photo by Jenn Sweeney

photo by Jenn Sweeney

For regular readers of musings from boston, this soulful troubadour should need no introduction. Christopher Paul Stelling is an old friend, and he’s up to some stuff this year. His new album, Labor Against Waste (a fine bit of advice, by the way) is due out on June 16th on Anti-. He’ll be performing on CBS This Morning (yes, that’s network television) on Saturday, June 13th. He was featured in Rolling Stone and on NPR, he’s currently on a major tour across Europe, and on July 26, he’ll be playing at this small gathering called the Newport Folk Festival. In other words, he’s doing OK. And this should come as no surprise, if you’re at all familiar with Stelling’s compelling songwriting, jaw-dropping acoustic finger-picking guitar chops and ‘venerable old soul’ vocals.

A few entrancing videos of songs from the upcoming album have been released recently. Here’s one called “Warm Enemy.”

A recent press release from Anti- describes the inspiration behind “Dear Beast,” another offering from the new album. “The song offers a moving examination of personal faith lost and then redefined. As Stelling explains, ‘It’s about turning the mirror back on itself. It’s about excepting our flaws completely, and moving on from there with them in our full embrace. It’s about taking responsibility and caring for the beast that lives in all of us and for the metaphysical beasts that we’ve created because of our inherent need to feel watched over and protected… Mostly it’s a lullaby.'”

And because there was no way to decide between the three of them as they’re all simply breathtaking, here’s “Hard Work” (though C.P. makes it all look so easy). If you think all this is impressive, you should see him do it live. This humble picker and folk singer is one of the warmest, most engaging performers I’ve ever seen. After returning from Europe, he’ll be performing around New England (starting with Newport), though sadly I don’t yet see a Boston date. For details, see the tour schedule on his official site.

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