|St. Paul and The Broken Bones – All Photos by
The Rock and Roll Princess
Almost everything about the Birmingham Alabama band St. Paul and The Broken Bones symbolizes Alabama. They have recorded in the iconic Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama known for turning out hits for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, and Otis Redding. Ben Tanner of the Alabama Shakes produced their first LP. Even the band’s latest album has Alabama’s state flower in its title Young Sick Camellia.
Paul Janeway, the lead singer for St. Paul and The Broken Bones, confessed to the audience that he almost cancelled the show. But since Janeway managed to rally his voice, he yelled “You better get ready to dance your asses off.”
|Andrew Lee (and his hair) and Paul Janeway|
As soon as Andrew Lee sat down behind the drum kit, his long wavy hair was blown back like a Beyonce video by a hidden fan. Not to be out shined by the luscious locks, Janeway was dressed in a sparkling choir robe. It was fitting because their new material has more of a disco feel than their previous soul sound. The song LivWithoutU would fit in nicely on any late 1970’s Earth, Wind, and Fire album. They didn’t ignore their older material. The horn heavy Like a Mighty River, the blues confessional Grass is Greener, and their radio hit Call Me were all performed to the delight of the rambunctious audience. When the band slowed it down for the ballad Bruised Fruit, a scary large soundboard guy yelled at the crowd to shut up. That’s when silence swept over the Ogden. At that moment, Janeway belted out, “You’re in me when I sting/You’re in me I bleed/You’re in me when I pray/You’re in me when I leave/Till the light go out some day.” The band slowly left the stage one at a time while Lee stayed behind the drums with his hair still moving with every heartbreaking hit to the snare. The state of Alabama would be proud.
Black Pumas from Austin, Texas warmed up the crowd with their unique sound of psychedelic soul. Adrian Quesada put aside his multiple producing projects (Expectations, Honey Bun and Echo Hotel) to play the guitar in Black Pumas. Watching lead singer Eric Burton perform, I would be inspired to start a band with him as well. The crowd swayed back and forth during the hypnotic Black Moon Rising the title track on their newly released album. The band closed with The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby transforming it into a powerful soul song repeating the line, “Ah, look at all the lonely people.” Overcome with emotion, Burton leaped into the crowd while the band continued to play. Just when he appeared back on the stage, the song suddenly ended.
See you at the next show. I’ll be in a sparkling choir robe with a fan blowing back my luscious locks.