The Black Pumas are a heavy-grooving soul-rock band from Austin that came together around the collaboration of big-hearted singer Eric Burton and Grammy-winning guitarist and producer Adrian Quesada. Quesada has a rich background playing and producing soul, funk, and Latin music, and he earned his Grammy as a member of Grupo Fantasma in 2010. (The band also backed up Prince on numerous occasions.) With his Al Greene-style burred falsetto, Los Angeles-born Burton developed his ability to emotionally connect with an audience through years of singing in church and busking across the country.
Their paths crossed in Austin, a band formed, and they began gaining attention through a weekly residency at the venue C-Boys and buzz-worthy performances at SXSW.
I caught the Pumas at their first-ever Brooklyn show at the Knitting Factory. Their self-titled debut record was released last week on ATO Records, and the band will be touring the United States extensively throughout the summer, with European dates in the fall.
The Black Pumas will also play Lincoln Center Out of Doors on a special program that features Quesada’s 2018 recording project “Look at My Soul: The Latin Shade of Texas Soul.”