St. Paul and the Broken Bones

(Birmingham, AL)

As we all know, looks mean nothing in the music business. But when you hear the Paul Janeway’s muscular seven-piece soul revival outfit, you might have some preconceptions about what that band and that frontman are going to look like. Well, Janeway grew up in rural Alabama—that part of the picture fits. But you’ll need to think closer to Steven Page than Otis Redding to get an accurate visual. Says Janeway, “I'm a white fella who grew up in the woods. I guess I should be singing country and bluegrass music, but I didn't grow up around that as much as I did soul and R&B folks, so when I heard Otis, and when I heard gospel, I just thought that's the way you're supposed to sing.”

And sing he does. And croon, and shout, and scream, in the best soul tradition. The band has blown up all over the States, and Janeway has had to take on a vocal coach to learn proper singing technique in order to preserve his powerhouse pipes. But there’s no backing down, no half-assing it for Janeway. “There's a lot of people who just strum a guitar and sing, and that's great, that's fine, but to me, I feel like if I'm not sweating and working, I'm not earning my pay.” There is no question that at a Broken Bones show, backed by that Muscle Shoals-style seven-piece outfit, you’re going to get your money’s worth and then some.


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