Paul Curreri's Music in a Panic

Singer/songwriter Paul Curreri is surrounded by guitars in his studio, Amanda’s Spare Room.

The Creative process is different for everyone. Singer/songwriter Paul Curreri, who’s based in Charlottesville, Va., says his bluesy rock ’n’ roll recordings get made “in a joyful panic.” Whenever he comes up with a song he feels might be worthy of recording, he goes into his home studio—named Amanda’s Spare Room for the roommate who vacated the space—and starts digging into Cubase 4 and a collection of assorted instruments. Guitars, bass, drums, piano, percussion, whatever suits the tune—Curreri plays every part himself.

“And I start celebrating because I think I might have something,” Curreri says. “That means I pour a glass of wine, and then the window begins to close on the back end. As the celebration continues, there’s a back window that’s going to shut when I can’t play anymore because I’ve had too much wine. It’s done very quickly, but the room is small enough where I can reach everything and not move off of my big blue ball. There’s something that’s so insular and wonderful about that panicky moment, and in the morning I wake and see if I got anything. Sometimes I did, often I didn’t.”

California is the latest album to come out of Amanda’s Spare Room, and though Curreri is beyond modest about his studio setup and his collection of “mostly crappy” instruments, this album is authentic, unrestrained, clever and charming.