By David Werther.
St. Paul & The Broken Bones, "Half the City" (Single Lock, 2014)
St. Paul & The Broken Bones (SP&BB) recorded most of "Half the City" at the NuttHouse Studio in Muscle Shoals, the mecca of rhythm and blues music. The band (bass, keyboard, drums and brass) perfectly complements St. Paul’s (aka Paul Janeway) soul-breaking, heart aching singing. SP&BB are so tight that their music sounds like it arises from a single entity; they are more like an organism than a band.
Comparisons with James and Brown and Otis Redding are as inevitable as they are well deserved. But, SP&BB are not imitators or impersonators. They are top tier R & B performers in their own right who have plumbed the depths of the tradition. The songs on "Half the City" are intense and powerful expressions of unquenchable agony. Performances rarely get as powerful and painful as these.