In the new album Kisses on the Bottom (the title reference the location of kisses on a letter, not what you might think, ya perv), Paul does two originals and a dozen cover songs, essaying the “standards” songbook territory done by so many others, except with a few key differences. One, it’s not a typical approach with orchestra and isolated vocalist, but rather a selection of songs supported by some heavy hitters: Diana Krall on piano, for example. (She also contributes to the arrangements for the songs.) Two, the songs are often, but not always, somewhat less familiar or less frequently performed than the typical standards album, in part because of Paul’s perspective of hearing the songs from a British Isles point of view.
Also on this week’s show, host Todd Berryman previews the forthcoming album by the Chieftains, Voice of Ages, due on February 21st. It’s a combination of traditional or trad-leaning songs and modern performers, most of which are current within the past decade, including Punch Brothers, Bon Iver and the Decemberists. He’ll play a song called “School Days Over” with the Low Anthem, a composition by Ewan MacColl (responsible for the Pogues track “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” as well as – believe it or not – the Roberta Flack song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”), a performance that will pretty much involve you needing a box of tissues close at hand.
Some great tunes afoot, on this week’s OverEasy, 7 to 11 am AND pm, on 92.3 WTTS.