WE’VE taken a look at this before here at Backseat Mafia, but at that point it was visually denuded as you might say: and given it’s a bit of a raunchy simmer in terms of tuneage, we’ve more than happy to go around the block one more time for John Paul Keith’s “How Can You Walk Away”. The video’s just down there, folks.
He’s an artist deeply embedded in the the blues of his home city, and “How Can You Walk Away” comes as a little coquettish tease for the follow-up to his 2018 album, Heart Shaped Shadow; it’ll be out on Wild Honey Records come February 19th and it’s entitled The Rhythm Of The City.
John Paul says of the track: “Sometimes you sit down to write a song and you don’t get very far, no matter how hard you work on it. But sometimes a song just appears, almost fully-formed, and it’s very exciting when that happens.
“‘How Can You Walk Away’ felt like it wrote itself. And I knew right away I wanted to open the album with it. Sometimes you just know.
“This is my first album to feature a horn section on every track, and for this song, we chose to use only tenor and baritone saxophone, a combination that is very powerful, especially in a minor key. There’s just something really sexy about that sound.”
It’s his fifth solo album, his first to be self-produced, and it’s a love letter to his city.
“I was at my home in Memphis one evening and heard a car pass by blasting Al Green’s ‘Love and Happiness’, which was recorded just a couple miles away,” he says.
“I was struck by how Howard Grimes’ drumming just seems to embody something about the feel and the pace of life for me here. I thought to myself, ‘Howard Grimes is the rhythm of the city.’ My next thought was, ‘That sounds like a title track.’”
And the video is deliciously Edward Hopper-nocturnal, as John Paul laments in a corner bar; in the corner of his trailer; Wanders the darkened underpasses wielding, what else? – A Telecaster. The city streets are a lonely place for the lovelorn.
John Paul Keith’s The Rhythm Of The City will be released on digital, trad black and limited edition blue vinyl by Wild Honey Records on February 19th; you can pre-order your copy from his Bandcamp page, here and from Wild Honey themselves, here.