Keith, John Paul
Memphis Circa 3amBig Legal Mess
***JOHN PAUL KEITH, the brilliant singer-songwriter and blistering guitarist who exploded out of a self-imposed musical exile in Memphis with 2009's critically acclaimed Spills and Thrills and 2011's The Man That Time Forgot, returns with Memphis Circa 3AM—his most accomplished and moving collection of songs yet. Less a tribute to the spirit, soul and sound of the city than the living, crackling embodiment of it, Memphis Circa 3AM finds Keith reaching the songwriting depths and musical heights that his previous two releases foreshadowed. Produced by the truly legendary ROLAND JANES—house guitarist for Sun Records in the ‘50s and longtime engineer and producer at Sam Phillips Recording Services—the album is a time-stopping 12-song duet between two deeply kindred artists, as Keith's songs and Janes' direction achieve a sonic balance that is both familiar and original. Cut live to two-inch tape—with Janes providing direction from the booth and not a computer in sight—the album sounds deeply rooted and incredibly fresh at the same time. On each song Keith is backed with a new power and delicacy by the ONE FOUR FIVES. And as his band musically ups the ante, Keith meets it with his fi nest songs to date. There are few songwriters today that can match his ability to invest a simple turn of phrase with so many layers of meaning.