St. Paul and The Broken Bones sanctify the sounds
The Royale, Boston, November 6, 2016
Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
St. Paul and The Broken Bones had the Saturday night/Sunday thing going on this weekend. Although it wasn't quite Sunday morning, but it sure felt like it sometimes on this night.
The Alabama-based band, which mixes the soulful and gospel among other sounds, was playing the second of two sold-out shows in Boston. And while unsure what went down on the previous night, the closing night provided to be an uplifting night of joyful music.
Lead singer Paul Janeway makes the band with his vocal delivery that could get down and bluesy or hit the higher registers and be exceedingly soulful. In sartorial splendor with a suit and sometimes removing his shoes, Janeway was not a mere throwback, but made the music his own.
His baking band, including guitarist Browan Lollar, certainly helped. So did a punchy backing horn section, which punctuated the songs with many from coming from "Sea of Noise," which dropped in September. In fact, they played 10 of its 13 songs, opening with "Crumbling Light Posts, Pt. 1" and "Flow With It (You Got Me Feeling Like)."
St. Paul and The Broken Bones may not be blazing any trails in going back to music of yesteryear, but they make it sound fresh and inviting.
While concentrating on their own material, St. Paul mixed it up when came to covers - "The National Anthem" by Radiohead, "I've Been Working" by Van Morrison, a song that seemed more in their wheelhouse, and "Moonage Daydream," the David Bowie song, a curious choice given that it was far less part of what their repertoire typically sounded like.
St. Paul and the Broken Bones brought conviction to their music (how can't you when you close the regular set with "Sanctify" with its line "I want to feel something real"?), something which went very far - no matter what night they played.
Diane Coffee, an LA-based band opened the show with an engaging set musically that was of the glam rock variety. Diane Coffee, aka Shaun Fleming, has an androgynous thing going on, looking like a combo of Bowie and a strutting Mick Jagger. He delivered a bunch of well put together songs, but at times it seemed like he tried too hard to emulate his heroes.