Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Let Us Now Praise Paul Burch

I don’t know how long I have known Paul Burch but I was somehow shocked to see that his first album Pan American Flash came out way back in 1996.  I first became aware of Paul as one of the really talented young musicians who made a name for themselves playing on lower Broad during Nashville’s last great credibility scare in the early to mid‑1990s (along with Greg Garing, RB Morris and BR5-49).

 Since then Paul has released an astonishing bunch of records  both individually and with his band the WPA Ball Club.  His discography even includes an effortlessly brilliant tribute to Buddy Holly (2011’s Words of Love).

 Although ostensibly mining the country field, Paul’s songs bring to mind Greil Marcus’s description of “that old weird America” and I mean that as a compliment.  There is a timeless quality to his songs that is both immediate and disorienting.  The late Chet Flippo put Paul on the front page of Billboard and with his new release Fevers on a cool new label Plowboy Records  (home to Chuck Mead among others) here’s hoping that Paul gets the wider attention he deserves.  For Nashvillians, I know that Paul is a playing a residency this month at the Stone Fox.  Go see him.

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