Possessed By Paul James

Possessed By Paul James
There Will Be Nights When I am Lonely

Hillgrass Bluebilly Records

By Georgetown Fats
March 2014

I recognize my own personal hypocrisy as I am quick to label something ‘not blues’ and turn my nose up at the offending music, but I am giddy every time I hear Konrad Wert, the one man behind the one-man-band of Possessed By Paul James. If you can’t hear the blues in the material, then just listen and enjoy music that transcends labels and pigeonholes.

On “Hurricane,” Wert immediately kickstarts the There Will Be Nights When I am Lonely CD by taking a violin and other stringed instruments usually reserved for classical music through a decidedly punk rock work out. The title of the tune is entirely apt; just listening to the song requires an expenditure of energy do to everything Wert squeezes out of his one-man band.

The song “Songs We Used to Sing” on the disk is a more fleshed out treatment than what can be seen from Wert’s live performances on the web. While compelling in the one-man band environment, the fleshed out recording version only gains power and grace with additional levels of instrumentation. Wert has a fine ear for arrangement as there are no additional layers of instruments which could be deemed superfluous, while his sparse one-man band arrangements lack nothing either.

While I would not claim to know the exact interpretation of the lyrics, I am taking the gist of “Heavy” as a reminder that regardless of class or economic lines, and while we all have problems, there is an opportunity to both make the world better and yourself by reaching out to help someone else. It is admirable and heady theme for a song if I got the gist right; if not then Wert gets a karmic assist for my next few good deeds for implanting the seed.

As blues fans ruefully wring our collective hands together over the loss of older blues musicians and a collective blues scene while being openly mocked by noted reality show host and hospitality/bar consultant John Taffer, listening to Possessed By Paul James leaves me optimistic. If the future of blues is a hybrid of Americana with blues and rockabilly then in the hands of artists like Konrad Wert my own future with the blues remains bright. I

f you would like to hear what all the hype and buzz is about and can’t make your way down to Austin Texas, then check out at Possessed By Paul James at http://ppjrecords.com

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