Paula Cole plays in Bend

Grammy-winning singer performs at the Tower Theatre

Published Mar 21, 2014 at 12:11AM

Where have all the cowboys gone? They’ve gone to see singer-songwriter Paula Cole.

The Grammy winner performs tonight at the Tower Theatre in Bend. Why would you want to wait? You know Cole doesn’t want to wait.

OK, OK, I just referenced her two biggest hits, “Where Have all the Cowboys Gone?” and “I Don’t Want to Wait,” which date back to her sophomore album, 1996’s “This Fire.” Cole produced the album herself and went on to become the first woman in history to receive the Best Producer Grammy nomination.

Indeed, the ’90s were kind to the Massachusetts native and Berklee College of Music alumna, whose first recording contract offer came from a jazz label. She declined, according to her bio at paulacole.com.

An early career break came when she joined Peter Gabriel to sing backup and duet on his hit “Don’t Give Up” during Gabriel’s “Secret World” tour in 1993-94. It probably won’t shock anyone that there’s a quote from Gabriel on her site saying, “Paula is an original voice both in what she is saying and how she is saying it.”

And after “This Fire” struck it huge, Cole shared the Lilith Fair Stage with contemporaries such as Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant and Sheryl Crow.

She had a daughter and took much of the early 2000s off, but Cole returned with albums in 2007 and 2010. A Kickstarter campaign that raised $75,258 funded last year’s “Raven.”

Don’t wait for your life to be over before you go see her .

Paula Cole; 7:30 tonight, doors open 6:30 p.m.; $35-$40 plus fees; Tower Theatre, 835 N.W. Wall St., Bend; 541-317-0700 or www.tower theatre.org.

— David Jasper