Paul Sanchez


Offbeat Magazine

Paul Sanchez on Shamarr Allen

Jul 28, 2010
Offbeat Magazine by Paul Sanchez

- by Paul Sanchez -

I met Shamarr at an in-store in Louisiana Music Factory Jazz Fest 2006. I was still with the Mouth and he was still with Rebirth. They were playing after the Mouth set, and during our set I sang Randy Newman’s “Louisiana, 1927,” and Shamarr got up and joined me on that song. I said into the mic, “I don’t know who that young trumpet player is but that was beautiful.” I asked him to play on Exit to Mystery Street and hired him for as many gigs as I could.

(THR added:

“Recording Bridging the Gap was Shamarr’s idea. He called me up one day and said, “Unc, I just saw a video on YouTube of Johnny Cash and Louis Armstrong playing together; we got to make us a record.” I said cool and he said, “We’ll record old people’s music...

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Nine Lives - A Musical Adaptation

Various Artists: Nine Lives: A Musical Adaptation

Apr 7, 2010

This wrenching adaptation of journalist Dan Baum's book about nine intersecting New Orleanian lives spanning Hurricane Betsy through Katrina represents the sound of the city in a way that's never been tried before. Screenwriter Colman deKay teamed up with former Cowboy Mouth front man Paul Sanchez (and on many tracks John Boutte') to retell the story.

The story is not an easy one to tell, rendering numbers like the emotion-drenched opener, "Fine in The Lower Nine", more complelling than the toungue -in-cheek "King Of Mardi Gras." The theatricality of the latter, with it's harpsichord and booming Harry Shearer contribution, would border on cloying without the context of the full album. But the scope of the project is so impressive that combing through the story lines becomes part of...

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Offbeat Magazine


Feb 1, 2010
Offbeat Magazine by Offbeat Staff

When Allen Toussaint’s The Bright Mississippi was released, we said, “(Producer Joe) Henry treats these recordings not as pop, jazz nor R only ones who feel that way &B but as art song—an elevated, sophisticated thing that draws from vernacular traditions. As an American treasure, it’s the sort of treatment Toussaint merits, and it’s a treatment that is sympathetic with his piano playing. He is relentlessly tasteful and elegant, choosing notes with care and sensitivity to space and context.”

Evidently, we’re not the about the album. It was nominated for a Grammy, and you selected it as Album of the Year and Toussaint, Artist of the Year and Best Piano Player.

We presented these and all of the Best of the Beat awards January 20 at the Harrah’s Theatre and January 22 at the House of...

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New Orleans Times Picayune


Music critic Keith Spera sounds off on the best local CDs of 2009

Dec 28, 2009
New Orleans Times Picayune by Keith Spera

South Louisiana delivered yet another bounty of CDs in 2009. None shined brighter than Allen Toussaint’s "The Bright Mississippi," his jazzy collaboration with producer Joe Henry and an all-star cast of modern jazz musicians.

Keith Spera/The Times-Picayune

Allen Toussaint’s “The Bright Mississippi,” a jazzy collaboration with producer Joe Henry and an all-star cast of modern jazz musicians.

Threadhead Records, the nonprofit label founded by a federation of Jazz Fest fans, had a big year. The best of Threadhead’s ’09 releases was "How to Be a Cannonball," by man-about-town guitarist and songwriter Alex McMurray. His lyrics are populated by his usual assortment of vivid, eccentric characters in the tradition of Tom Waits and Randy Newman.

Also on Threadhead, the New Orleans...

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Offbeat Magazine Farewell to Storyville

Farewell to Storyville

Dec 1, 2009
Offbeat Magazine by John Swenson

The Threadhead Records phenomenon has reshaped the profile of the local recording industry, allowing veteran musicians to make albums that might otherwise not have happened, giving deserving new artists a jump start on their careers and even producing such delightful one shots as this year’s Christmas release. No musician has benefited from this breakthrough more than Paul Sanchez, who has established himself as an important solo artist since leaving Cowboy Mouth with no small help from the label. This is the third Threadhead-financed album Sanchez has made,
and each has been remarkably different.

Sanchez has been preparing to make Farewell to Storyville his whole career. It’s an impromptu,
mostly solo session in which Sanchez tells stories about each song before singing it, a...

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Farewell to Storyville


Nov 17, 2009
Burning Wood

Singer-songwriter Sanchez' offers up more than most on this autobiographical musical journey, as he tells stories about the inspiration behind the music, and mesmerizes the listener with his heartbreaking voice and heartfelt words. Each song is an engrossing slice of life and Paul Sanchez welcomes you into his world with the warmth and grace one expects from the great people of the great city of New Orleans.

My Friend - Paul Sanchez

Aug 28, 2009
Burning Wood by Paul Sanchez



My intentions for today were simple. To commemorate the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I would create a "Weekend Mix" of some rare live music from the artists and clubs of New Orleans, I would share some thoughts about my favorite city, and with a little luck, singer-songwriter, author, poet, friend and mensch Paul Sanchez would honor my request with a short paragraph sharing his thoughts on the whole mess. At 8:48 A.M., yesterday morning, the music mix was created and while giving it a test run, Paul Sanchez e-mailed and agreed to write something up. At 9:13, the music stopped, my computer went blank and after 2 reboots had realized my entire hard drive had been wiped out. Every photo, every song (about 70,000 of them,) all my writing, GONE! (oh, the irony) We will save...
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Community Tied By Strong Threads

Fan-subsidized Threadhead Records keeps the music and money in New Orleans

May 28, 2009 by Steve Hochman

Singer/songwriter Susan Cowsill points toward a clutch of people sitting and chatting in a backyard in New Orleans' Marigny neighborhood.

"See that woman? The one with the flowers in her hair, waving a fan?" she asks. "She's my record company executive."

Cowsill could have pointed at any one of the 250 or so people in attendance at the annual Threadheads Patry (yes patry, playing off the local patois) in late April. The gathering took place in between weekends of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell and convened people nationwide who connected due to their love for Crescent City culture via Internet chat boards operated by the festival itself. They participate in various discussion "threads," hence the name, and are partners in Threadhead Records — a uniquely 

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New Orleans Times Picayune

Trumpeter Shamarr Allen doesn't wish to be pigeonholed

May 3, 2009
New Orleans Times Picayune by Keith Spera

Trumpeter Shamarr Allen apprenticed with the Rebirth Brass Band, traditional jazz drummer Bob French and, improbably enough, Willie Nelson.

Now he's ready to step out on his own.

He devoted his first CD to traditional jazz. But as the title of his new "Box Who In?" implies, he won't be pigeonholed. Rock, modern jazz, funk -- "Box Who In?" runs the gamut.

In the summer of 2005, Allen and his sister lived in a house their parents owned on North Prieur Street, around the corner from his mother and father's home on Jourdan Avenue. The houses faced the section of Industrial Canal levee that ruptured during Hurricane Katrina.

He and his family evacuated before the storm, but the destruction of their homes made for an especially compelling story. Allen appeared in documentaries and...

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The New York Times

Jazzfest: Behind Threadhead Records

May 3, 2009
The New York Times by John Pareles

 Threadhead sounded like an odd name for a record company when I mentioned Glen David Andrews’s gospel album, “Walking Through Heaven’s Gate.” And there’s a story behind it. Threadheads are members of an online social community born out of message threads on the forum at nojazzfest.comafter Hurricane Katrina they started donating money and time to charitable projects. Naturally, musicians played at fund-raising parties, and two of them, the guitarist/songwriter Paul Sanchez and the singer John Boutté performed at one in 2007. “Afterwards one Threadhead,(Chris Joseph),  came up to me and said, ‘That was great, you guys should make a record.’ And I said, ‘Well, we would need money,’” says Sanchez. “He asked how much? I gave him a figure and he said great.”

A Threadhead named Chris...

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L.A. Times

Threadheads give up-and-coming musicians a boost

The music lovers have evolved from an online chat room group into a nonprofit record label.

May 2, 2009
L.A. Times by Geoffrey Himes



Like a lot of out-of-towners who came to New Orleans in the years after the levees failed, Chris Joseph found that the singers John Boutte and Paul Sanchez spoke to the city's post-Katrina trauma better than almost any other artists.


Like his fellow visitors, Joseph felt frustrated that he couldn't buy a CD of the cathartic songs the duo was singing in the city's nightclubs -- numbers such as the infectious original "Good Neighbor" or the radical rearrangement of Paul Simon's "An American Tune" as part folk confessional and part gospel hymn.

Unlike the others, though, Joseph did something about it.

Joseph, a Santa Monica resident who prepares environmental impact statements for a living, was a member of the Threadheads, a group that already had proved that music fans could...

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The Washington Post

The sounds of "Treme" are headed this way

Apr 7, 2009
The Washington Post by Lavanya Ramanathan

You may not know Paul Sanchez or "Big" Sam Williams by name, but if you've been watching HBO's "Treme," then you definitely know their songs.

Next month, you can get to know them a lot better when the New Orleans-based musicians -- fresh off "Treme" appearances -- will play a rollicking, Big Easy-style concert at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue.

The June 3 concert is being billed as both a way to mark this summer's fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and as a benefit for New Orleans label Threadhead Records, which helps the area's musicians release albums using loans from fans. (Sanchez has put out a few records on the label.)

Trombonist and bandleader Williams -- slated to also stop this summer at hipster Tennessee music festival Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits with his...

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