For more than two decades, Paul Burch's modern fusion of American roots music has attracted characters and collaborators from punk to honky tonk. “At the risk of being impeached by the bluegrass purists,” wrote legendary Rolling Stone music critic Chet Flippo, “I think Burch is the best duet partner Ralph Stanley has found since his brother, Carter Stanley, died in 1966.”
Paul Burch’s latest album Meridian Rising is an imagined autobiography of American music pioneer Jimmie Rodgers and features Burch's WPA Ballclub along with Billy Bragg, Fats Kaplin, Tim O'Brien, Jon Langford (Mekons, Waco Brothers), William Tyler, and Garry Tallent of the E Street Band.
Meridian Rising was named among the Best Albums of the Year (2016) by All Music and was featured in Rolling Stone, NPR, Magnet, Nashville Scene, Oxford American, and the Guardian. And Pop Matters calls Burch as “one of the finest contemporary roots performers – not to mention one of the best damn songwriters – operating today.”
Paul Burch was first singled out in a 1996 Billboard cover story about the new genre of Americana and cited his debut Pan American Flash as “extraordinary … establishing Burch as a leader in marrying country’s roots tradition with a modern sensibility.” Pan American Flash made No. 5 on Amazon.com’s Best Country Albums of the Decade, and all of Burch’s subsequent albums have landed on pop, rock and country “best of” lists in the U.S. and U.K.
In 2015, Burch performed at the White House with Hip Hop for Public Health as part of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign with Chuck D and Doug E. Fresh. And his salute to Buddy Holly, Words of Love, found a fan in Holly’s widow, Maria Elena: “Paul has everything Buddy wanted to hear in an artist — his own style and his own sound.”
Peter Guralnick, author of biographies of Sam Phillips, Elvis Presley, and Sam Cooke, says: "I'm a Paul Burch fan. How could I not be? His music never fails to achieve its purpose, what Sun Records founder Sam Phillips has deemed the unequivocal purpose of every kind of music: to lift up, to deepen, to intensify the spirit of audience and musicians alike."