It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. I have been traveling a lot. Here. There. Everywhere. I have been spending quite a bit of time in Alabama. Before I took this job, I didn’t know much about Alabama, other than what I’d learned in history about the Civil Rights Movement (I will never forget the tragedy at the 16th Street Baptist Church). I knew about the Tuskegee Airmen. The Vulcan statue in Birmingham. I even knew the Skynyrd song. But I knew little more than that…oh yeah, they do like college football here. You don’t just say “Good Morning” oh no…the typical greeting is “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle” depending on which side you’re on.
As I’ve visited this beautiful state, I have become enamored with the people I’ve met. It’s an eclectic and diverse mix from all walks of life. I have yet to encounter anyone who was rude or less than helpful. I am sure they are out there but for the most part, I’ve had a great experience during my travels here.
Tonight, I am coming to you live from Birmingham. It is often referred to as the “Pittsburgh of the South” because of its iron and steel industries. Birmingham was named after Birmingham, England (for the music trivia junkies…this is where the band Black Sabbath formed). But I am not here to give you a travel guide review on the Birmingham area. No. I am here to dish on the local flavor. Not the food (although there is an amazing Greek restaurant I love) but I would like to dish on the music scene.
Let me put a disclaimer out there…I have not visited any of the local night spots. I am usually beyond exhausted when I get back to my room, so that’s out of the question. (Guess I am getting old…can’t hang like I used to) But my crazy brain somehow managed to remember that a band I enjoy is from Birmingham, St. Paul and the Broken Bones. Then, as I was getting coffee in the hotel lobby, I picked up a copy of Alabama magazine and there they were. There’s an article in there about them and their new tour. That was affirmation…
When I returned from dinner, I pulled up some of their music on YouTube and remembered why I love them so. I was in my room with hands up, head down, about to testify! Their sound is such a throwback to the late-great Otis Redding, one of my favorite artists of all time. (On a side note, I worked with his daughter for a brief time in my life. Delightful person!) Anywho…St. Paul and the Broken Bones have a sound unlike anyone else on the charts. And they are not brand new on the scene, but they are new enough that you may not have heard of them. So let me do you a solid and share a song.
Here is one of their impromptu outside performances. I love how they just go for it! And they have a brass section for my friend who loves the brass, the lovely Lady G
Give them a listen. This is a cover of one of my favorite Otis Redding songs. And they do a mean version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” so if you want more, look that one up. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!