Chances are if you haven’t had your ear to the ground real close in Texas you haven’t heard of Possessed by Paul James. But that’s okay, because there is still plenty of time to get lost in his music. Feed the Family, the latest album from PPJ, is full of emotional and lyrical complexity that’s balanced perfectly with his exuberant style of strumming.
Konrad Wert, the one man band that is Possessed by Paul James, doesn’t bother with any of the pretenses popular in a lot of today’s music. He just steps up to the mic, picks up his instrument, and goes. This can’t be more exemplified than in “Take off your Mask”, the eighth song of the album. He sings, a guttural vibrato echoed in this guitar, about a dangerous liaison with a married women, and the bitterness of being interrupted by her husband. The recording is a sloppy perfection, picking up every single excited holler and exuberant tap of his foot, reminiscent of the days when bluesmen had to play through their mistakes. These aren’t mistakes though. The little “imperfections” are exactly what makes Possessed by Paul James the answer to my prayers. In a day when music en mass is stripped down in digital perfection, it’s refreshing to see an artist so possessed by his own music he can’t help but tap, holler, or yell in the middle of a take.
If I haven’t made it clear yet, you need to listen to this album. You will be the better for it.