The Alabama-based sextet is on a roll. Named "Best Soul Revivalists" of SXSW 2014 by Rolling Stone, these southern boys have earned an early place in the year's music scene. Their rising popularity can be credited to high-energy performances, a debut EP, "Half the City," and a frontman who knows how to turn heads.
Until the age of 18, singer Paul Janeway was on the path to becoming a preacher. Developing his singing chops in church, Janeway listened to a strict regiment of religious and gospel music, with a little Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye mixed in. Now that his audiences have shifted from worshipers to festivalgoers, the husky crooner leads the Broken Bones with more modern, grittier tastes including Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
Yet the band's sound presents itself as unadulterated '60s R&B with bright horns and airtight rhythms, with each band member writing instrumental parts, and Janeway penning and fiercely delivering lyrics dripping with heartache. Released under Single Lock Records, the Muscle Shoals, Ala. label co-founded by John Paul White of the Civil Wars, "Half the City" was produced by fellow Cotton State musician Ben Tanner of the Alabama Shakes.
Thanks to fiery vocals and tight grooves, the band joins the soul revival ranks with a welcomed authenticity and passion. You won't need to wear your Sunday best to hear this in-studio KDHX performance, but you better believe St. Paul and the Broken Bones will bring theirs.
All photos by Louis Kwok