Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Deep Blues on Possessed by Paul James

Album Review: "Feed the Family"
Artist: Possessed by Paul James / Konrad Wert
Record Label: Hillgrass Bluebilly
Original Link:

Konrad Wert, aka Possessed By Paul James, is a musical iconoclast. As Brian @ Nine Bullets blog (re: PPJ playing The Deep Blues Festival '08) so aptly puts it:

"Watching him was more like watching a person give birth to music than it was watching a person play music".

Live, Possesed By Paul James is an experience like no other. Raw, challenging, literate, thoughtful and free. This recording, while somewhat more controlled than his live show, is no less powerful and just as thoughtful. The intensity of the live performance still shines through bright and clear but slightly more refined. Drawing from the deep well of American roots music, PPJ takes the immediacy, vigor, and grit of old timey country music, melds it with the soul of early gospel and blues, and channels it all thru the power of punk rock.

Feed The Family (Hillgrass Bluebilly Records) is already at the top of many Best Of lists (mine included) and deservedly so. At once unique and original sounding and, at the same time, familiar and inviting, Possessed By Paul James' new release is a powerful document that grows with each listen. In performance, live and otherwise, Konrad lays his heart and soul out on the stage and sings, kicks, howls, grunts, grinds and wails the dirt off 'em until they stand clean, shining, and glowing and on fire. It's real, raw, and wholly honest music played as if it might be the last time. And for me that's what it's all about. If you are not prepared to die for the song then get yr ass off that stage and don't play it. I'm sure Konrad/Possessed By Paul James would agree.

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