Recluse Driving

The usually elusive Paul Westerberg finally hits the road

After 2002's Stereo, the first of his home recordings, Westerberg took to the road -- just man and guitar -- for a string of in-stores and concert performances. But it was a short homestand last fall, in support of his most recent release, Folker, that convinced him to try the band thing again.

"It felt so good, you know? We played three shows in Minneapolis and they all sold out and they were bootlegged extensively, to the point where I thought, 'Well, if this many people want to hear this, then let's take it out on the road and see what happens.'"

He'll be backed by friends -- guitarist Kevin Bowe, bassist and "cornfield movie star" Jim Boquist, and longtime Prince percussionist Michael Bland -- and the set list will incorporate the length and breadth of Westerberg's songwriting catalogue. But just what can he do with a band that he can't do solo?

On a roll: Paul Westerberg juggles solo work with film projects.
Missy Blives Castro
On a roll: Paul Westerberg juggles solo work with film projects.

"I can share a smile," Westerberg says. "I can share a smile and a joke. I can make a fuck-up and turn and look at Jim and get a laugh. And I can miss a chord and have Michael yell out, 'B flat,' and that kind of thing. You can't beat having some buddies onstage."

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