Black Pumas perform in The Current studio

Black Pumas perform 'Black Moon Rising,' from their 2019 self-titled album, live at The Current. (Nate Ryan | MPR)
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Black Pumas perform in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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| 00:22:09
  • Black Pumas perform in The Current studio (full session + interview) 22:09
  • Black Pumas - Black Moon Rising (Live at The Current) 03:46
  • Black Pumas - Fire (Live at The Current) 03:52
  • Black Pumas - Colors (Live at The Current) 06:12

"We didn't really have a master plan for anything," says Black Pumas guitarist Adrian Quesada. "I didn't reach out to anybody until a mutual friend in Austin recommended Eric [Burton]. We eventually got together and were recording songs for fun; we didn't really have an agenda at first."

Hearing their sound, it's hard to believe Black Pumas came together so casually — almost accidentally. Singer Eric Burton, originally from California, made his way to Austin, Texas, to get into the music scene there. When he and Quesada finally connected through mutual acquaintances, they took some time to develop the project now known as Black Pumas.

At the end of 2017, Quesada and Burton decided to turn their songwriting collaborations into a band. "Our goal was let's make it though a couple of months of a Thurdsay-night gig and see if anybody cares," Quesada recalls.

To put it simply, people cared. Black Pumas first single, "Black Moon Rising," was released in 2018. At the 2019 Austin Music Awards, Black Pumas earned Best New Band and Song of the Year honors. "For both of us, I think that it was really nice to have the reciprocation of appreciation for the project," Burton says.

While in town for a show at the 7th Street Entry, Black Pumas visited The Current for a session hosted by Bill DeVille. In addition to playing songs from their self-titled debut, Burton and Quesada shared stories about their work as musicians, including time spent with Prince in Las Vegas, and Burton's admiration for Otis Redding's classic song, "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay." Use the audio player above to listen to the complete session.

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Songs Performed


"Black Moon Rising"
"Fire"
"Colors"
All songs from Black Pumas' self-titled 2019 album, available on ATO Records.

Hosted by Bill DeVille
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark and Adam Biel
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Luke Taylor

External Link

Black Pumas - official site

10 Photos

  • Black Pumas studio session
    Adrian Quesada pulls his guitar off his shoulder as bassist Vince Chiarito looks on. (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    Drummer John Speice plays with the Black Pumas (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    JaRon Marshall on keys for the Black Pumas (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    Lead singer Eric Burton with the Black Pumas (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    Black Pumas perform in The Current studio. (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    Guitarist and Black Pumas producer Adrian Quesada (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    AJ Haynes (also of Seratones) performed with Black Pumas in The Current studio. (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    Black Pumas perform in The Current studio. (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    Eric Burton portrait (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)
  • Black Pumas studio session
    Eric Burton portrait (MPR Photo | Nate Ryan)