Offbeat Magazine, John Swenson
For a lot of New Orleans musicians, the flood and forced depopulation of the city after Katrina was a slow motion train wreck that piled disaster upon disaster and either ended in tragedy or still hasn’t stopped. You didn’t have to die immediately in the flood to be killed by it.
Some musicians and artists in other disciplines have managed to sublimate this tragedy into their work. Their art flourished even as their lives fell apart. It’s an old story, familiar to the people whose ancestors were brought here in chains or arrived as refugees fleeing religious persecution. When all else fails, music has the power to sustain the spirit and bear witness to the horror of history.
Paul Sanchez is one of those New Orleans musicians who found deep strength in his work even as the comforts of home life disintegrated. Katrina robbed him of his house, his job and eventually his marriage. 12 years later he’s living a nomadic existence, a restless traveler touring the world while he sings and writes about the experience. The personal agony has inspired his songwriting and considerable storytelling ability, and led him to seek out new collaboration.
About Paul Sanchez
A regular performer at New Orleans’ Jazz Fest, Sanchezplays to audiences large and small. His accolades continue to stack up… Offbeat Magazine awarded Paul Songwriter of the Year 2017 2014, 2016 and 2009.
He won three Best of The Beat Awards in 2009: Songwriter of The Year, Best Song of The Year, Best Folk/Rock Album for Stew Called New Orleans, his duet record with friend and collaborator John Boutte.
In April of that same year Gambit Weekly awarded him Best Roots Rock Performer at The Big Easy Awards.
Sanchez has also written a musical about New Orleans based on the New York Times Best Seller Nine Lives. Nine Lives has been performed in New Orleans, Washington D.C. and Los Angles.
Primarily a songwriter, Sanchez has written songs for Darius Rucker of Hootie and The Blowfish, had a song in the country charts which was recorded by The Eli Young Band, and a song covered by Irma Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans. When not touring, Paul can be found back home in Louisiana, where he sings and breathes everything New Orleans.
His songs have appeared in films and television shows.
He continues to tour solo around the with tours last year in Holland, Ireland and the U.K. as well as three tours around the U.S. including a stop in Nashville to perform with his friend Darius Rucker at The Grand Old Opry.