Wichita's James Paul is a solo musician but he can claim deep support from some fellow performing artists--his family.
It's easy to hear some musical influences in Wichita singer-songwriter James Paul's music. Gospel and soul are clear touchstones. But there are also touches of folk and country music, elements, he says, that came from two of his biggest direct influences, his mother and father.
“They always emphasized being able to hear the words," said Paul. "And being able to actually understand what the song talks about. I fell in love with kick drums and snare drums so, it’s like, I have a different musical style but a lot of folk and bluegrass and those roots are definitely in my music. I want to say that I’m a contemporary singer-songwriter that fell in love with electronics.”
On his new release, Colors, his fourth overall, James Paul is joined by this brother, Scott Fowler. And although both men are in their mid twenties, it's clear that he remains very much the older brother.
“He started playing with me when I was around 20 and he was around 15 or 16," said Paul. "So, we’d kind of jam out at home and then we’d get the gigs and I’d have to get him in because he wasn’t old enough.”
Scott Fowler points out that as siblings he and his brother have a bond that runs deeper than most band mates.
"Me and Paul have a connection musically that I don’t really have with other people," said Fowler. "It’s great because we’ll have these moments throughout a set or throughout a show where we’re totally in line. So, maybe it’s the same blood that’s running through our veins that gives us that.”
"Yeah, it’s been fun watching Scott and watching him come into his own as a musician and me being able to just step back and watch that process," said Paul. "And Mom and Dad don’t think that they have anything to do with that. But I beg to differ.”
James Paul performs Wednesday evening at the Crown Uptown theatre with Rudy Love Jr. and Snarky Puppy.