Thursday, September 07, 2017

St. Paul and the Broken Bones - Half the City

After seeing St Paul recently, I found this CD at a discounted price and picked it up. The Broken Bones modern blue-eyed soul stylings are heavily indebted to the likes of Al Green (this is the biggest influence I hear throughout), Sam and Dave, James Brown and more (even a little early Joe Cocker). Along with the basic backing of guitar, bass, drum, there's a fine Hammond organ player (Al Gamble) and a great horn section (trumpet, trombone and sax, although, oddly, the sax player isn't listed as a band member, even though he plays on almost every track and was with them live).

The group specializes in soulful ballads, although their use of dynamics keeps them interesting and varied, despite the generally slow tempo. Paul's vocals are exceptional throughout - melodic mixed with raw-edged soul-shoutin'. The band is super solid as a backing for Paul - fine players of the song, without any show-offs - Paul is the only one who really lets loose completely.

I've been diggin' the new brand of soul men'n'women these days (Black Joe Lewis, Sharon Jones, the Heavy and more) and St. Paul is a nice, new addition to my collection. Not for jumpin'n'jivin', but good, classic 70's soul ballads done right.