How Black Pumas Are Isolating: Gospel Music and Helping Neighbors - Rolling Stone
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How Black Pumas Are Isolating: Gospel Music and Helping Neighbors

How the Grammy-nominated Austin band are adjusting to their new reality

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 23: (L-R) Adrian Quesada and Eric Burton of music group Black Pumas attend1 Spotify Hosts "Best New Artist" Party at The Lot Studios on January 23, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images  for Spotify)

Adrian Quesada and Eric Burton of Black Pumas

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

After scoring a Best New Artist Grammy nomination, Black Pumas had a lot of big plans coming up. The Austin, Texas psych-soul band were scheduled to be on the road this month and next, both here and in South America. But, of course, all those shows have been postponed, and the band, led by guitarist-producer Adrian Quesada and singer Eric Burton, are back home in Austin, where we checked in with them on their new, quiet day-to-day life. Here’s how they’re hunkering down.

Adrian Quesada:
My kids are home for three weeks, so daytime for now is spent with them and trying to keep them from going stir crazy. Afternoons have been bike rides; evenings we’ve been watching TV and movies like everyone else, and I’ve been staying up late working on music in my studio.

In terms of listening to music, I have a mental list of my favorite albums for certain times. Lately I’ve been listening to the Jay Electronica album and discovering there is a trove of Alchemist beats on Spotify.

Eric Burton:
I’ve been connecting with neighbors to help respond to the shortages at grocery stores. Also went to a backyard show next door a few days ago. Now I’m learning to use a new piece of recording gear.

I’ve been internalizing the times and writing lyrics to unfinished songs mostly. I dig music like [preacher and gospel musician] Pastor T.L Barrett’s Like A Ship … (Without A Sail) in times like this as well. It’s uplifting and relevant to unity of all people under love and peace. We’re grateful to experience these times with all, to share strength and inspiration for those who seek it.

 

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