Record Review

Record Review

Possessed by Paul James

There Will Be Nights When I'm Lonely (Hillgrass Bluebilly Records)

Gothic folk pervading 2010's Feed the Family shows up only occasionally on There Will Be Nights When I'm Lonely. Instead, the fourth album from Possessed by Paul James, the spirited musical moniker of Konrad Wert, finds him using Austin musicians: Lloyd Maines provides steel to the serene "Back Down Here on Earth" and honky-tonk counterpart "38 Year Old Cocktail Waitress"; harpist Walter Daniels blows on the slinky, dobro-riddled "Dragons"; and members of East Cameron Folkcore ("Songs We Used to Sing") and the Weary Boys play pivotal roles. The results are a collection far more profound that the last. That's evident from LP opener "Hurricane," an anthem about the inspiration Wert gleans from his special education schoolchildren that gusts like a storm front. Those looking for Family's stripped sound should queue up "Heavy" and album closer "Pills Beneath Her Pillow," a survey of depression and loneliness Wert backs with a slow guitar. The latter of those two themes gets an altered look on the album's title track – fronted by a rousing, minute-long violin overture – as Wert sings, "Please know that I will always love you and these pictures in my mind" over his delicately plucked fiddle chords. Timeless.

***.5

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