Exclusive Song Premiere: Paul McDonald’s “Counting Stars”

Season 10 "American Idol" roots-rocker Paul McDonald--he of the Rod Stewart-esque rasp, rhinestone Nudie suits, and Pepsodent-commercial megawatt smile--may be following in the footsteps of his actress wife Nikki Reed by taking on a recurring role on NBC's "Parenthood"--but he's still a musician at heart, and he's currently at work on his long-overdue post-"Idol" album. And from the sound of "Counting Stars," a new track off the forthcoming "independent as it gets" release, going Hollywood hasn't changed this man one bit. He still sounds just like the gravel-voiced indie artist who charmed America with his understated covers of Rod The Mod's "Maggie May," the Beatles' "Blackbird," and Ryan Adams's "Come Pick Me Up," and he still sounds great. It's wonderful to hear his distinctive, character-filled voice once again.

Check out the exclusive premiere of Paul's country 'n' western-tinged desert ballad "Counting Stars" below...before he performs it on "Parenthood" this Tuesday night!

"I'm off to Nashville to record the full-length the next two months--with real musicians and some folks from my old band [the Grand Magnolias]," says Paul. "It will hopefully give it a cooler vibe. Writing in L.A. was a much different approach than my norm, mostly drum sounds on computers and crazy programs--which are cool, but I think I prefer the way it was done back in the day, with a bunch of dudes in a room playing music with real instruments. It's more fun that way, at least."

I personally can't wait to hear what comes of Paul's Nashville sessions. What do you think of Paul's new tune?

Buy "Counting Stars" on iTunes

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