Interviews no image

Published on October 24th, 1994 | by Gerry Galipault


Henry Paul Flies High with Blackhawk

A soul-searching stroll through the Florida State Fair a few years ago helped Henry Paul see the light – the country light, that is.

Amid the cotton candy stands, you-don’t-have-a-chance-of-winning games and the smell of livestock exhibitions, Paul slowly began to realize he was headed in the right direction by finally laying perennially popular Southern-rock act The Outlaws to rest and setting his sights on Nashville.

“I was walking around the fair and seeing people there for a country show,” Paul said recently. “They’re in their cowboy boots and their jeans, and it really reminded me of who I am. It reminded me a lot of the people who came to see me play, and I knew, without question, that was where my audience lied.”

The first person the Tampa-based singer-guitarist wound up writing a song with in Nashville was Van Stephenson, who – with partner Dave Robbins – penned many hits for Restless Heart and others. Fast forward a few years, and the three now are collectively known as BlackHawk, whose self-titled debut Arista album is closing in on 1-million in sales.

Paul’s leap to Music Row is a natural progression for an artist weaned on Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons and Flatt & Scruggs. It was never an attempt to jump on the country bandwagon.

“One of the reasons I got out of The Outlaws,” Paul said, “was because they ceased to want to do what I set out to do and that was make country-rock music.

“My whole reason for being, musically, was to bring country music into popular music and try to offer up a version of bands like Poco and Buffalo Springfield that changed my life. It’s safe to say that rock ‘n’ roll from every era has always been somewhat fused with country music, whether it was Elvis, Johnny Cash, the Everly Brothers or Jerry Lee Lewis.”

After 13 years, off and on, with The Outlaws, Paul saw the writing on the wall.

“Like anything, you have to give it a rest,” he said. “The horse can only take you so far. It’s one of those deals where I had to re-invest a great deal in myself musically to find a new direction.”

With BlackHawk, Paul has found the perfect outlet for his brand of Eagles-like country-pop melodies. The result: three straight Top-10 country hits, “Goodbye Says It All,” “Every Once In a While” and “I Sure Can Smell the Rain.” A fourth single, “Down in Flames,” is on the way.

He has come a long way since many lean years between bands and careers.

“Dave and Van are my partners in this band,” Paul said. “I can honestly say that I’m happily married to both these men musically and personally.

“I help them, they help me, and they help each other. Three heads are better than one.”

BWF (before we forget): “BlackHawk” charted for nearly two years and sold more than 2 million copies, while the follow-up, “Strong Enough,” was awarded a gold record in 1995. The group’s third album, “Love & Gravity,” was released in August 1997. … Stephenson died of cancer in 2001.

Tags: , ,

About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑


    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    April 9, 2021 » Taylor Swift, Cheap Trick, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, Merry Clayton, Fleetwood Mac, Parker Millsap, Peggy Seeger, Nick Waterhouse, Sweet Oblivion Feat. Geoff Tate, Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band, Larry Coryell, Chris Cain, Frances, Vijay Iyer Trio, Jetty Bones, etc.

    April 16, 2021 » Paul McCartney, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, NEEDTOBREATHE, Fitz, Escape the Fate, Engelbert Humperdinck, Saint Raymond, London Grammar, Andy Stott, Midland, Liquid Tension Experiment, Julia Stone, etc.

    April 23, 2021 » Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Todd Snider, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Steve Cropper, Imelda May, Tracy Lawrence, The Immediate Family, Justin Moore, Pærish, etc.

    April 30, 2021 » Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Thomas Rhett, Birdy, MercyMe, The Dropkick Murphys, Guided By Voices, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, Róisín Murphy, Miloš Karadaglić, etc.

    More New Releases » May 7 and Beyond: Miranda Lambert with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall, Van Morrison, New Order, Nancy Wilson, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Aly & AJ, Travis Tritt, St. Vincent, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, Alan Jackson, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Blake Shelton, Olivia Rodrigo, twenty one pilots, Gary Numan, John Hiatt with The Jerry Douglas Band, Mat Kearney, k.d. lang, Moby, Ashley McBryde, Texas, Shannon McNally, Rise Against, Black Veil Brides, Crowded House, Liz Phair, James, Tristen, Garbage, Wolf Alice, AFI, Cold Cave, Gary Kemp, Paul McCartney, Joshua Radin, Tom Odell, John Grant, Beartooth, Laura Mvula, The Wallflowers, Ida Mae, The Wandering Hearts, Maggie Rose, Candlebox, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.

  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter