Show Review: St. Paul & the Broken Bones March 16, 2017

St. Paul & the Broken Bones: A Southern Soul’s Favorite

By Whitley Lewis

Photo by Scarlet Bucket

Paul Janeway’s magnifying voice kicked off a two-night sell-out at the Charleston Music Hall on April 16th, as he opened the show with  “Crumbling Light Posts, Pt. 1” from St. Paul’s newest album, Sea of Noise. This entrance not only excited the audience for what was to come but also set the mood for a long and soulful night of the eight-piece band’s radiating sound throughout the Hall.
Just over six months ago, the band released their second full-length album, Sea of Noise, on RECORDS, LLC, and they have received nothing but praise for this creative masterpiece. While the band is well known for their debut album Half the City, they performed a desirable mixture of fan-favorites from both albums.

Paul Janeway did not fail to satisfy the audience’s want for an entertaining performance with his jazzy dancing and eccentric stage attire. From laying on his back on stage to stepping off stage into the audience and dancing with fans, every face in the room was smiling. Not only was Paul’s stage presence electrifying but also the trio of brass instruments and the soul of Al Gamble’s piano melodies sent chills down the audience’s spines.

A twenty-song set list doesn’t seem very long when such talented musicians are entertaining you. Hearing eight different people successfully stay in time, on rhythm, and on key seems normal to most but when they are performing live in front of you with such precision and grace, it seems almost impossible to the point where it is oddly satisfying.

With a fan-base of folks ranging in age from 3-83, St. Paul and the Broken Bones did a wonderful job of making each member of the audience feel welcome and engaged. About halfway through their set, they surprised some of the more experienced audience members with an outstanding cover of Van Morrison’s I’ve Been Working from his 1970 album His Band and the Street Choir. After completing Call Me the band left the stage only to be chanted back on to perform four more songs including an exhilarating cover of David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream. This performance not only put some folks back in their chairs but it shocked many that an infamous rock song of the 70’s could be brought back to life so soulfully.

By the end of the night St Paul and all seven of his Broken Bones managed to Sanctify the whole audience and send everyone home speechless.