Austin Duo Black Pumas Premiere Gentle Cover of Tracy Chapman’s ‘Fast Car,’ Participating in ‘A Night for Austin’ Live Stream Event 6/10

Adrian GarroCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Austin-based rock/blues duo Black Pumas had been playing Tracy Chapman’s breakout 1988 single “Fast Car” on tour over the past few months, and it was a big hit with fans — so singer Eric Burton and guitarist Adrian Quesada recorded a cover in the studio.

Today, that cover was released by the band in tender, stripped-down acoustic format:

Burton spent his days as a traveling street performer before forming Black Pumas, and this song had always struck a deeply personal chord with him. As he said in a statement:

To me, ‘Fast Car’ is a song of hope, dreams and a relentless heart to go somewhere and be someone. I learned the song when I first began to busk and of the covers that I knew, it garnered the most attention from the random passerby. As a musician and artist, I’m attracted to songs that make us reflect on our daily struggles for making life worth living for.”

2019 was a big year for Black Pumas, whose self-titled debut album earned rave reviews, the duo included in the running for Best New Artist at the Grammys (though that went to Billie Eilish, of course).

Black Pumas were also tapped to perform at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in April before the festival was moved to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic where they were sure to turn many heads as an under-the-radar act during the two weekends. 

Wednesday, June 10, Black Pumas will take part in A Night for Austin, a two-hour streaming benefit put on by Paul Simon, Edie Brickell, and Willie and Annie Nelson. Also on the bill will be James Taylor, Patty Griffin, Norah Jones, Gary Clark Jr., Alejandro Escovedo, Bonnie Raitt, and more. The show starts at 9 p.m. EDT/8 p.m. CDT/6 p.m. PDT, with more details available here.

They’re also playing a special streaming concert event on Sunday, June 21 to mark the one-year anniversary of their debut album — click here for full details.

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