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"Our slogan isn’t completely true,” says Wicked Saints lead singer Paul McCarty. "Some is slightly toxic.” Wicked Saints' music is a cool eclectic mix of styles – from folk-rock, americana, swampy Louisiana grooves to reggae styled pop/blues, a driving beat, or sweet and heartfelt.
Paul McCarty sings lead, and plays guitar and harmonica. He was raised in a musical family in the musical city of New Orleans, and was a music composition major at Loyola University of New Orleans with a background in indie film scoring. He currently holds the record for most mentions of music in his bio.
Although folk-influenced, his songs seek stranger directions melodically, harmonically and lyrically, sometimes drawing upon his childhood influences like Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot and Led Zeppelin, and sometimes resorting to some college-knowledge. “I almost always start with a groove and a melody and then fit words into the melody. Each individual song might have it’s own message. For example, Todd Palin should leave his wife, or Paul will never have a successful relationship, or Be kind to blackbirds.”
Born in New Orleans, Paul is a lifelong Saints fan, thus the band name.“New Orleans has a great musical tradition as everyone knows. I'm less influenced by it than you would think I am, but more influenced by it than I think I am.”
John Gannon, Wicked Saints' drummer, has dubbed himself the most oxymoronic Wicked Saint. Beyond that, however, he gives the band a real range of character, from a cool groove with a light touch, or a train-beat, even a strong Bonhamesque beat.
But hand him a guitar and he'll tell you a story of his own. Honed from years of campfire singing, John brings a great energy to the microphone and holds your attention. John's narratives might leave you laughing or bring a tear to a glass eye.
Check out his songs here. youtube.com/yuppiecampfire.
Bobby Thomas was originally a loaner from the band, The Heatseekers and plays piano and accordion. Bobby and Paul played a Genghis Cohen show together and Paul decided he must become a Wicked Saint. Wicked Saints' legal team, scoured the loan contract and found a loophole which allowed them to keep Bobby forever, at no additional cost. It was worth it.
Bobby loves to lay low, but he's not hiding. He's lurking in the shadows of his fedora hat, waiting for the perfect moment to ambush you with an accordion swell. Bobby graduated from Dick Grove School of music in composing and arranging.
Chad Watson plays bass and currently qualifies as the most saintly and least wicked member of the Wicked Saints.
"Holding Down the Fort" has been the longest running passion of Chad's life. Since the Beatles first came to America, he's been in love with the electric bass. "My dad played upright bass clean through my childhood years. I’ve always felt close to that low-end rumbling, whether it was in our living room as dad practiced or on the various records we played on our stereo hi-fi with the bass turned all the way up!"
Chad has a rich career, having played with Charlie Rich, Janis Ian, Freddy Fender, The Imperials, Kim Fowley, Little Feat, Delaney Bramlett, Hal Blaine, John Molo, The Seeds, David Arkenstone, Truth, Bijan Mortazavic, Alber Lee, Chris Spedding, Eric Gale, Adrian Belew, Thad Jones, Carnagie Hall, Budokan, and The Kennedy Center with the Windham Hill Solstice Tours. Chad is also an amazing guitarist and mandolin player and plays solo or with his wife Pam Loe. Check out his music at chadwatson.us.