This may very well be the best thing I do this year during Fest and here’s why…
“Wash, rinse, repeat” becomes our motto as we foray night-after-night into the clubs that host the shows during the New Orleans Jazz Fest. From sundown to sunrise we tend to seek the funkiest collaborations that make up the core of our show selections, and even for the most seasoned Fest veterans, it can become a blur. It is downright addictive.
So when we hear about a little known performance to take place outside of a traditional venue — by a vocalist who feeds our souls in a way that brings tears to our eyes — our ears perk up! That’s what happened when I heard about Erica Falls and her ”soft” CD release of HomeGrown to be performed in the courtyard of a private home in historic uptown New Orleans. Erica calls it ”The Sanctuary” and I suspect it will be just that for us fans too.
Most know Erica from her performances with Galactic, but here’s a chance to meet this soul singer in her own surroundings where she performs her new record HomeGrown in its entirety and covers a few of her all-time favorite songs. It is R&B, soul, rock, and so much more! I conjure up a history lesson of sorts about a beautiful soul singer and her life and destiny in a setting that is heady, sweet, and very much New Orleans. It isn’t just about her range of high soprano moments to deep sultry tones, it’s how she looks each and every one of us in the eye and touches something deep inside us all.
Erica told me that this record is a reflection of her life growing up in the 9th Ward in New Orleans with her family, the church and their music together. She was the youngest of eight children and she grew up under the musical tutelage of her mother and the church choir. When I asked about how she became a vocalist she told me that it was after she initially played both the piano and the violin. “I was so in awe of my mother’s singing that at times I felt intimidated to sing.”
With unwavering love and discipline, her gift prevailed and like all great talent, something fired deep inside her that pushed through the barriers to make Erica one of the most poignant modern day soul singers we will ever have the chance to witness. We will be able to tell our great grandchildren, nieces and nephews… ”We saw her when…..”
Catch this ‘very special’ performance on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at 8 p.m. at “The Sanctuary”. Limited advance tickets are available and there will be a pop-up food vendor serving authentic New Orleans fare, Vintage Soul Martinis and other icy cold beverages to refresh. I have compiled all the details and links at www.funkybatz.com.