Monday, April 1, 2013

Music Monday: St. Paul and the Broken Bones

The first time I heard about the band St. Paul and the Broken Bones was a few months ago when their drummer Andrew was my waiter at El Barrio—believe it or not. Somehow my friend Jara, who was eating dinner with me that night, asked him something that led him to telling us about the band he's in and their upcoming show at the Bottletree later in the week. He even gave us one of their posters to keep and told me to look up their videos on YouTube.

I remember coming into work the next morning and doing my web research on these guys so I'd know what their "sound" was. Holy Moses was I blown away. Here was this white boy (Paul Janeway) wailing away some soul into a mic while simultaneously breaking it down in a full suit and bow tie. I knew I needed to make it to see these guys. However, unfortunately my good intentions to attend that show were ruined by a 14 hour work day. I gave myself a break by figuring they were a local band and I'd catch them again soon and that I really needed to sleep instead. I still kick myself for missing that show.

But here we are, just a couple of months later and my first chance to see them live was at Workplay. And of course, they are already performing to a sold out Birmingham crowd who was on fire for our new hometown heroes. Unbelievable. Talk about a religious experience. Trust me when I say these guys are bound to have you testifying. Don't believe me? Just listen to them here.

But really and truly you need to see these guys live. I'm telling you, the lead singer Paul Janeway is just electrifying. And seeing the brass section on stage reminded me so much of a smaller version of the Dap-Kings, who perform with Sharon Jones.

A lot of folks are already saying that St. Paul and the Broken Bones are the new Alabama Shakes. And while I can see the similarity, I still think these guys are a bit different in their own right. But seeing what a sensation the Shakes have been lately, I don't think anyone in the band would be opposed to that comparison. I defintiely hope to see St. Paul and the Broken Bones share that level of success.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones at Workplay.     Photo: Kyle Stichtenoth
Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones.   Photo: Kyle Stichtenoth

ps. I should also mention that one of their openers was the incredible Nashville band Luella and the Sun, who I've written about before here. Definitely a great way to start a show!

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