PAUL GURNEY & THE DESOTOS
Paul Gurney has always had a passion for strong melody structure and vocal harmony, having grown up on a diet of west coast country rock in his formative years.
His musical influences are wide and varied, ranging from Roy Orbison’s vocal power to Jimmy Page’s guitar playing, but no one has loomed larger through his musical life than Neil Young and Emmylou Harris.
Gurney is the lead vocalist and guitarist with Auckland Americana country-blues act The DeSotos and lead vocalist and guitarist with acoustic folk roots act The AGM (which includes violinist Richard Adams, Stuart McIntyre and, on occasions, Paul Crowther on drums).
Paul began playing professionally in the late 1970’s in Wellington’s top country rock band Wells Fargo who recorded a 5 track EP of original material at Wellington’s Marmalade Studios before disbanding in 1983.
He then gigged regularly through the early ‘80s and performed with NZ music legends such as Billy T James, Prince Tui Teka and Maori showband the Hi-Marks.
After a stint in London in 1986 – 87 Paul returned to Wellington and worked in a number of top local bands while pursuing a professional career in the advertising industry.
Relocating to Auckland in 1998, he began working on building up music contacts, gigging and started song writing in earnest which led to the decision to pursue music fulltime.
Re-connecting with old friend and bass player Stuart McIntyre, the nucleus for The DeSotos was formed. The band line up included Ron Stevens on Hammond organ and keyboards, and Michael Burrows on drums.
The first DeSotos album Cross Your Heart was released in 2008 garnering an amazing reception from critics.
The darker, more textural second album Your Highway for Tonight was released in 2011 and again received critical acclaim.
Material from both these albums was used for theme and continuity music in the Marcus Lush-presented South & North TV series that appeared on TVNZ.
2017 sees the release of Paul’s new solo album Shadow of Love, with The DeSotos performing on most of the tracks as well as a number of guest musicians.