St. Paul and The Broken Bones is an American eight-piece soul band based in Birmingham, Alabama, United States, that formed in 2012. The band is composed of Paul Janeway (vocals), Browan Lollar (guitar), Jesse Phillips (bass), Kevin Leon (drums), Al Gamble (keys), Allen Branstetter (trumpet), Amari Ansari (saxophone), and Chad Fisher (trombone). They have released five albums and two EPs while touring internationally.

History

Vocalist Paul Janeway and bassist Jesse Phillips met in the mid-2000s while playing in Birmingham as part of the alternative soul outfit The Secret Dangers.[1] In 2012, Jesse and Paul met back in Ol' Elegante Studios in Birmingham to start a new project. Janeway says of the project with Phillips, "It was going to be our last hurrah" before focusing on other careers, "but then something just clicked and we walked out of there with something."[2] As the two began working around Janeway's voice, they realized they were forming a soul outfit. As the project progressed, the pair brought in Browan Lollar, formerly of The 400 Unit, Andrew Lee, Ben Griner, and Allen Branstetter. Here, they recorded their first EP, Greetings from St. Paul and The Broken Bones before ever playing a live show.

After releasing Greetings from St. Paul and The Broken Bones, the band gained attention from managers and labels alike. In January 2013, they began recording their first full-length album, Half the City, at the Nutthouse Recording Studios Sheffield, Alabama and Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. While recording the album, the band brought in Al Gamble to play keys. Gamble continued to play with St. Paul and The Broken Bones and has been a full-time member since January 2014. Half the City was produced by Ben Tanner of the Alabama Shakes.

In February 2013, St. Paul and The Broken Bones gained the attention of Traci Thomas of Thirty Tigers, who signed on as their manager. Shortly thereafter, they began weekend touring on their Greetings from St. Paul and The Broken Bones EP, waiting for the horn players to graduate college before embarking on more extensive touring.[3]

On February 18, 2014, the LP was released under Single Lock Records, a Florence, Alabama-based record label owned by Ben Tanner, Will Trapp, and John Paul White of The Civil Wars. Immediately, Half the City received critical acclaim from many national journalistic outlets including Paste magazine,[4] Garden and Gun,[2] Southern Living,[5] Rolling Stone,[6] and NPR.[7] In its first week of sales, Half the City reached #62 on the Billboard 200 charts. After major stories by NPR Morning Edition[8] and a national television debut on CBS This Morning: Saturday,[9] St. Paul and The Broken Bones' debut album reached #56 on the Billboard 200. St. Paul and the Broken Bones has also made television appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, Later... with Jools Holland, Late Night with Seth Meyers, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Austin City Limits, and Bluegrass Underground. In addition to their own tour, the band opened for The Rolling Stones' Zip Code Tour in Atlanta, Georgia on June 9, 2015, and in Buffalo, New York on July 11, 2015. The group also made appearances at marquee festivals like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, Newport Folk, Lockn' Festival, Outside Lands, North Sea Jazz, Rock En Seine, Pinkpop, Hurricane festival, Roskilde, Osheaga, Hyde Park London, and tons more. On top of that, they performed "All I Ever Wonder" live on BBC2 from the Glastonbury Festival on June 25, 2016. Some of the groups more notable events played are Elton John's AIDS Foundation Oscar viewing party in Los Angeles, Philip Glass' Tibet House Benefit in New York, The Equal Justice Initiative's 30th Anniversary celebration, and a Carnegie Hall series curated by Rosanne Cash.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones songs have also featured in movie and TV spots such as Los Angeles, Grey's Anatomy, Big Little Lies, Suits, Black Lightning, ESPN, Fifty Shades of Grey, Life of the Party, The Gambler, Mob Wives, Stitchers, and Switched at Birth,

In May 2015, trombonist Ben Griner left the group[10] to work on personal projects.[11] Their second album Sea of Noise was released in September 2016.[12] In 2017, they were nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Musical Performance.[13]

The band released a single, "Apollo", in June 2018, and announced an album, Young Sick Camellia, released in September.[14] The major theme of the album is Janeway's relationships with his father and grandfather. About the albums lyrics he said, “I was dwelling on my family and the complexity to all the men’s relationships. My papaw was not a warm person, but he showed his affection through hard work. He and my father had a complicated relationship and didn’t communicate well. This record is about me growing up in a digital age, and my father and papaw growing up in their different times, and exploring the dynamics of those relationships.” After the recording of the album, saxophone player Jason Mingledorff left the band and was replaced by Amari Ansari.[15] Kevin Leon also replaced Andrew Lee on drums before the release of the album. [16] In 2018, Paul Janeway was featured on the title cut of Sigala's album Brighter Days.

In 2021, St. Paul and the Broken Bones announced they had signed with ATO Records. [17] Their first release for their new label, The Alien Coast, followed in January 2022 and was well received by critics. The sound of the new album was a departure from their previous releases, incorporating elements of psychedelic rock, stoner metal, and hip-hop inspired beats with the funk and soul sounds for which they'd become known.[18] Janeway has said that Greek mythology and dystopian sci-fi were some of the inspirations for the album.[19]

In anticipation of the birth of his daughter Marigold in September 2020, Janeway wrote a series of letters to his child. These deeply personal letters became the songs featured on the band's latest album Angels in Science Fiction, released in April 2023. While continuing the musical experimentation found in the band's other recent records, the album has more quiet, minimalist moments than their other releases, with some songs featuring nothing more than Janeway's voice and an acoustic guitar.[20]

The band has a star on the wall of historic music venue First Avenue in Minneapolis.

Discography

Albums

Studio albums

TitleDetailsPeak chart positions
US
[21]
Half the City
  • Released: February 18, 2014
  • Label: Single Lock
  • Format: Digital download, CD, Vinyl
56
Sea of Noise
  • Released: September 9, 2016
  • Label: Records
  • Format: Digital download, CD, Vinyl
44
Young Sick Camellia
  • Released: September 7, 2018
  • Label: Records
  • Format: Digital download, CD, Vinyl
56
The Alien Coast
  • Released: January 28, 2022
  • Label: ATO
  • Format: Digital download, CD, Vinyl
Angels in Science Fiction
  • Released: April 21, 2023
  • Label: ATO
  • Format: Digital download, CD, Vinyl
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Live

TitleDetails
Spotify Sessions (Live at SXSW 2014)
  • Released: 2014
  • Label: Single Lock
  • Format: Streaming

Extended plays

TitleDetails
St. Paul and The Broken Bones - Live and In Person
  • Released: 2013
  • Single Lock
  • Format: Streaming
Greetings from St. Paul and The Broken Bones
  • Released: 2014
  • Label: Self-release
  • Format: N/A

Singles

TitleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
US
AAA

[22]
US
Rock
Air

[23]
ICE
[24]
MEX
Eng.

[25]
"Call Me"20146Half the City
"All I Ever Wonder"20161636Sea of Noise
"Flow with It (You Got Me Feeling Like)"[26]40
"Is It Me"
"Midnight on Earth"
"Convex"2018Young Sick Camellia
"Apollo"34436
"GotItBad"201931
"The Last Dance"202116The Alien Coast
"3000 AD Mass"
"Love Letter From a Red Roof Inn"
"Minotaur"2022
"Sea Star"[27]2023Angels In Science Fiction
"—" denotes singles that did not chart or were not released

References

  1. ^ "About The Secret Dangers". Sonicbids.com. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  2. ^ a b Hendrickson, Matt (16 January 2014). "Homegrown Soul: St. Paul and The Broken Bones". Garden and Gun.
  3. ^ Murrell, Sarah (April 2, 2014). "St. Paul and The Broken Bones get by with a little help from their friends". NUVO.
  4. ^ Orr, Dacey. "The Best of What's Next: St. Paul and The Broken Bones". Paste Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-04-07.
  5. ^ "St. Paul and The Broken Bones: Don't Mean a Thing". Southern Living. Archived from the original on 2015-01-28. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
  6. ^ "48 Best Things We Saw at SXSW 2014". Rolling Stone. 17 March 2014.
  7. ^ Powers, Ann. "First Listen: St. Paul and The Broken Bones, 'Half the City'". NPR.
  8. ^ "From Preacher to Grass Cutter to Earth-Shaking Soul Singer". Npr.org. Retrieved 2016-12-18.
  9. ^ "St. Paul and The Broken Bones perform "Call Me" off of their album "Half the City"". CBS.
  10. ^ "Trumpeter Allen Branstetter on St. Paul and the Broken Bones' New Album and Working with Alabama Shakes". reverb.com. 12 May 2016. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  11. ^ "Birmingham Events Weekend Roundup: Dec. 28-31". Happenin's In The 'Ham. 2017-12-28. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  12. ^ "St. Paul and the Broken Bones Plot New Album 'Sea of Noise'". Rollingstone.com. May 23, 2016. Retrieved June 27, 2016.
  13. ^ "2017 Daytime Emmy nominations: Full list of nominees". goldderby.com. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  14. ^ "St. Paul & The Broken Bones Announce New Album, Share First Single". Jambands.com. 27 June 2018. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  15. ^ "St. Paul and the Broken Bones". Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  16. ^ "Conversations with Kevin Leon". 2021-04-01. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  17. ^ "St. Paul & The Broken Bones Sign With ATO Records (EXCLUSIVE)". 2021-09-14. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  18. ^ "ST. PAUL & THE BROKEN BONES CHART BOLDLY CREATIVE PATHS IN 'THE ALIEN COAST'". 2022-01-24. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  19. ^ "St. Paul & The Broken Bones Mix Synths, Samples Into Fourth Album, 'The Alien Coast'". Billboard. 2021-10-05. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  20. ^ "In the Deep End With … St. Paul & The Broken Bones". 2023-04-05. Retrieved 2023-04-22.
  21. ^ "St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved October 17, 2018.
  22. ^ "St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  23. ^ "St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Chart History - Rock & Alternative Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  24. ^ Peaks in Iceland:
  25. ^ "St. Paul & The Broken Bones - Chart History - Mexico Ingles Airplay". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  26. ^ "Songs We Love: St. Paul & The Broken Bones, 'Flow With It (You Got Me Feeling Like)' : NPR". NPR. July 14, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  27. ^ "Triple A Future Releases". All Access. Retrieved January 2, 2022.

External links