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Paul Edelman

From the studio in the Chattanooga Public Library, our guest this week is singer and songwriter Paul Edelman.

According to his bio, Paul Edelman was “almost born on the airplane from Columbus, OH to Philly. He grew up in South Philadelphia before moving to Asheville in 2008, but he still wears a Philadelphia Eagles t-shirt.

On his website, he’s quoted as saying: “Listening to Bob Dylan, as a teenager, … just codified my fascination and passion for music.”

That passion never faded. “I’ve always had a sense of passion and earnestness about whether I was failing or succeeding and a drive to get better at it. If you have a passion for what you’re doing, you process failure like that, you process when you’re not doing it correctly. You get better. I’ll go home and pick it apart and figure out why.”

“I would write songs and bring them to my friends in the dorms and they would laugh at me,” he said. “I’d be like, ‘OK, back to the drawing board.’”

Given that passion and determination, it’s surprising that it took him so long to completely commit to singing and songwriting. For more than a decade after leaving school, he worked in construction. It wasn’t until he was in his 30s that he finally decided to give up construction work and make music full-time.