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Photo: Tom Reese / Courtesy of the artist

Paula Boggs Band’s “A Finer Thread” Loops Through the Intricacies of Love (premiere)

Paula Boggs and her Seattle "soulgrass" sextet examine love's vulnerability in their new-fangled folk tale, "A Finer Thread".

Since their debut album in 2010, the Paula Boggs Band have been meshing musical elements spanning the roots gamut to develop their accessible, eclectic sound. Folk, rock, jazz, R&B, and even ingredients of world music set the basis for the Seattle band’s “soulgrass” music—a soul-stirring menagerie of sound. It’s a recipe as varied as Boggs’ professional background. Outside of music, the frontwoman has worked as Starbucks’ top lawyer and the vice president of Dell, earned Army Airborne wings as a Regular Officer, served on President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Boggs brings her finesse and staunch know-how to her sextet, acting as the soulful, communicative thread to pulls everything together.

The bands’ Electrokitty Sessions EP is their latest release, representing the next evolutionary movement in expressive new layers of musical output. “A Finer Thread” leans into jazz and folk tones; the tune features sprightly, informed piano melodies, deep-grooving bass-plucks, and the creaking, emotive flourish of a well-tempered fiddle. Vocally, Boggs takes on the role of soul chanteuse, accompanied by a tight collective of backing vocals to bring up the back end.

Boggs tells PopMatters, “Love can be complex. The story behind ‘A Finer Thread’ begins with a lovers’ quarrel in the middle of a Santa Fe grocery store parking lot in the dead of winter. The snow was almost a foot high with temperatures in the mid-20s at best. I can’t remember what we were fighting about, but the song ends with vulnerability and gratefulness. Hopefully, listeners will relate to that story. It’s real. It’s life.”

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