The music itself has the uniquely cracked and aging feeling that only a slide guitar can bring: quite simply, it’s music to the ears. There’s also an incredibly uplifting feeling to much of the album, such as Getting’ Outta Here Alive which is both enigmatic and catchy; regardless of whether they’re about heartbreak or not.
The latest offering from Paul Carella, his partially self-titled album Carella, is an aural embodiment of old fashioned American blues and country music. His voice has a lot to live up to labouring under the great voices of the past, and he pulls it off incredibly well which is no small feat.
Carella launches into his album with the boot-tappingly catchy Red Sole Woman, a song that instantly conjures images of dusty Texan bars, ten-gallon hats and spurred boots. None of which could be assumed from his smooth Scottish lilt when he speaks, and yet his singing voice is as smooth as whisky and as thick as molasses – a deep, rich voice which drifts and hangs like smoke throughout the album. As if the first song wasn’t enough of a giveaway, the second song in (Makin’ Love With Our Boots On) cements his sound as having a distinctively cowboy tone that’s far from unwelcome; creating a dusty brand of country blues that’s difficult to ignore.
Each song on the album appears as if it could have been penned on Route 66 itself, a decidedly old fashioned US of A feeling is evoked by songs such as Hard for a Man on the Road, This Don’t Feel Like Home Anymore and quite notably Lucy-May. There’s something deeply reminiscent about his songs as they wash over the listener, absorbing them completely in their country tales of women and heartache. These songs adopt a style that sometimes appears close to lost; yet Carella snaps it back with a stylish panache, reminding his audience that country’s far from dead.
His music feels as honed and timeless as his songs intone, filled with uplifting, decisive riffs and enigmatic beats. A range of beautiful slide guitars, harmonicas and even a cello all add depth to each performance, creating comfortable, jaunty tunes that are capable to driving to distraction. These are old-fashioned driving tunes that wouldn’t feel out of place blasting out of Cadillac as it hurtles through the Nevada desert.
Carella plays carefully crafted songs that transport you to a different time. This is juke box music of the highest degree; the kind of music that grew up around bar fights and was always left the last one standing.
For more information on Paul Carella, check out his website:
Review by Joe Knipe