'American Idol' alum Paul McDonald performs in Auburn Sept. 6

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 6, 2013 

Paul McDonald/Special to the Ledger-Enquirer

Paul McDonald is performing in Auburn, Ala., for the first time since placing eighth on the 10th season of “American Idol.” McDonald attended Auburn University. You might remember his extremely white teeth and his cover of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May.” McDonald also met his wife, actress Nikki Reed, through his “Idol” run. He’ll perform Friday at Bourbon Street Bar.

The show is billed as “Paul McDonald & The Grand Magnolias.” Guests will see McDonald as part of a two-piece acoustic act. McDonald and the other musician, Jonathan Pears, have performed together for years. “It will be like old times,” McDonald said of the Auburn show in a recent phone interview. “I actually haven’t been back in a long time.” He has a sister in Auburn, in addition to family in Huntsville, Ala.

McDonald, who is now based in Los Angeles, has stayed busy since “Idol.” He’s currently touring with Hanson. Yes, the same guys who gave us “MMMBop.”

"It’s been great so far. Those guys are great pop song writers,” McDonald said of Hanson. “Their fan base is pretty large.” In addition to the Hanson tour, McDonald hopes to release new music before the end of the year. He might have another goal on his list, too.

McDonald said he was two or three courses short of graduating from Auburn University, where he studied biomedical sciences. He was last enrolled in the university in 2006 before leaving to focus on music. “At the time, I always planned on coming back,” he said.

Does he ever think about becoming an Auburn graduate? “Sometimes I do,” McDonald said. He mentioned the possibility of chatting with his university advisor when he visits Auburn.

If you go: Friday’s show is at 103 N. College St. in Auburn. Doors open at 9 p.m. CDT. Tickets are $8 advance, $10 at the door. Open to guests 19 and older. Visit aubourbonstreet.com for more information.

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