Preview: St. Paul & The Broken Bones at The Anthem

 Photo courtesy of NPR.

Photo courtesy of NPR.

In 2018, critics and experts often question the purpose of musical genres (myself included), as a growing number of artists in the contemporary space push the boundaries of classic musical canons. While this question is certainly valid and falls in line with much of the music being created at present, there are still some artists that sway in defiance of this trend, as they continue to define some of our culture’s most fundamental genres.

One of these artists, with a sound that grooves Motown and booms like Muddy Waters, brings the spirit of Alabama to every stage they grace. Meet St. Paul & The Broken Bones: Hailing from Birmingham, Ala., their music brings the unmistakable magnetism and unabashed heartbreak of Southern rock and roll to the national stage. St. Paul, or Paul Janeaway, sings with such an incredible intensity, and lets the conflict of his Alabama roots ooze through his impassioned vocals. As a band proud to represent their home state and the regional music that inspired some of the world’s most famous rock ‘n rollers, Janeaway abandoned his training in ministry to share his sounds of the South with the country as a touring musician after forming this band in 2012.

Janeaway fronts this band of diversely talented musicians, who make some serious noise. Beyond the band’s barebones of several supporting vocals, bass, guitars and percussion, this band of Bones includes organ, saxophone, trumpet and trombone players. Not an instrument feels auxiliary; each instrument plays their own effortlessly supportive part in scoring the passion-fueled vocals that seem to explode from St. Paul.

During St. Paul & The Broken Bones visit to NPR’s Tiny Desk, Janeaway danced atop Bob Boilen’s desk in gold shoes, capturing the authentic energy of this truly memorable band. You won’t want to miss this chance to explore many tracks from their newly released album, “Young Sick Camillia.” This new record floats the classic rock canons consistently present in their sound into more funky disco tones, which is both alluring and easy to listen to. Syncing funky basslines and strings into their organist’s harmonies, tracks like “GotItBad” make you want to don some chromatic shoes and shimmy with Janeaway, while “Hurricanes” renders vivid, peaceful scenes from the band’s Southern hometown. Their upcoming set at The Anthem on Sunday, September 29 is slated to be the perfect, energetic end to this gloomy and rainy week in D.C.

Opening for St. Paul & The Broken Bones is Mattiel, an Atlanta native making gorgeously gritty tunes inspired by the sounds and style of the 1960s. As another Southern musician, Mattiel Brown brings a haunting vocal style to classically 60s sounds, including church-inspired organs and fuzzy guitar riffs. In contrast, the music videos released for tracks like “Whites of Their Eyes,” feature visuals that could have only been composed by a Millennial, with vivid pops of color, moody mirror shots, gallivanting in a desert and candid shots of laughter. Mattiel’s doo-wop swing and classic sounds makes her the perfect opener for a night of nostalgic sounds.


Avoid the #FOMO, and come dance with us at The Anthem this Sunday! Grab your tickets to see St. Paul & The Broken Bones and Mattiel here.