Black Pumas is a group that brandishes its influences boldly yet triumphs in creating music that is authentic and contemporary. With a soul sensibility that harkens back to the classic soul sounds of the 70s, the duo from Austin, TX also infuses Latin as well as modern rock and pop vibes.
The Latin connection isn’t particularly surprising considering when guitarist/producer Adrian Quesada was part of Grupo Fantasma, he won a Grammy for Best Latin Rock Album in 2011. After leaving the group, he spent a lot of time tinkering in the studio, working up some new tunes. All he needed was the right vocalist to bring the songs to life.
Meanwhile, singer Eric Burton had been working as a street performer on the Santa Monica pier in CA between stints in musical theater productions. He eventually ended up in Texas. Mutual friends brought the two together, and Black Pumas was born.
The duo released its eponymous debut album earlier this year. The record, along with live performances (including SXSW), has garnered lots of positive attention. Pitchfork’s review extols its virtues: “Possessing a voice that can slide into the slipstream with ease, Burton lends an elegant elasticity to Quesada’s tightly layered productions.” Ear MIlk contends that ‘Black Moon Rising’ sets up the vintage tone for the album, and kicks it off with infectious energy…” Black Pumas are currently touring, so check their dates and get out to see this band.