In what promises to be a fascinating combo of bands at Zanzabar next Friday, an instrumental duo from Nashville opens for the retro soul of Alabama's own St. Paul & the Broken Bones.
The headlining band gets half its name from lead singer, Paul Janeway, who apparently got sidetracked from his path to the pulpit when the gospel music he was brought up on in church called to him louder than the ministry. A native of Chelsea, Alabama, Janeway was reared on gospel, but as a teen, his musical influences expanded to artists like Tom Waits and Nick Cave. “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."
The rest of the Broken Bones are percussionist Andrew Lee, bassist Jesse Phillips, and guitarist Browan Lollar. If Lollar's name sounds familiar, you might remember that he was a member of Jason Isbell's band, the 400 Unit. Rounding out the sound are trumpet player Allen Branstetter and Ben Griner on trombone and tuba. The band just released their first full-length recording, Half the City.
Opening act Steelism features Jeremy Fetzer on guitar and Spencer Cullum, Jr. on the pedal steel guitar. Their track, "China Plate," can be streamed here on SoundCloud. It has been described as "an instrumental workout steeped in Telecaster twang, Fender funk, and the sort of western psychedelia that fills most Quentin Tarantino film soundtracks." They are in demand as instrumentalists for other artists, including Wanda Jackson, Caitlin Rose, and Andrew Combs.
These two intriguing acts will play Zanzabar (2100 Preston St.) next Friday, February 28 at 9 p.m. (doors at 8 p.m., 21 and over). Get your tickets in advance for $10 via TicketFly or at the door for $12.
By all means, check out St. Paul & the Broken Bones, performing "Call Me" in the video below: