× Possessed By Paul James brings "As We Go Wandering" to Europe next summer

Possessed By Paul James brings "As We Go Wandering" to Europe next summer


Konrad Wert is a man of many voices. As a Special Education teacher, he is articulate and intentional. As an advocate for justice in education he is passionate. But as an artist and musician, better known by his stage name, Possessed By Paul James, his voice is expressive, holding rest and action in tandem. After a few years away from music, Wert is returning with a new album, As We Go Wandering, bringing a rejuvenated voice to Possessed By Paul James. His previous record Where There Will Be Nights was crying out on behalf of the dilemmas faced by families, students, and teachers nationwide, As We Go Wandering brings a sense of peace. But as the title suggests, in Possessed By Paul James’ estimation, perhaps counterintuitively, peace, rest, and movement dance hand in hand. 

This tension of justice and peace, rest and movement, unity and self-expression are at the heart of Possessed By Paul James’ music and performances. Raised Mennonite among pacifists and service workers in a small community in southwest Florida, Wert’s upbringing brought strict guidelines of what could come into the house. “The aesthetic was very church oriented,” he says. “We had this typified image of Jesus in the living room, Mary in the hallway, and a painting of the Last Supper in the bedroom. Musically, we didn’t get anything heavier than The Monkees.” Upon leaving home however, Wert discovered punk rock. Coming from a rural town, Wert had been exposed to a lot of roots music, and where others would have merely seen a jarring conflict with their upbringing, Wert saw an interface. “I actually found that in many ways, punk was like urban blues, you know, just with more energy and amplification. I dove in and started getting to know the Stooges, Patti Smith. I realized ‘Wow, punk is beautiful. Punk is to the street, punk is to the listener.’” To paraphrase David Byrne, the punk movement was defined by attitude rather than style, something that sought to remove the boundaries between spectator and artist and making everyone a participant in what Patti Smith called, “just another word for freedom.

For Wert, Possessed By Paul James became a way to create an environment for expression and reflection in a way that can foster wholeness from a sense of community. “We could look at the complexities of expression, the conflict of ego and humility, and servitude within the Mennonite-Amish community and in our rumspringa - that was incredibly impactful for me. Because, how do you express yourself, and in a way that’s not completely arrogant? How do you do that in a way that reflects what really matters? That’s a huge element of what Possessed By Paul James is.” 

As We Go Wandering is about the question of where we go from here. How do we move forward,” says Konrad Wert. 
Well we are looking forward to have Possessed By Paul James over for an European tour in June and July:

04/06: Attnang, AUS - Pfingstspektakel Festival
09/06: Cologne, DE - Sonic Ballroom
10/06: Linter, BE - Picking Bones Festival
11/06: Dedemsvaart, NL - De Gashouder
14/06: Aalborg, DK - 1000Fryd
15/06: Höganäs, SWE - Garage Bar
16/06: Stockholm, SWE - Kafé Himlavalvet
17/06: Mariehamn, FIN - Pub Ettan
18/06: Motala, SWE - Hageby Högar
19/06: Varberg, SWE - Majas vid Havet
21/06: Norderstedt, DE - Music Star
23/06: Waardamme, BE - Cowboy Up
24/06: Middelburg, NL- Kaffee t Hof
25/06: Rotterdam, NL - Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival
26/06: Rotterdam, NL - Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival
28/06: Manchester, UK - Night & Day*
29/06: Birkenhead, UK - The Swinging Arm
30/06: Newcastle, UK - The Cluny*
01/07: Easton, UK - Maverick Festival
02/07: Burton Bradstock, UK - SouthCider Festival
03/07: Bristol, UK - Thekla*
04/07: London, UK - The 100 Club*
06/07: Stuttgart, DE - Goldmarks*
07/07: Andelsbuch, AT - Jöslar*
08/07: Milano, IT - TBA*
09/07: Collalbo BZ, IT - Rock im Ring*
12/07: Warsaw, PL - Hydrozagadka*
14/07: Hannover, DE - Glocksee*
15/07: Bremen, DE - Lila Eule*
17/07: Utrecht, NL - dB's

* with The Legendary Shack Shakers