PAUL BURCH was born in Washington, DC and grew up on the Arthur Godfrey Farm in Virginia, and in Oxford, MS. Local string band festivals provided an early musical inspiration. Burch started singing and playing the drums when he was nine years old. As a teenager he learned to play guitar and harmonica and started writing songs. All the while young Burch listened and drew inspiration from a myriad of musical forms: Arthur Alexander, John Lee Hooker, Floyd Tillman, Buddy Holly, and Bob Willis. After graduating from Purdue University, Paul traveled east to play the folk clubs in Cambridge, MA and Greenwich Village. While in Cambridge, Burch joined the Bag Boys, one of New England’s longest running folk & country bands.
In 1994 Paul moved to Nashville, hoping to meet the musicians behind his favorite records. Finding that Nashville had all but forgotten its past, Burch and steel guitarist Paul Niehaus (Lambchop) formed THE WPA BALLCLUB - a hard country quintet.
Earning their chops performing nightly marathon shows at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge (the legendary honky-tonk where Willie Nelson and Roger Miller use to refine their craft), Burch and WPA were soon featured in Billboard and other national publications as part of a downtown revival of country music. Along the way the band found support from a diverse group of fans and admirers including Owen Bradley, Marianne Faithful, and legendary Grand Ole Opry announcer Eddie Stubbs.
BLUE NOTES, the new album on Merge Records, was produced and recorded by Burch and WPA guitarist George Bradfute. Musically and lyrically the album is darker and quieter than previous releases and further enhances the WPA’s reputation for putting country instrumentation and rhythms into new and beautiful combinations. Blue Notes features the WPA Ballclub along with poet and songwriter Tom House, Richard Bennett (guitarist - producer for Phil Lee and Emmylou Harris), C. Scott Chase of Lambchop, and Tommy Goldsmith of the Nashville Jug Band.
Paul Burch has been a member of Lambchop since 1995 and also appears on albums by Vic Chesnutt, the Bag Boys and Josh Rouse.