Photo Credit: Sundel Perry
St. Paul & The Broken Bones are a resplendent sextet from Birmingham, Alabama. Signed to Single Lock Records (the label founded by John Paul White of The Civil Wars and Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes) St Paul & The Broken Bones are set to embark on a string of UK dates and release debut album ‘Half The City’ in May 2014. Already climbing to the top 5 in the US iTunes album charts and selling out tours across states, the band are hailed as ‘the next Alabama Shakes’.
Described as “the band to pick up where soul music left off” the gospel of St Paul & The Broken Bones is quickly spreading. Produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes and recorded and mixed in the storied R&B mecca of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, their sound harks back to the region’s classic soul roots.
Front man Paul Janeway’s handle “St. Paul” is a wry allusion to the vocalist’s grounding in the church. Like many a legendary soul singer, Janeway was raised on the gospel side, in a non-denominational, Pentecostal-leaning local church. Virtually no non-religious music could be heard in his devout household and he was groomed to be a preacher until he was 18 years old.
Though Paul’s time in the church provides a key influence on the band’s sound, their love of classic soul and operatic gospel waltzes in harmony with influences of gritty showmen such as Tom Waits and Nick Cave.
Broken Bones are all drawn from Alabama’s deep talent pool and operate as a true collective with the band sharing writing credits on all of their tracks. Recorded with Ben Tanner live to tape at the Nutthouse in Muscle Shoals and mixed at the legendary FAME Studios, St. Paul & the Broken Bones reached back nearly 50 years to recording methods employed by the great epoch of deep Southern soul, eschewing studio trickery in favour of an in-the-moment approach during sessions. With special guests straight out of the Alabama hall of fame including Al Gamble on piano, organ and wurlitzer, Daniel Stoddard on pedal steel, Jamie Harper on baritone sax and Tanner on piano, organ and background vocals, their debut album brings the past into the future with remarkable results.
From the opening bars of ‘I’m Torn Up’, the stage is set, flowing from down tempo tracks like ‘Call Me’, and ‘Broken Bones & Pocket Change’, to the stomping ‘Sugar Dyed’, and the charming soul waltz of ‘It’s Midnight’, the album guarantees to have universal appeal.
Though the band has only been together for a couple of years they’ve been relentlessly touring the states for the past year. The ingenious six-piece live experience cannot fail to uplift, entrance, and bring joy to the life of all who embrace them, with Janeway’s extroverted performing style enrapturing his audiences. St Paul & The Broken Bones are quickly building a reputation as one of the must see live acts and will be gracing UK shores in May.
UK LIVE DATES
21st May Oslo Bar, London
22nd May Electric Ballroom (with Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit), London
23rd May Dot to Dot, Manchester
24th May Dot to Dot, Bristol
25th May Dot to Dot, Nottingham
St. Paul & The Broken Bones will release their debut album, ‘Half The City’, in the UK via Single Lock Records/ Thirty Tigers on 12th May 2014.
LINK TO EP:
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