For a couple of years, before I heard Paul Jost singing, I heard about Paul Jost — from other singers!
Jost’s voice is lyrical but with a breezy rasp. He’s always very emotional, always telling the story of a song. And he tells stories all across the musical spectrum on Simple Life — from “Caravan” to “If I Only Had a Brain” from The Wizard of Oz; from Jerome Kern and Ray Noble standards to Bob Dylan and Beatles songs.
One highlight is the rapturous folk anthem “Shenendoah.” Another is the song “Everybody’s Talkin” from the movie Midnight Cowboy. Jost sings the latter as a remembrance of Mark Murphy, with whom he played drums and from whom he learned so much about singing. Murphy’s last years were troubled; he was misdiagnosed with dementia. Jost sings as if hanging on to his sanity and his soul.
Here are Jost and his accompanists performing the standard “Young and Foolish.”
Videography: David Tallacksen
Audio mix and video edit: Corey Goldberg