Roseanne Cash once tweeted, “I have seen the future of music & the name of the band is St. Paul & the Broken Bones.” True story. Next month, we’ll finally get an album out of that Birmingham-based Motown funk sextet led by the almost-preacher-turned-banker Paul Janeway, who is shockingly unrelated to Charles Bradley…and white.
On February 18, St. Paul & The Broken Bones will release their highly anticipated debut, Half The City (go vinyl on this one – Amazon Pre-Order) on Single Lock/Thirty Tigers. Produced by fellow Alabamian Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes and recorded live to tape at the Nutthouse in Tanner’s hometown – the biggest small town of music – Muscle Shoals, this album is pure gold. Stemming from his Pentecostal-leaning church upbringing, Janeway’s performances are overflowing with soul and have earned the band big gigs and much credibility out of the gate.
Every now and then you come across a band that just has it and this is one of those bands. I’ve been listening to an early copy of the album this week and can testify that the hype is legit. You can just write the future on this one: NPR will talk about them for the next six months – discussing Alabama’s music history, the resurgence of Memphis-style soul, etc. They will play a ton of festivals this summer. They will play at the 2015 Grammys and come home with one or more.
For a taste, check out a few of my favorite tracks off the new album below.