Leyla McCalla – Americas Award Winner | Songlines

Americas Award Winner

Leyla McCalla
Capitalist Blues (PIAS/Jazz Village)

Leyla Mccalla
Leyla Mccalla Capitalist Blues Cover

Leyla McCalla’s third solo album broke new ground as the first time she’s recorded with a band rather than her usual stripped-down accompaniment of cello, banjo and guitar. While steeped in the music of her adopted home of New Orleans and her Haitian heritage, Capitalist Blues also found her dramatically expanding her musical reach to take in trad jazz, zydeco, blues, calypso, ragtime, boogie and reverberating swamp rock. There has always been a strong moral core to McCalla’s songs but her compositions on Capitalist Blues operate as a cohesive song cycle about living in an unjust society ruled by money where the poor are left to fend for themselves. ‘There are a lot of forces at conflict right now,’ McCalla told us when featured on the cover of #146. ‘I hope that this album is a bit of respite from that.’

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