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Paul Burch

FOOL FOR LOVE (Bloodshot) • Paul Burch

Great creative country music like God intended it to be, damn it. Burch penned and croons the hell out of a dozen endearing songs. His global sterling reputation is no accident. He's got the goods. He's not ret-ro and not alternative, just authentic.

I enjoy most of the spins that can be applied to Country music, with the exception of the flaccid commercial spin that Music Row specializes in. Fool for Love has a traditional heart, but thanks to its mastermind and his cohorts, it also incorporates elements of R&B, rock and roll, pop, gospel and blues. And throughout the CD there is a thread of ambient Country that is my favorite skein of all.

Paul cut a lot of it in his Pan-American Studios, but my favorite songs were recorded by George Bradfute, in his Tone Chaparral Studio. (He's starting to show up regularly in our pages.) George is one of the charter members of Paul's lauded WPA Ballclub. Bradfute is credited with engineering and Balance Supervision. He also arranged horns, co-arranged strings and played his usual array of instruments: alto and baritone guitars, quatro, cello, saxophones and bass clarinet, and strings. The artist himself tracks a slew of instruments, including rhythm, pedal, looped and tremolo guitars. He plays tick tack, upright, electric and 6 string bass, piano, organ, and drums. WPA's Fats Kaplin (a multi-instrumentalist who tours and records with many fine outfits) plays mostly beautiful pedal steel, but also fiddle and accordion. Also Dennis Crouch plays upright bass, Richard Bennett various and great guitars, and Tony Crow tracks Wurlitzer piano.

I've heard a lot of records rich in reverb, but this one is tremolo deep, and I dig that. It grooves, but the edges are round, largely due to the crooner's soft (as opposed to quiet) delivery. It sounds old time, but not in any contrived way. It wasn't designed to be, but simply is. A quick sample of a few cuts on the Listen page will put you on the wavelength. Contact Bloodshot Records if you're hooked before the late October release date.

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photographer scott d. smith

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