Session 147: Paul Fonfara & Jim White<- Back
September 21, 2016
"I've been what they call a professional musician going on fifteen years now. Prior to that I'd been a secret musician most of my grown life, writing songs just to fend off the loneliness, trying to make sense of my nonsensical existence. I wrote slowly, carefully working my way across a good-sized minefield of worrisome psychological issues. The songwriting helped, like a form of therapy. I wrote hundreds of truly terrible songs in a long procession of dismal apartments and hotel rooms, scattered across the USA and over in Europe. Wretched song after wretched song I wrote. The few people who heard them ran from the room when I started playing, but I didn't really care. It was therapy. I was trying to get better, doing what one friend called "the talking cure"."
Paul Fonfara is a man awash in image and sound as the writer, guitarist and clarinetist behind Painted Saints. A transplant to Minneapolis from Denver, where Fonfara cut his teeth playing in the original lineup of DeVotchKa, then moved on to record and tour internationally with bands like 16 Horsepower/Woven Hand, and with Jim White on David Byrnes Luaka Bop label. When Fonfara settled in Minneapolis six years ago, his well-honed and exploratory talents were immediately recognized as he became a member of local favorites Spaghetti Western String Co., balancing the precision and delicacy of that band with the raucous playfulness of the Brass Messengers, and the odd cinematic twists of Dreamland Faces.