Today I wanna talk about an interesting, to say the least, one-man band; Possessed By Paul James. I first came to know of Possessed Paul James because he was doing The Folk Singer with Scott H. Biram, and anyone affiliated with SHB gets immediate examination by myself. To say I was put off is putting it lightly. I didn’t like what came out of my speakers in any way shape or form. That would have been the end of any Autopsy/Possessed By Paul James relationship, had it not been for his cd showing up in my mailbox the other day and, as I said, anyone who affiliates with Scott Biram starts off on my good side, so I decided to at least give the album a listen.
Looking back, I dunno how or why I wasn’t digging his stuff the first time I heard it. My only theory is that perhaps his myspace profile was streaming poorly-recorded live takes or something, because this album is wonderful.
Konrad Wert was raised in the Florida Everglades by an Amish Menonite preacher, taking on his stage name in honor of this father and grandfather, and he now makes his home in Texas. Released by Voodoo Rhythm Records, Cold and Blind features Konrad incorporating fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, stomp box, the occasional diddly boe, grunts, hollers and a kind honesty that you rarely hear, but once you do, cannot deny. The Daily Texan described Konrad’s live show as follows:
“Wert is known for contorting his face in pleasure and apparent pain, and subsequently shakes, convulses, stomps and yells throughout his performances.”
Possessed By Paul James will be playing Deep Blues Festival this year, so I’ll get to witness it all for myself. Till then, I’ll just keep Cold and Blind on my essential listening iPod playlist. If you are in the mood for some lo-fi, under-produced, old-time Southern folk with a dash of everglades blues that cuts through all the bullshit, then Cold and Blind could be the album for you.