by Jeremy Morrison
Paul Vinson is going to college. Lots of colleges, in fact. More than a dozen.
The singer-songwriter embarks this week (March 27) on his “Dorm Tour,” traveling from school to school to perform in campus dorm rooms from here to New York. The 2016 Tate High School graduate says the concept is rooted in his own decision not to pursue a college degree.
“This is an idea I had about a year ago when I decided not to go to college,” Vinson explained. “I think it started out of irony. It was kind of just a joke.”
But the half-serious notion stuck around. And then it became reality.
“I came back to it a couple of months ago and thought ‘This could actually happen,’” Vinson said.
And so it has.
The tour entails traveling to 13 colleges over the the course of 18 days. Vinson will log about 3,500 miles.
“NYU will be the furthest show,” he said.
At each school, Vinson knows a student living in a dormitory that will host his show. In some cases these students are “friends for life,” while in others they’re “a friend of a friend I’ve never even met before.”
Vinson describes his style as “eclectic,” “smooth, soulful” and having a “raw sense of honesty.” As for influences, he points to musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Mayer and Ed Sheeran.
Locally, the 18-year-old has played Gallery Night, the Tin Cow, Bamboo Willies and the Handlebar. He usually plays with a band, but the Dorm Tour is a solo project.
“This whole tour will be just me and an acoustic guitar,” Vinson said.
In January, the young musician performed a concert locally at Barton Hall at the University of West Florida. The occasion might be considered a practice run for his spring jaunt.
“There were kids sitting on the bunkbeds, sitting on the floor,” Vinson recalled. “It was like a dream, it was awesome.”
The first date on Vinson’s tour is March 27 at Troy University in Troy, Ala. The tour wraps up at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where Vinson plans to unveil the songs on his upcoming EP “Leaving Home,” to be released this summer.
Over the course of Vinson’s Dorm Tour, he will be chronicling the experience in a video log, which can be checked out on his Youtube channel.
To learn more about Vinson’s Dorm Tour and music, click here.
Vinson has established a GoFundMe campaign to abate the expenses of his Dorm Tour; click here for more information.