, Hendersonville

Friday, March 12, 6 p.m., Myron Hyman, classic rock, blues, country, originals

Triskelion Brewery

340 7th Avenue East, Hendersonville

Friday, March 12, 7:30 p.m., ALR Trio, blues, rock

Saturday March 13, 2:30-5:30 p.m., Jason Whitaker

Sunday March 14, 11am-1pm, Virginia and the Slims, jump blues, swing

Want to be included in “Live Music?” Email your information to Steve Wong at [email protected] by 8 a.m. Monday for the upcoming Thursday-Sunday. Don’t forget to send details of your performer along with a good high resolution photo.

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