Set your sights on soul.
The Alabama boys behind the brassy and wonderfully raw St. Paul and the Broken Bones are returning to the Port City this spring for a show at Greenfield Lake Amphitheater. Tickets for the May 14 concert, presented by 98.3 FM The Penguin and Huka Entertainment, go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, March 4.
As his wry handle might suggest, frontman Paul Janeway, aka “St. Paul,” primed his pipes the same as many a legendary soul singer–in the church.
“The only secular music that I heard at all was a ’70s group called the Stylistics, and Sam Cooke. That was about it,” Janeway said of his childhood in a devout household. “The rest of it was all gospel music. When I was about 10 years old, I was groomed to be a minister. My goal in life until I was about 18 years old was to be a preacher.”
Grounded in gospel, he began in his teenage years to expand his inspirations, discovering some left-of-center talents along the way.
“Tom Waits and Nick Cave were the really big attractions,” Janeway said. “They have that passion. They’ve built this aura. They’re showmen to the teeth. And that’s what got me – it’s like going to church, in a weird way. At about the same time, I began listening to the great soul singers like Otis Redding, James Carr and O.V. Wright. I was trying to find something that made my earbuds tingle.”
A meeting with bassist Jesse Phillips led to a collaboration that laid the groundwork for what would become the Broken Bones, all drawn from Alabama’s deep talent pool.
The Bones share some writing credit on 10 of the tracks from the band’s 2014 full-length debut, “Half the City.”
“We firmly believe in a shared, communal writing process,” Janeway noted.
Produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes and recorded in the rhythm and blues mecca, Muscle Shoals, “Half the City” is a throwback to the region’s musical roots with the band’s own unique spin.
Known for high-voltage live shows led by an engaged and electric Janeway, The Broken Bones will light up the Greenfield Lake Amphitheater stage at 7 p.m. on May 14. Gates open at 6:30.
Tickets to the show are $28 in advance ($32 the day of) and can be purchased through Port City Daily’s Concerts tab.