St. Paul and The Broken Bones is a six-piece soul band from Alabama, which formed in 2012. The band fronted by vocalist Paul Janeway (centre).
St. Paul and The Broken Bones is a six-piece soul band from Alabama, which formed in 2012. The band fronted by vocalist Paul Janeway (centre). David McClister

BLUESFEST DAY 2: The day we discovered St Paul’s soul

BLUESFEST audiences, over the Kendrick hangover, were chilled and having fun on the second day of Bluesfest, but they had no idea what it was about to happen.

A six piece from Alabama made their way to Crossroads Stage in their first Australian gig ever. At the end of the 75-minute set, audiences were in awe, and so were the six men on stage.

"Y'all got some beaches, pretty people, a pretty festival and pretty good company - and I'm enjoying all of it" - Blind...

Posted by Bluesfest Byron Bay on Friday, March 25, 2016

St. Paul and The Broken Bones is a six-piece soul band based out of Birmingham, Alabama, which formed in 2012. The band is composed of Paul Janeway, Browan Lollar, Jesse Phillips, Andrew Lee, Al Gamble, and Allen Branstetter.

Front man Paul Janeway's nickname, St. Paul, refers to the vocalist's background in the church.

On stage last night, he mentioned that, like many a legendary soul singer, he started singing in church.

Janeway, a native of the small town of Chelsea, Alabama, was raised on the gospel side, in a non-denominational, Pentecostal-leaning local church.

He is well known for his extravagant taste in shoes (see video below), and for his first Bluesfest show he sported silver glittery ones.

The kind of vocals Janeway offered to Bluesfest audiences evoked the wonderful sounds from fellow Alabama-native Brittany Howard, of Alabama Shakes fame. They both leave heart and soul on stage, and have a histrionic way about them that is captivating, very personal, and compelling to watch and listen to.

But behind Janeway, a talented young band matched his voice with musical talent, cohesion and virtuoso quality. Same as Alabama Shakes, St Paul and The Broken Bones is a tight group of artists where the singer is good but so are all the musicians.

"They told us this festivals was incredible, they weren't lying baby - Bluesfest it's time to shake your arse!" said Janeway to a spellbound audience that gave as much love as they received form the band.

Buy their music (Half the City, their first full-length album was recently released in Australia), and watch them live.

We can only hope we have them back soon.

  • At Crossroads Stage, Bluesfest, today Saturday 3pm
  • At Jambalaya Stage, Bluesfest, this Monday 4.30pm.

A day for the ladies

Three women carried the proceeds on Friday with grace, talent and elegance: Grace Potter, Rhiannon Giddens and Elle King.

Very different in music style and voices, all of them had a common denominator: they presented shows that were strong, powerful and unapologetically feminine.

Grace Potter is a Bluesfest veteran but King and Giddens are new to our shores.

This three women did not just deserve to be at Bluesfest this year, they deserve to come back.

The day was so good even Byron Shire residents and actors Chris Hemsworth and wife Elsa Pataky were there:

What is on Saturday:

  • D'angelo (120-minute show) at Mojo stage from 10pm
  • Joe Bonamassa (120-minute show) at Crossroads from 10pm
  • Playing For Change Band at Jambalaya from 7.30pm
  • Irish Mythen at Delta stage from 12noon
  • Jeff Martin (The Tea Party) at Juke Joint from 8.50pm

For details visit the Bluesfest wesbite.