Although both her parents are from Haiti Leyla McCalla was born in New York City and raised in New Jersey. She lived in Accra, Ghana for two years as a teen and she now lives in New Orleans.
She was a cellist with the band Carolina Chocolate Drops but left to focus on her solo career.
The mix of these cultures has to be a huge influence on her music.
So we have the background let’s get to the music, and what sublime music it is.
This first song’s title is taken from a proverb in Leyla’s ancestral homeland of Haiti – a country that has had, since time immemorial, the worst of luck of almost any country in the world.
A Day For The Hunter, A Day For The Prey
This track, not a Neil Young cover, is one beautiful song. Asks so many questions. I just love the sounds she pulls or plucks out of her cello.
Leyla’s vocal, as always, is poignant and beautifully understated.
Heart of Gold
Leyla McCalla with her group, and on this one she is playing the banjo.
But don’t be fooled, this is a real down home blues.
Recorded Live: 4/11/2016 – Rockwood Music Hall – New York, NY
Love Again Blues
We’ll close with this set by the Leyla McKella Trio in their Official Showcase at the 2016 International Folk Alliance in Kansas City earlier this year.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops made a couple of posts on the old blog.
As always please ignore the fictional “Content Warning”.