Over a decade of critically acclaimed albums, Paul Burch has established himself as an artist with a personal and original take on American music. Burch's sound is a riveting mix of irreverence and respect that ties rock and roll, blues and country grooves with world rhythms into unimagined combinations. And all of it is recorded with a sense of atmosphere that feels cinematic. The results make for vibrant, haunting music that seem unmoored to time or continent. USA Today praised Burch for “music that sounds thoroughly modern but completely unlike contemporary country” and Entertainment Weekly called him "a modern day Jimmie Rodgers." Burch's new album Fevers (2013), produced with famed multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin (Jack White, Beck) is on Plowboy Records.
A native of Washington D.C., Burch began his career as Nashville’s hip honky tonk troubadour in the early 90s. Performing nightly three hour shows downtown at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge--the former hangout to Nashville's most revered songwriters incliuding Hank Williams, Roger Miller and Willie Nelson--Burch and his band the WPA Ballclub covered rarely heard gems by Moon Mullican, Ernest Tubb, Floyd Tilman, and Johnny & Jack. The Lower Broadway honky tonk scene became a brief hot spot attracting international press attention and large crowds.
Burch’s 1996 debut, Pan American Flash, however, was an album of all originals. Self produced and recorded live for around $1,000, it was hailed by Rolling Stone and Billboard critic Chet Flippo as “extraordinary, establishing Burch as a leader in marrying country's roots tradition with a modern sensibility” and placed #5 in the Top 10 Country Records of the 90’s by the editors of Amazon.com.
Over his career, Burch has collaborated with a mix of equally ineffable artists including Ralph Stanley, Mark Knopfler, Vic Chesnutt, Lambchop, Exene Cervenka of X, Beverly Knight, Ray Price, and the GRAMMY nominated comeback by Charlie Louvin. Burch also served as music consultant to the PBS film The Appalachians. His album Last of My Kind was a song companion to Tony Earley's NY Times bestseller Jim the Boy.
Words of Love/Songs of Buddy Holly (2011) was inspired by Holly’s live arrangements which prominently featured the Cricket's legendary rhythm section and was praised by Maria Elena, Holly's widow. "Words of Love is a beautiful album,” said Maria Elena. “He has everything Buddy wanted to hear in an artist--his own style and his own sound.” Burch’s 2009 album Still Your Man, featured Kelly Hogan and Tim O’Brien and earned a spot on the GRAMMY ballot for Best Americana Album of 2009.
Peter Guralnick, author of biographies of Elvis Presley (Last Train to Memphis, Careless Love) and Sam Cooke (Dream Boogie) says: "I'm a Paul Burch fan. How could I not be? His music never fails to achieve its purpose, what Sun Records founder Sam Phillips has deemed the unequivocal purpose of every kind of music: to lift up, to deepen, to intensify the spirit of audience and musicians alike.