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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Streetcar Samba

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      In a day and age where chart-topping hits consist of cookie-cutter label manufactures pop hits and where Nickelback plays the same song over and over on the radio, sometimes you can still find a bit of honesty in music. Streetcar Samba is one of the few that represent music's glimmer of hope. The blues/rock band from Harahan, Louisiana came together as a cover band under a different name.
      The demise of the cover band, Rule 34, led to the Streetcar Samba's formation. After several member changes and a few rough spots, the band was left with Michael Roy (guitar), Jennie Lacor (vocals), and Kyle Bourque (drums). They found a working bassist and were then ready to start writing music.
      "It was probably the most awkward experience of my life." Says Roy. "I had never written a song in my life, let alone played one with other people. The first attempts were shaky and strange, but soon something clicked and we were rocking out to our own song. The first song I ever wrote for the band was “I Shoulda Run”. It was about the recent Katrina catastrophe in Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. Neighbors started asking me what song it was, and I was flattered when I told them it was my own and they had been tapping their feet to it next door. Soon I had written 3 or 4 songs for the band and we were practicing them regularly."

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      Streetcar Samba's first performance was at a small house show at a friend's house. They played a Battle of the Bands in April 2011 after recruiting their keyboard player, Ian Cortez. Ian is a part of a fairly successful cover band, and brought extra experience to the band. They began working on their 11 song album in Michael's home studio. It was well-received online and it brought them lots of positive attention which benifited their fan base.
      Unfortunately for the band, the day after the release of the album, their bassist quit. Kyle's twin brother had started playing bass as a hobby and gladly accepted their invitation to join the band. "We completely underestimated him. He's an exceptional bass player. With him, our music took new directions. Before, we lacked a 'real' bass player. But now, we can play anything. I mean anything."
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      "We wrote more music while learning many cover songs. Our approach was to hit the local music world from both sides. Hit them with a great cover band, and hit them with a great original band. And for some, blend both worlds together." The band currently has anywhere between 40 to over 120 people personally going to see them at shows, not including everyone already in the bars or venues.
      "Harahan is a subdivision in the New Orleans Metro Area. There are only 2 or three bands in Harahan. But we are the only one I know of who plays regularly. Just about all of our gigs, and the music scene is either in Metairie or New Orleans, LA. There is a pretty large hardcore, metal, and alternative scene, But the biggest scenes are with either, Jazz, Blues, Rock, or Indie." Says the band about their hometown.
      The band has played venues and country clubs, but have recently been invited to play bars due to their word of mouth success. "We put on a crazy show, with three singers, all talkative, we do a great job keeping people with us. We move fast, we blend songs together, and have joke 'Frankenstein' sessions."
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      The band is influenced by musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Page, Eric Clapton and The Meters. They aim to make music that is familiar, but strictly original. They've been told that their music stays true to 60's rock, but others say that the band sounds more indie. "I’ve tried, and with an open mind can’t really find another band or group that sounds similar or like us. Our sound, its very bluesy, very, very bluesy. We have a distinct 'Southern' sound, but definitely not a “country” sound." Says Roy.
      Derailed, the band's first album focused on Hurricane Katrina and the many struggles the disaster left people with. The best songs to display this would be “I Shoulda Run” and “I Waited”, while the other songs display the emotional struggles in an indirect way.
      Although the several members are all dedicated to other personal matters such as schooling or other commitments, they collectively hope to get Streetcar Samba on it's feet. "We’re playing with some big bands coming up, and we’ve gone from completely unheard of to a force to be reckoned with." Says the band.


  1. This band is such a joke. The music is terrible. And during the last song on the cd you can hear the metronome they used to record.

  2. this band fuckin rocks dude/ dont know what your talkin about.

  3. Its because we recorded it ourselves, in a basement, with one microphone. You tell me who else can do so good with so little

  4. And at least we used a metronome lol. Whoever that is is a joke because they truly have no sense of what a good band is