2019 debut album also available on CD.
‘Black Pumas’ is the self titled debut album from Grammy Award-winning guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada and singer-songwriter Eric Burton, which has become one of the year’s most anticipated projects. Winners of Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards, Black Pumas were described as “Wu-Tang Clan meets James Brown” by KCRW and named one of NPR Music Alt.Latino’s best Latin Music Discoveries.
Their story is an interesting journey and melding of musical talent: Singer/songwriter Eric Burton grew up singing in a church in West Virginia, being moved by seeing how people responded to the power of the human voice, and after moving around the country with his family to California and subsequently New Mexico he finally settled in Austin almost in 2016, cutting his teeth while busking in the streets. Eric made an impression everywhere he played, guitar in hand, whether it was a coffee shop, a bar or a house party, even becoming the subject of a short documentary called “Street Music” by photographer Andrew Bennett.
Fast forward to the early fall of 2017, and musician/producer Adrian Quesada found himself with some rare downtime and began to write and record a collection of soul leaning instrumentals with the intent of eventually making a full album. The only catch was he had no singer or lyricist for the songs, he needed the perfect voice for it and in a town with so many talented musicians it still was no easy task. He found himself putting out feelers for singers as far as LA and all over the country until local producer Bryan Ray, a mutual friend of Burton and Quesada, connected the two via email. One session led another and after completing more than an album’s worth of material in a few days, Black Pumas was born.
The sound is at times psychedelic, funky, bold, cinematic, but above all, soulful and sincere. Quesada and Burton both return, over and over, to this almost mystical connection they felt from the beginning. It’s this sense of common purpose, of shared vision, that gives ‘Black Pumas’ its focus and power - and that points to great things ahead.
“It’s so seamless, it’s like we’re musical brothers to some degree,” says Burton. “It feels so easy to meld together that what’s most important for us now is to continue to look for new sounds - to make sure we’re feeding ourselves the knowledge to continue to evolve. Every time we get together, it’s better than the last time.”