Paula Cole’s next album, “Ithaca,” isn’t due until Sept. 21. But promoting new releases is hardly the only reason she goes on the road these days.
“It feels good to have my own personal groove of touring, regardless of albums,” says Cole, 42, who’s best-known for her 1997 hit “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone” and the “Dawson’s Creek”-popularized “I Don’t Want to Wait.”
“I have something to say and get off my chest — obviously, which is why I write and the songs come out. But I’m happy to have a touring life, no matter what.
“You need the extroversion of being on stage and putting it out there. I tip more the other way, naturally; I’m much more of an introvert in the writing process. You need the balance.”
Cole says “Ithaca” is closer to her earlier albums than to 2007’s jazz-flavored “Courage;” in fact, she refers to it as “my return after a 10-year hiatus” from the more pop-oriented fare that marked 1999’s “Amen” and its predecessor. “It’s back to the Paula Cole people probably remember from the ‘90s.”
But she hopes what she remembers is the music more than the “hype” that accompanied her initial success.
“I hope we can let some of that past notoriety — like the arm pit hair moment at the Grammys, the ‘Dawson’s Creek’ association — filter and settle through the sieve of consciousness and now let the songs speak for themselves,” Cole explains. “I’m going to be doing this for a while, ‘cause it’s what I love and what I need, and I know that time will be a friend to me.
“So I have faith the other stuff will filter and sift out and I’ll be understood for the musicality that I have.”
Paula Cole performs Friday, June 25, at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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