Paul Tegel serenades Weather Channel watchers
Local musician Paul Tegel is both inspired by and profits from the natural surroundings. Several of his songs have played on The Weather Channel’s Local on the 8s.
Every ten minutes, the Weather Channel airs its Local on the 8s, a detailed forecast that focuses on the expected local temperature and precipitation, among other weathery things.
The segment is recognizable within earshot because this forecast isn’t read aloud – instead, viewers are treated to a sample of music with their condition predictions. And it just so happens, that music may be the work of a Northern Michigan musician.
Paul Tegel of Elk Rapids is a regular contributor for Local on the 8s, where his crisp, acoustic guitar dances to the images of moving radar and seven-day forecast graphics.
A NATIONAL AUDIENCE
While only our area sees our local forecast, everyone across the country hears the same tune.
Tegel’s “Color Tour” — from his most recent album, The Thorn Amidst the Roses — cycled regularly, and fittingly, on the channel’s October playlist. The song has a “Rambling Man” quality that gives the impression of cruising down the highway on a sunny fall afternoon.
Another song the channel picked up, “First Snowfall,” is light and dreamy, eliciting images of fluffy flakes and crystallized streams of water.
When it comes to pegging his music in a particular genre, Tegel is stumped.
“Acoustic maybe? Acoustic with an ‘E’ because I play through an amp,” he thinks aloud. “I’d say the overall sound is acoustic guitar. Whatever it is, I hope it’s considered good music.”
It’s probably safe to say it is, as many people have taken notice of his music since it first aired on the Weather Channel a year and a half ago.
“You don’t get on-screen credit while the song plays, but if someone likes what they hear, they’ll dig,” he explains. At weather. com, visitors can review songs that have played on Local on the 8s recently and months past.
He also likens his luck of getting noticed by the media giant to a natural phenomenon.
“It’s kind of like the Bermuda Triangle,” he says of submitting music. “It’s out there and lost as far as you know.”
Tegel is a self-taught musician, performing guitar and piano for the last 40some years. His music he writes by sound, taking sheet music completely out of the equation.
What he writes depends on life, he says.
This process can happen in the span of one hour up to several months.
It wasn’t until 2006 that he released his first album, Water in This Desert, followed by his second in 2008 entitled Helicopter Rides, inspired by the Coast Guard helicopters that fly over East Grand Traverse Bay. It’s where he’s called home the last 40-plus years with his wife, along with four boys – all of which are now grown and living throughout the U.S.
A nephew who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis provided the image for Tegel’s latest album. Jenny Thomas has provided the graphics for all his albums, while up to five fellow musicians have contributed to his songs—at various area recording studios— making Tegel a musician both inspired by and working with all that is local.
Inside the Helicopter CD case is a map of Grand Traverse Bay – the artwork being part of a complete package for Tegel.
“Music today has been compressed and digitized,” he said. “Before, we would buy an LP and sit and read every word on the jacket. Music has changed dramatically and it’s sad.”
However, Tegel says change is inevitable, kind of like the Michigan weather. Despite whatever the forecast says — whether it’s a threatening snowstorm or stretch of wet showers on Fourth of July weekend — Tegel’s music, which may be described as crisp optimism, can bring a sunny outlook to any listener.
Paul Tegel’s music is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon.com.