Sabine McCalla has a voice that is the lovechild of Nina Simone and Etta James. Yes, that would be impossible but if you could, then ladies and gentlemen, Sabine is the artist who is that golden child. Growing up in New Jersey, Olympia, Washington, Asheville, North Carolina but her heart was crying out to live in a place that has no winter and this is where we find her on the CloudwatcherUno podcast at home in New Orleans. We talk about the back story about her video ” Baby, Please Don’t Go” with WesternAF which was filmed with friends Casey Jane Reece-Kaigler, Sam Doores and Gina Marie Leslie during the Folk Alliance convention, its how I was introduced to her beautiful voice.
Sabine’s 2018 EP ‘Folk‘ is full of the first couple of songs that she wrote out of her journals, memories of her first days of New Orleans and is her tales of her heartbreak. New Orleans just started to influence Sabine spiritually, mentally and musically.
We talk about the influence of her sister Leyla McCalla but also how the tone of her music is more inspired by the Appalachian mountains, americana and artists like Janis Joplin and The Beatles, Whitney Houston, Nina Simone, Mowtown, The Supremes and even Rod Stewart. Sabine has played at the Newport Folk Festival and Brooklyn Americana Music Festival.
Music has been the saviour for Sabine and singing on her covered porch has made it possible to record music at a safe social distance. For the future Sabine has a lot of ideas for collaborations with other artists but will focus on recording her own music. I can’t wait to hear the next chapter in Sabine’s musical journey.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sabine McCalla. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Once in a while, a voice stops you dead in your tracks. The voice goes deep into your musical should and stops you cold. You look around to see if you have left this reality or have gone into another realm. I heard Eric Burton’s voice coupled with Adrian Quesada’s guitar on ‘Colors’ last year on Spotify and I must have played that track multiple, multiple times. It brought me immense pleasure and happiness to be moved by this deep, rich totally immersive sound. It was as if I had discovered an unknown treasure from the seventies one that had escaped the notice of all the music that has since passed.
There is an urgency in Eric’s voice a message that needs to be delivered to your heart bypassing your mind. It needs to open up that part of you that has become worn down by the relentless grey that is modern existence.
On 7th February 2020 at Islington Assembly Hall, London the Black Pumas continued with their Black Moon Rising tour they came and performed their music onto an audience who had travelled across the globe to hear them play. As far as Venezuela to Spain fans had travelled to experience in person the music of this incredible band.
From the first opening chords of ‘Old Man’ the Black Pumas gripped the audience and a wave of positivity, warmth and electricity flowing through the concert venue which went through each and every fan. We knew this was special that this was a night to say afterwards that we had seen the Black Pumas live. Lets not forget that the Black Pumas are a duo and the other half of that duo is Adrian Quesada and without his guitar and the almighty power he wields with that instrument there would not be those delicious hooks and riffs to thrill and excite your senses.
Hearing the album the self titled ‘Black Pumas’ you are transported to a world full of funkadelic soul, pulsing electronic heartbeats of bass with hypnotic beats. When you hear this music live in concert the effect is magnified a thousand fold sending shivers down your spine. Your feet can’t help but move along to the rhythms of the music.
The whole atmosphere at the audience was electric, sending positive energy back to the band by singing the words to each and every song. And then Eric stepped it up another level by singing ‘Fire’ into the crowd itself. Surrounded by fans the whole audience went estactic.
Then Eric vaulted the security barrier and lept back on stage leaving the crowd hungry for more music and for the night not to end.
What a show, a performance from the band that easily rates as being in the top ten live experiences I’ve been to. Well worth the wait of all these past months to a glimpse of the mercurial talents of these exceptional musicians. It’s no wondered Black Pumas were nominated for a Grammy this year for Best New Artist.
Then as the last song came over a silence came over the crowd. Surely it couldn’t end, not this evening of pure soul?
Of course it didn’t as the band came back to an uproarious encore when Eric asked the crowd if they wanted to hear another song? The crowd erupted with a almighty ‘YESSSSSS’ and so Eric sang an acoustic version of the Beatles classic ‘Eleanor Rigby’.
Then this evening of supreme came to an end. We had witnessed music in it’s purest form connecting us not only with the artists but with each of us who were in the venue.
As if the night couldn’t get any better Eric then launched into a cover of Tracey Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ a sublime mix of soulful vocals and words to connect with the audiences souls.
What next for the Black Pumas? They are currently on a path that is leading them to be interstellar. For now I can say that I was there at ground zero seeing them lift off on career that will take them into the stars.