First Listen: Possessed by Paul James

Local folker unleashes ‘Hurricane’

Possessed by Paul James
Possessed by Paul James
Courtesy of Possessed by Paul James

Communication still jangles as the single most important element of folk music. Possessed by Paul James goes heart-to-heart on every song.

The banjo-raking, head-shaking folk inferno, known offstage as Konrad Wert, makes a connection with two struggling characters in “Hurricane,” a powerful plea from the soul delivered over a frenzied violin melody and backed by the galloping rhythm of Weary Boys’ rhythm section Cary Ozanian and Darren Sluyter.

It’s the lead cut on Possessed By Paul James’ new full-length, There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely, out tody on local roots label Hillgrass Bluebilly Records. The album, his fourth, was recorded in Austin at Summit Street Studio with Grammy award-winning Cris Burns and features a host of collaborators, including local folk-punk orchestra East Cameron Folkcore and pedal steel hero Lloyd Maines.

Possessed By Paul James hits Antone’s Saturday night to celebrate the album’s release. He’ll be joined by Ozanian, Sluyter, and esteemed Austin harp-blower Walter Daniels – a rare onstage collaboration for the usual solo act.

Here’s “Hurricane.”

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