The Austin Chronicle

SXSW 2014 Records

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, March 14, 2014, Music

Paul Burch

Fevers (Plowboy)

Paul Burch's ninth album Fevers might be his most diverse. Known for a retro sound that's uniquely modern, the longtime Nashvillian joins with his band, the WPA Ballclub, and co-producer, multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin for a mix of honky-tonk, blues, and the unclassifiable. He starts with a curveball, the traditional "Cluck Old Hen" done as a raga of sorts, then moves on to Bakersfield with "Straight Tears, No Chaser," and lands on Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Ocean of Tears," a smoky crooning duet with Neko Case backer Kelly Hogan. Other surprises include a dulcet lullaby "(I Love) A Melancholy Baby," Cajun-fiddle-infused "Sac Au Lait (Acadia's Song)," and the gently swaying mariachi/country hybrid "Sagrada." On paper, it sounds like Burch tries a couple too many styles, but Fevers holds together thanks to the WPA Ballclub's easy yet skillful musicianship and Burch's effortless vocal style. (9:30pm, Saxon Pub)


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