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Paul & Sonny Bio

Guitarist Paul Metsa and harmonica player/vocalist Sonny Earl started playing together in 1997. At that time, Metsa was a hot name in the Minnesota music scene. Sonny, on the other hand, was an unknown musician, looking to restart playing gigs. He had lined up a regular happy hour gig at Gabby’s Saloon in NE Minneapolis but his guitar player backed out.  Rather than cancelling the gig, Sonny decided to take a long shot and call the best guitar player he know of, Paul Metsa. At this time, Sonny had never met Metsa, and frankly, didn’t know if Metsa was alive and/or living in Minneapolis. After checking the local music rags, Sonny found Metsa playing at Nye’s bar in Minneapolis. Sonny called Nye’s a few times until he caught Metsa on a break. To Sonny’s surprise, Metsa agreed to do the gig! But Metsa had only agreed to the gig due to a misunderstanding — he thought Sonny would play one week and Metsa would play the next week.The misunderstanding was eventually corrected and the pay was good, so Metsa begrudgingly agreed to try it for a week. 25 years later these two friends are still taking the stage together, having fun and playing the music they love!

Paul Metsa is a legendary guitar player and songwriter from Minnesota. He was born and raised on the Iron Range and moved to Minneapolis in 1978. In 2021, Paul sold his house and then moved Duluth where he currently lives. He has received seven Minnesota Music Awards and has played more than five thousand gigs, including forays to Iceland and Siberia. Paul is a radio and television host and is author three books: the memoir of Blue Guitar Highway, 2023’s Alphabet Soup, and the recently published Blood in the Tracks (The Minnesota Musicians Behind Dylan’s Masterpiece).

Sonny Earl is a harmonica player and vocalist from Minneapolis. His love for performing is unmistakable and his powerful, rapid harmonica playing and passionate vocals have made him a favorite at every venue and festival he has performed. He has played onstage the likes of Hubert Sumlin, Son Seals, Corey Stevens, Bernard Allison, Ana Popovic, The Subdudes, and Blackfoot.

Paul and Sonny have performed with the following artists:

See some of them in our

Artists & Friends photo gallery!

Charlie Musselwhite, Watermelon Slim, Buddy Guy, Maria Muldaur, Jonny Lan, The Subdudes, Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials, The Butanes, Son Seals, Taj Mahal, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Dr. John, Hubert Sumlin, Big George Jackson, Lady Bianca, Dave “Snaker” Ray, Rod and Honey Piazza, Percy Strother, Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater, Billy Branch and Sons of Blues, Phil Guy, Chicago R & B Kings, Corey Stevens, Rick Derringer, Lil’ Charlie and the Nightcats, Pinetop Perkins, Blackfoot, James Solberg, Charlie Parr, Edgar Winter, Mark Farner

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