native PT Gazell was 15 years into his second career as an audio
engineer for the radio, television and film industry when a young
documentary filmmaker came to him with an idea to make a movie about
the legendary Station Inn in Nashville.
The movie would
require help from several musicians. Gazell, who as a member of the
late Johnny Paycheckís backup band was once one of the hottest
bluegrass and country harmonica players in the nation, knew them all.
played a note of music in almost 15 years," Gazell says of his
self-imposed hiatus. The young filmmaker didnít know Gazellís
storied history. So he Googled Gazell ó an idea foreign to the
musician in 2003.
"A lot of
stuff came up, including ĎPT Gazell is dead.í It was funny and at
the same time rewarding," Gazell says. "Seeing all of the
nice things people said kind of gave me the bug again."
albums and 11 years later, music fans are happy he got it. Gazell, 60,
received a double Grammy nomination in 2011 for "2 Days
Out." Heís currently living in Nashville and working on a new
CD, which heís hoping to release by August.
harmonica player left Oconomowoc in the mid-1970s for Lexington, Ky.,
where he met a pedal steel guitar player who worked with Paycheck and
offered him a spot in Paycheckís band.
"I had to
drop everything and move to Nashville. It was a pretty major decision,
but it turned out to be a pretty good one," Gazell says. Paycheck
recorded his only No. 1 hit, "Take this Job and Shove It," a
few weeks after Gazell joined the band.
"I hit it
lucky," he says. "The band was an extremely good band and I
learned to be a much better musician. Itís well documented
(Paycheck) had a lot of issues, but when he was interested in what he
was doing, he was one of the best country ballad singers Iíve ever
heard in my life."
mostly left bluegrass and country music behind for his solo work,
focusing on swing and jazz, which he says has always been his true