Backlife

 

For over two decades, Paul Burch's modern roots music has attracted fans and collaborators from punk to honky tonk. “At the risk of being impeached by the bluegrass purists,” wrote legendary music critic Chet Flippo, “I think Burch is the best duet partner Ralph Stanley has found since his brother, Carter Stanley, died in 1966.” Burch's new album Light Sensitive (Plowboy Records) was named "Best of Nashville 2020" by the Nashville Scene and features a dozen parables about living in the American south.
 
Produced with GRAMMY winning bassist Dennis Crouch, Light Sensitive features instrumental ace Fats Kaplin with guests Luther Dickinson, Aaron Lee Tasjan, Robyn Hitchcock, and Amy Rigby along with Burch's longtime band the WPA Ballclub.

Burch's discography includes collaborations with artists from across styles and generations including Ralph Stanley, the Waco Brothers, Mark Knopfler, and Billy Bragg along with contributions to albums by R&B legend Candi Staton, Lambchop, and Vic Chesnutt.
 
Billboard called his 1996 debut Pan American Flash, extraordinary … establishing Burch as a leader in marrying country’s roots tradition with a modern sensibility". The album went on to be ranked No. 5 on Amazon.com’s Best Country Albums of the Decade. PB's contribution to Hip Hop for Public Health, part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign, led to a performance at the White House with Chuck D and Doug E. Fresh. Pop Matters called the Jimmie Rodgers-inspired Meridian Rising "another welcome gem from one of the finest contemporary roots performers, not to mention one of the best damn songwriters, operating today." And PB's salute to Buddy Holly, Words of Love, found a fan in Holly’s widow, Maria Elena: “Paul has everything Buddy wanted to hear in an artist — his own style and his own sound.” The new album Light Sensitive received 4-star reviews in American Songwriter, No Depression, and All Music and was voted Best of 2020 by the Nashville Scene.

Peter Guralnick, author of biographies of Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, and Sam Cooke, wrote about PB & WPAB for the album Still Your Man:

I'm a Paul Burch fan.  How could I not be?

How many other contemporary artists have forged a body of work of such cleverness and coherence, careful craftsmanship and white-hot heat, with all the zeal of the most dedicated student and all the passion of a true original?
It’s different every night, but it never fails to achieve its purpose, what Sun Records founder Sam Phillips has deemed the unequivocal purpose of every kind of music: to lift up, to deepen, to intensify the spirit of audience and musicians alike.  Listen to the music. Every time it offers the possibility that this may be the best one yet.


Visit the Discography page to read more.