SKF NOTE: If you’re reading this interview, chances are you know Paul English is Willie Nelson‘s longtime friend and drummer. This was a phone interview, but I did get to meet Paul a short time later when Willie performed at Town Hall in New York City.
I’ve always seen a similarity with the Paul English/Willie Nelson relationship and the Duke Ellington/Sonny Greer relationship. Both for their longevity, as well as their musical relationships. Neither Greer or English are go-to drummers for anyone looking for monster chops. But they were exactly right for Ellington’s and Nelson’s music.
As Paul English explains it in this interview, “That’s one thing about playing country music or the old songs. We’re not playin’ what we heard. We’re playin’ what we lived a long time ago.”