St Paul & The Broken Bones Live 9/12/15
September 16th, 2015 by The Professor
Words & Photos by Katie Kazmierski ’18
Paul Janeway of Saint Paul and the Broken Bones sauntered on stage in box-toed shoes almost more sparkly than the Rams Head lights. As he opened with the first song I knew that he wasn’t going to put on any ordinary old show, what with his incredible voice and an extremely talented band that compliments it.
Closing my eyes, I felt like I was transported back in time to the 60s when soul music was revolutionary. But instead of Otis Redding, opening my eyes I found Paul Janeway, who looks like just a normal guy—not someone you’d expect to have the extraordinarily powerful voice he does. Turns out he was once just that: a normal guy who worked as an Alabama bank teller. Lucky for us, he met current bassist Jesse Phillips (who Rachel interviews here!) in 2012 and together they embarked on a musical journey with the goal of making music that worked with Janeway’s smooth, soulful voice.
What they accomplished was the formation of a fantastic soul band that has the kind of energy that captures the hearts of audience members. When I first looked these guys up on Youtube, I thought, “Hey, they’re really good,” but getting the chance to see them play this Saturday in person was a whole different experience: one that was out of this world. Their energy is as tangible as the stage they play on; something about the guitar riffs and the synchronized horns creates in the viewer nostalgia for a time they did not even necessarily live through. Songs like Sugar Dyed had every foot tapping and head bobbing, while Broken Bones and Pocket Change sent chills down every spine in the house. The way Paul’s voice delivers is incredible, as he makes the audience sympathize with him. We feel his excitement during upbeat songs and we dance with him, and we feel his pain during slower, more soulful songs. This made watching the show not just watching the show—the entire performance was captivating enough that you began to feel a part of it. Not to mention they threw in a Beatles cover at the end, which is always a crowd pleaser. Paul’s voice effortlessly singing I Want You (So Heavy) was accompanied by hundreds of audience members swaying and singing along with him.
Kudos to these guys for putting on another awesome show, and coming to Baltimore for the very first time. I feel truly lucky to have gotten to see them perform and be taken back in time in a sense—this show was definitely anything but ordinary.