Checking in with Paul Pfau

A year removed from the national spotlight as a top contender in NBC’s “The Voice” completion, Paul Pfau found himself in familiar territory Friday night, playing at the Loudoun Golf & Country Club in Purcellville.

He performed during a rehearsal dinner for longtime family friends, but the venue was a familiar one from his years of playing cover tunes to crowds around Loudoun and the Washington region.

The longtime Maryland resident moved to Nashville following his appearance on last year’s season eight of “The Voice” and he has been writing and touring ever since. He’s looking forward to the release of a new album, a collaboration with Gainesville producer Austin Bello.

It will be his first release since his critically acclaimed first album, “Happy to Be,” in 2013, which won the Washington Area Music Association’s award for best debut album. “Great American Love Story,” due out in September, is a five-song concept album built on the reflections of an elderly man looking back on his life.

“It’s definitely the best thing I’ve done,” Pfau said. “Obviously, a lot of the lessons that I learned from being on that show contributed to how much better this record is compared to the first one.”

Among them was his first experience with professional voice lessons. “I never really thought of my voice as an instrument like my guitar,” he said, noting listeners will hear his falsetto and bigger vocal notes on the new recording.

Pfau still points to the strong support he’s gotten from fans in the region. “It was cool because everyone kinda felt like it was a piece of them, too,” he said of his appearance on “The Voice.”

He returns to the area frequently, with an Oct. 6 show at Jammin’ Java already on his tour calendar.

“This is a great town if you want to make money playing in a cover band,” Pfau said, recalling some corporate gigs he has played in the city. “You’re just background noise but they pay real good.”

“You can play every single night of the week and make good money, but if you want to be an original artist and write songs, you’ve got to go to New York, LA or Nashville. And Nashville’s in the middle,” he said.

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