Showing posts with label St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Show all posts
Showing posts with label St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Show all posts

Apr 26, 2016

Lucero & St. Paul & The Broken Bones Rock Memphis

Just some random thoughts and sights from the Lucero Block Party 2016.
by Trailer 

Minglewood Hall (outside), Midtown Memphis TN, April 23, 2016

Young Valley
Mississippi boys, Young Valley opened the show as we were coming into the venue. They're cool. Country music with ample rock energy and weird fun thrown in. They started the "better live than on album" theme of the day… but I guess that's how 90% of 'our' acts are. Young Valley was exuberant to be there and it showed. They played their short stint with energy and joy. I've heard them do a better set, but it was damn good stuff. They're a band to watch in coming years.

• Ben Nichols of Lucero stood directly in front of the stage watching Young Valley for a while, until he was unable to do so because of folks asking for pictures and autographs. I'm a huge fan, but I've met him before and he was enjoying the show, so I didn't bother him.

• Paul Janeway of St. Paul and the Broken Bones was also in the  crowd, but he was more hanging out than watching. He looked completely different in street clothes, to the point that my friend and I were debating whether it was him or not. It was.

Mark Edgar Stuart was next on the lineup. I haven't heard him nearly as much as I've heard the rest of the acts, but he was damn good, funny, and engaging. He seems to me something of a mix of folk music + Willie Nelson (vocally) + Randy Newman. Mark sang his new single "Don't Blame Jesus," which was timely and HILARIOUS, and got the crowd into high spirits.

• Pabst was the beer sponsor of the event. You could go inside and get whatever drinks and craft beers you wanted, but once you get settled in for some good music, you just want what's nearby, so it was PBR and Old Tankard (their uh, craftier beer) the rest of the evening.

• The edgy shirt vendors and the BMX team riding at the back of the event brought in some of the vibe of Lucero's more punk-esque early days, but generally this was a regular Joe kinda crowd. Lots of families and lots of diversity. Hardly any hipsters though.

Cory Branan played the next slot. It was just him and his guitar, but he was magnetic.
He played mostly his more well known up-tempo tunes. He's a born entertainer, but not in the way of showmanship. He just knows how to get the crowd in the palm of his hand by being real and open. Guy should be a lot bigger than he is.

• There were food trucks to keep us fed. The famous Central BBQ, which I've never actually had the pleasure of eating, had a truck, but I figure I'm gonna have the real deal in the original location when I finally take the dive. I went with a Cuban sandwich from the Food Geek truck and it was divine.

The crowd loaded in for St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Not to say I wasn't there for Lucero, but I was a little more excited to finally see these guys. They did not disappoint, to understate things a bit. The band was just (insert fire emoji). They're tight as hell but loose in the groove - and not in a robotic 'white dudes approximating the swing of soul music' kind of way - naw, they're the real damn deal. Paul sang his ass off - I've never seen a video of him half-assing it. It's a wonder he manages to still be a …um, larger gentleman. He probably won't be for long, because he just lays it all out there, sweating like a roofer and hollering like a Pentecostal preacher.

They played a bunch of songs from Half the City, a vein-popping cover of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)," and…and…. they announced that the new album is DONE, and played 3 songs from it. One of them had the crowd swooning and shouting and raising hands skyward. Nobody knew a word of it, I couldn't even discern a title, but it was indescribably bad ass. What a show.

This band, when it finally gets a Grammy nod and some air time in front of a few million eyes and ears, will be huge. Not if, just when. It's going to happen. They may not be bringing much new to the table genre-wise, but they just live inside of soul music. Their songs are killer and well-written, but the experience is the thing. It's church.

•The weather was perfect. Late April is when all festivals in the south should be scheduled, even though that's not possible. It was sunny, 80, and breezy, then cooling down and breezy. Wonderful.

The main event was up next. Lucero took the stage with no horn section. I haven't seen them play without horns since 2012 or thereabout. It was a rock show.

Ben and the boys played all the hits and the crowd sang along with hands in the air. Memphis being the band's home base, this makes sense, but I've never seen so many Lucero tattoos. One was on a guy's head. That's the kind of dedication this band inspires.

We got all the favorites like "Tears Don't Matter Much," "Tonight Ain't Gonna Be Good," and "My Best Girl." We also got a good mix of Lucero's newer tunes like "Texas and Tennessee" and "Woke Up in New Orleans." On the albums, these more polished songs sound a lot different from the band's earlier punk-edged persona, but live, they fit right into the flow, the ragged vocals and gritty musicianship blending everything into a pure rock n' roll feast.

• People kept passing Ben Nichols drinks. Not water, not beer, not even mixed drinks. Nothing so refreshing for the dude singing his heart out in the warm air. Nope - pure Jack, full cups. He was fine with it.

If you've never seen Lucero live and they come within driving distance, go. I don't care if you're not particularly a fan. The show is where they make the thing work. They'll never be the best songwriters, the best singers, or the best players (aside from Rick Steff), but there's something about the mix of these southern boys, a warm night, and some cold beverages that can turn a passing interest into a lifetime love affair.

Ben played this oldie, "Outsiders," from his previous (previous as in 19 years ago) band Red 40.

Apr 22, 2016

St. Paul and the Broken Bones Cover(s) The Beatles

Seeing these guys (for the first time) in Memphis tomorrow with Lucero, Cory Branan, Young Valley, and Mark Edgar Stuart.

Jan 5, 2015

Matthew Martin's Top 10 Albums of 2014

10. St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Half The City
This AL band generated quite the buzz before this album ever hit shelves - and with good reason.  This album is full of near-perfect throwback soul/funk gems that Alabama is getting good at reviving.


9. Gary Clark Jr. - Live
The first time I ever actually heard Gary Clark Jr was when I saw him live in Baltimore at a small venue called the 8x10. When I heard his debut album, I wasn't in love because of the slick production and added, unnecessary instruments.  That's why I think this album is so essential.  This is GCJr at his best.  Live, blistering, and unrelenting.


8. Natural Child - Dancin' With Wolves
I don't want to say Natural Child hit their stride on this album, but rather, they hit their comfort zone. Adding pedal steel and keys to the band, they have created, essentially, a modern day Harvest.


7. Mastodon - Once More Round The Sun
This happens to be my favorite Mastodon record to date. While that may not be a popular opinion among some Mastodon faithful,  I believe this is Mastodon doing what they do best.  Each song hits at break-neck speed and by the time you reach the last quarter of the album,  you equally beg for the onslaught to cease and to continue.


6. Lucero - Live From Atlanta
Another live album on this list because of how significant I think this one is.  Lucero is a great band.  They have transitioned from a cowpunk band to this band we have today at little-to-no detriment to their core sound.  This album is document of that complete transformation and more proof that if you have not seen Lucero live, you have to do so immediately.


5. Drive-by Truckers - English Oceans
Cooley. Really, the review could end there, but what fun would that be? With Cooley and Hood splitting the duties here, this album finds the Drive-By Truckers yet again reworking the band and creating something even stronger and tighter.  While I, unabashedly, really have enjoyed most of what DBT have put out, this album will arguably stand out as one of their greatest.


4. The Hold Steady - Teeth Dreams
I don't even know what to say about this album. It's great. There isn't a bad song on here. When I first listened, I'll admit, I was a little taken aback by the production quality (maybe too slick?), but as time has gone on and I've listened to the album numerous times, I have realized that there is not one thing wrong with this album.


3. Against Me! - Transgender Dysphoria Blues
On importance alone, this album deserves to be in the #1 spot.  But, this album happened to be released in a year that 2 other great albums were also released.  Musically and lyrically, this is a near perfect album.  Laura Jane Grace sings her heart out about a hell few of us know much about.  Give this album a listen, then listen again, then listen one more time.  It's absolutely stellar.


2. Sturgill Simpson - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
Another important album- albeit for different reasons- Simpson's Metamodern Sounds in Country Music attempts to take everything we know about traditional country music and turn it on its head.  Simpson sings about LSD, reptile aliens, and love- all on the first track of the album.  As the album progresses, it's clear you're listening to something familiar and incredibly unique all at once.  Country music fans have been waiting for something like this, and I hope this album clears the path for other artists more inclined to sing about interesting topics- rather than trucks, beer, and backroads.


1. Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires - Dereconstructed
Speaking of important albums, I'm not sure there has been a more important Southern album.  This one came out and completely shattered my expectations.  Taking shots at the Southern ideology that still permeates some of Southern culture, the album is important because it shows that you can love something so much that you can recognize the attributes that sicken you and try to attack those head-on.  The South is a great place, but there are lots of things, past and present, that are nauseating.  LB3 attacks every angle with pinpoint accuracy.  And, let's not forget the incredible music on this album.  LB3 and band sound perfect on this album with, in my opinion, perfect production styles suited to the band's sound and style.  Oh, and if you haven't read Bitter Southerner's write-up on this band and album, please do so now!

By Matthew Martin

Feb 21, 2014

YouTube Gems: St. Paul and the Broken Bones

From their new album Half the City, here's St. Paul and the Broken Bones with "Call Me." RIYL: James Brown, Otis Redding, Alabama Shakes, Lee Bains III and the Glory Fires.

Feb 19, 2014

St. Paul and the Broken Bones - Broken Bones & Pocket Change

There's still a minute or two to "discover" this band before everybody else in the world. Their new album, Half the City, came out yesterday and it's a soul/R&B/garage-rock debut nearly as strong as Alabama Shakes' celebrated bow. Highly recommended for fans of Black Joe Lewis, Alabama Shakes, Otis Redding, James Brown, Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires. Just wait till you hear this voice...


Related Posts with Thumbnails