Half the City by St. Paul & The Broken Bones on Apple Music

12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

It isn’t often that a band captures every nuance of a genuine ‘60s-era Stax Records soul band. Yet there’s no sense of "retro" to St. Paul & The Broken Bones, even though they formed in 2011. Lead singer Paul Janeway sings with all the abandon of an old-school soul man, and the band’s use of Hammond B3 organs and strong but never slick horns sounds not like a band paying tribute to a bygone era, but rather like songs actually unearthed from the Stax vault. One listen to “Broken Bones & Pocket Change,” and even experts might assume this is the real deal. Yet this Birmingham, Ala.–based group have witnesses that assure us they're playing in 2014. From the opening blast of “I’m Torn Up” through tough Deep South tunes like “Call Me” and "Sugar Dyed,” Half the City sounds like the real thing. There’s nothing to suggest this is a "soul revival." The album was produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes, and it was recorded live to tape at the Nutthouse in Muscle Shoals and mixed at the legendary FAME Studio A.

EDITORS’ NOTES

It isn’t often that a band captures every nuance of a genuine ‘60s-era Stax Records soul band. Yet there’s no sense of "retro" to St. Paul & The Broken Bones, even though they formed in 2011. Lead singer Paul Janeway sings with all the abandon of an old-school soul man, and the band’s use of Hammond B3 organs and strong but never slick horns sounds not like a band paying tribute to a bygone era, but rather like songs actually unearthed from the Stax vault. One listen to “Broken Bones & Pocket Change,” and even experts might assume this is the real deal. Yet this Birmingham, Ala.–based group have witnesses that assure us they're playing in 2014. From the opening blast of “I’m Torn Up” through tough Deep South tunes like “Call Me” and "Sugar Dyed,” Half the City sounds like the real thing. There’s nothing to suggest this is a "soul revival." The album was produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes, and it was recorded live to tape at the Nutthouse in Muscle Shoals and mixed at the legendary FAME Studio A.

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3:06
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3:47
2:27
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4:14
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2:31

About St. Paul & The Broken Bones

A tight ensemble with a gospel-tinged, retro-soul garage sound complete with horns and a dynamic lead singer, Birmingham, Alabama's St. Paul & the Broken Bones' stirring live shows quickly garnered them a fan following when the band was formed in 2011. Led by vocalist Paul Janeway, an impassioned soul singer with James Brown-like stage moves and command, and also consisting of Browan Lollar (guitar, vocals), Andrew Lee (drums and percussion), Jesse Phillips (bass), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), and Ben Griner (trombone and tuba), the sextet self-released an EP before signing with Single Lock Records. The label issued their debut full-length, Half the City, early in 2014, and it reached number 56 on the Billboard 200 as well as charting in the Netherlands. Recorded in Birmingham, Alabama in 2013, the EP Live and in Person!!! also appeared in 2014, with Live from the Alabama Theatre following year later. The Broken Bones' sophomore studio LP took on a more socially conscious tone and added a string quartet and choir to the palette. It also saw the group expand to an octet with Al Gamble on keys, Jason Mingledorff on woodwinds, and Chad Fisher replacing Griner on trombone. Sea of Noise was released in 2016 on RECORDS, a label newly co-founded by veteran music exec Barry Weiss and SONGS Music Publishing. ~ Steve Leggett & Marcy Donelson

  • ORIGIN
    Birmingham, AL
  • FORMED
    2011

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