Paul Siebel, a folks singer and songwriter who drew comparisons to Bob Dylan within the Sixties and ’70s however dropped out of the music enterprise, hindered by stage fright and disenchanted by the dearth of consideration his work obtained, died on April 5 in hospice care in Centreville, Md. He was 84.
The trigger was pulmonary fibrosis, his nephew, Robert Woods, stated. Mr. Siebel had lived in close by Wye Mills.
Within the mid-Sixties, Mr. Siebel (pronounced SEE-bel) moved from the folks music scene in Buffalo to the extra thriving one in Greenwich Village.
“He knocked me out,” the folks singer and multi-instrumentalist David Bromberg, who backed Mr. Siebel in performances and remained his good friend for many years, stated by telephone. “He was an excellent singer and songwriter. However he had the worst stage fright of anybody I ever met. If not for the stage fright, he would have continued.”
Mr. Siebel, whose music was infused with a rustic sound, sang in a nasal voice and wrote evocative songs with sturdy narratives. In “Louise,” his best-known composition, he sang in regards to the demise of a truck-stop prostitute:
Effectively, all of them stated Louise was not half unhealthy
It was written on the partitions and window shades
And the way she’d act the little lady
A deceiver, don’t imagine her, that’s her commerce
Linda Ronstadt, in her ebook “Easy Desires: A Musical Memoir” (2013), recalled seeing Mr. Siebel on the Cafe Au Go Go in Greenwich Village in 1969.
“We noticed the final a part of his very spectacular present made wealthy along with his cowboy falsetto and a track a couple of poignant, unhappy lady of a sure fame named Louise,” Ms. Ronstadt wrote.
She recorded “Louise” and included it on her album “Silk Purse” (1970). It was subsequently coated by Bonnie Raitt, Leo Kottke and no less than 20 different artists. One other of Mr. Siebel’s songs, “Spanish Johnny,” was recorded by Emmylou Harris and Waylon Jennings and by Mr. Bromberg.
Mr. Siebel signed with Elektra Information after Mr. Bromberg arrange a live performance for him on the Folklore Heart, in Greenwich Village, in order that Peter Siegel, a producer for the label, may hear him.
When Mr. Siebel’s first album, “Woodsmoke & Oranges,” was launched in 1970, Gregory McDonald, a critic for The Boston Globe, wrote that it “justifies his at the moment being in contrast with Bob Dylan.” He referred to as Mr. Siebel “the large new title in folks music.”
However “Woodsmoke & Oranges” didn’t promote properly and neither did his follow-up album, “Jack-Knife Gypsy,” launched the following yr.
There can be just one extra, a dwell album recorded with Mr. Bromberg and the singer-songwriter Gary White in 1978 and launched in 1981.
“He was very vital of himself,” Mr. Bromberg stated. “After these two albums, he wrote one other bunch of songs, however he destroyed them. He stated they weren’t nearly as good as those on the albums.”
By the early Nineteen Eighties, he had left the enterprise altogether.
“I began ingesting, issues began coming aside,” he instructed the journal American Songwriter in 2011. “I assume I wasn’t getting the popularity I needed, and with out that, how will you write? After which after some time I simply couldn’t exit and do those self same songs time and again. I soured. It soured.”
Paul Karl Siebel was born on Sept. 19, 1937, in Buffalo. His father, Karl, was a farmer and restaurateur. His mom, Dorothy (Hosmer) Siebel, was a homemaker and seamstress.
Paul studied classical violin as a toddler and later turned proficient on the guitar. After attending what’s now the College at Buffalo, he served within the Military in Europe earlier than starting to carry out on the folks circuit in Buffalo. When he moved to New York Metropolis, he supported himself by working in a child carriage manufacturing unit in Brooklyn.
Robert Zachary Jr., his supervisor, instructed Soiled Linen, a folks and world music journal, in 1996 that, earlier than Mr. Siebel signed with Elektra, he didn’t have a phone. “I used to must ship him telegrams, , to get him to return uptown and see us and speak to us or signal a contract,” he stated.
After Mr. Siebel walked away from the music enterprise, he turned a bread baker for a restaurant and a county park employee in Maryland.
He leaves no quick survivors.
Requested in 1996 how he thought he can be remembered, Mr. Siebel stated: “He was a man who wrote a few fairly good songs. What ever occurred to him?”