Konrad Wert as his family knows by is “Possessed by Paul James” who when you listen to him or see him live plays as if he is possessed. Konrad, as we’ll call him from here on out, plays guitar, banjo, and fiddle all three equally take songs that he has written or not and molds around a voice that can be haunting and inviting. Konrad is a teacher by day and musician by night and seemingly takes life experience and weaves them into these timeless songs.
His currently album There Will Be Nights When I’m Lonely is littered with all different styles. The record starts with the opening track “Hurricane” where the energy is jam packed and the foot stomping can’t be held back. The foot stomp is also something that is mentioned as an instrument to which Konrad plays as well. During this album you are taken on a sort of coming of age tale, but with honest songwriting that you can feel from your head to your toes. That nice warm chill, or the feeling of the hairs on your arm standing up happens a lot, at least it did for me.
Another song called “Soy Muriendo” or “I am dying” is a song again that is honest and speaks to his Tex Mex roots. As he, his wife and child call Boerne, Texas home. Konrad has this way with his storytelling to send you on a journey through interesting characters. It may be through himself or simple life experience, but either way his brand of folk music takes you on a ride, and a most interestingly fun one at that.
“Possessed by Paul James” is show that can’t be missed. Konrad seemingly becomes possessed not only on the record but as well as during live shows. It seems as if he get so entranced by what he is playing that you will hear the occasional yell of “YEAH” or “AHH” or on a song called “Cold and Blind” he says loud enough “Play IT LEROY!” All this coupled with his playing and that foot or leg going a mile a minute really brings into his living room and makes the show an intimate experience. A quiet and rather simple man Konrad has a gained a rather big following with his brand of honest songwriting coupled with a brand of possessed playing that just resonates deep within yourself.
This year the Whispering Beard Folk Festival will be graced to have this gentleman take the stage on Saturday August 23rd in Friendship, Indiana just about 45 minutes west of downtown Cincinnati. Come on down and get yourself possessed by this man it will surely be an experience.