St. Paul & The Broken Bones: A New Soul Sensation

CheckItOut_051614ASt. Paul & the Broken Bones — Half the City (Single Lock) — In the annals of classic soul, the church has always been a launch point for many a legendary vocalist. So it goes with frontman Paul Janeway, the namesake and frontman for his southern outfit St. Paul & the Broken Bones. Raised in a non-denominational Pentecostal-leaning local church, whose influence meant the only secular music he could listen to at home was Sam Cooke and The Stylistics, Janeway attacks each and every one of the dozen songs on this debut as if he were testifying before a congregation. Produced by Ben Tanner of the Alabama Shakes, Half the City pulses with an analog vibrancy that finds it residing at the stylistic intersection of Muscle Shoals, Hi Records and Stax/Volt. But rather than Otis Redding or Al Green being the touchstone for Janeway’s channeling of the musical Holy Spirit, it’s the late Solomon Burke who seems to be guiding the native of the small town of Chelsea, Al. While the opener “I’m Torn Up,” opens with the gentle nudging of brass, it’s clear that St. Paul has had his heart stomped on pretty thoroughly. From here, he and the band swing like Sharon Jones and her Dap-Tones (“Don’t Mean a Thing”), defiantly try to buoy their spirits with a soul shuffle (“Sugar Dyed”), and are about as down and out as James Carr at the dark end of the street (“Broken Bones & Pocket Change.”) Elsewhere, on the exhilarating “Dixie Rothko,” within the span of three and a half minutes, this razor-sharp septet builds on layers of escalating organ runs and brass arrangements to the point where Janeway is going from a soulful croon to the kind of pleading where he’s shredding his vocals while declaring, “I know we’re going to make it,” while Browan Lollar does his best Duane Allman. By the end of the album when the despondent singer is confessing how bad he’s been, the dulcet arrangements of the Broken Bones horn section carry you right back to hitting the play button again for another much-needed round of musical rejuvenation.

 

Dave Gil de Rubio
In addition to being editor of theNassau Observer, Dave Gil de Rubio is a regular contributor to Long Island Weekly, specializing in music and sports features. He has won several awards for writing from Press Club of Long Island (PCLI), New York Press Association (NYPA) and Fair Media Council (FMC).

Leave a Reply

Discover

Sponsor

Latest

Dropping Of The Roses Keeps The Memory Alive

Pearl Harbor Day given its due via longstanding memorial event When the Japanese Imperial Japanese Navy Service made a surprise military strike on the United...

Page-Turning Gifts

Nothing says the holiday season is upon us more than a slew of new releases in the world of books. And this year is...

When Service For MTA LIRR East Side Access To Grand Central Madison Begins There Will Still Be Outstanding Work To Be Completed

The MTA’s inability to provide a specific date for start of service to Grand Central Madison other than by the end of 2022 is...

Shimmering Solstice Returns To Old Westbury Gardens

Be prepared to be enchanted by magical light displays and seasonal soundtracks that are set along Old Westbury Gardens’ beautiful paths that will lead...

Patrick Simons Serves With Next Generation Of Warfighters

A Westbury native is serving in the U.S. Navy where naval aviators learn the skills they need to fly missions around the world. Lieutenant Junior...

Get Updates Via Email

Enter your email to be updated with all the latest news and special announcements.

x