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Saturday September 20, 2014
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Paul Burch

 

continued

Well, I made my move, and I'm still your man.Many of Burch's songs offer a simple lyrical model and then destabilize it with an element that points back toward our preoccupation with love. Or sometimes the image at the center of the lyric may be unusual ("Montreal, we had it all in our hands, and we rolled around like dice"). What he's trying to do, in the gentlest way, is get us to hear the cliches of country love songs in a new way and to ask what they tell us about love and the part it plays in our lives.

Burch's band, the WPA Ballclub, provides a perfect instrumental analog for these forms. It's a small group, with the mannerisms of traditional country--the exaggerated steel guitar notes, the twanging guitars--pared down to a sparse, mostly rhythmic unit. Then quiet but highly original and detailed electric guitar, or another instrument, is added in. The instrumentalists, like the lyrics, find fresh inspiration in their source material.

Burch's background combines folk, country, rock, and a stint in the hard-to-classify Nashville experimental band, Lambchop. He's an absolute original who has attracted a core of underground admirers in Music City over the almost fifteen years he's been at it. With an appearance a couple of years ago at the Ypsilanti Songwriting Festival and now at Nashbash, he's poised to find a critical mass of people who get his unique creations here as well.    (end of article)

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