Sometimes the stars align. And when they do, it’s probably a good time to make a move, to take that step along the starlit path inexplicably illuminated right before your own eyes.
Sabra Guzmán is doing just that.
For the multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter and front woman for the honky tonkin’ Sabra and the Get Rights, it began last fall in an email from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
“It was a total surprise because I didn’t even put in an application," she said. "I didn’t apply. I didn’t ask around to try and get the Get Rights on there. But I got an email from them with the invitation, and it really put a fire under me.”
Thus inspired, Guzmán wants to have a recording in hand by the time her band takes the Lagniappe Stage at 12:30 p.m. April 24, at Jazz Fest.
“I just felt like it was a great opportunity, if I can make this happen, to record an album of almost all originals and get it out before Jazz Fest,” said Guzman. “It would be just a great time stamp of what this band has been working on the last few years.”
Guzmán’s last recording was a promotional, four-song EP in 2016.
“A new album was really needed,” she said. “I’ve been writing for a while, but I’ve been writing songs more intently in the last two to three years.”
To get it all on the record, Guzmán has turned to GoFundMe, the free online fundraising platform and started a crowdfunding campaign.
“It’s nothing new," she said. "Bands have been doing campaigns to raise money to fund their own albums. It’s definitely asking for help. I think I have not only family and friends, but also fans out there that have been supportive throughout a lot of my career as a musician.
“It’s a way to engage. It’s a way for them to take part, and in some ways, it’s almost they’re just doing a pre-order of buying the album ahead of time.”
Guzmán’s perks on her GoFundMe page include a download code for all contributions, as well as packages that include music and/or singing lessons, cooking lessons, a dinner party with a solo set, the band at your own party and even a song written for you as a bonus track on the CD.
“It’s getting the community and beyond somewhat engaged with the making of the album,” she said.
The Get Rights include David Greely on fiddle; Trey Boudreaux, upright bass; Daniel Coolik, electric guitar; and Bill Smith on drums. Dirk Powell is producing and engineering the recording at Cypress House Studio.
Even with all this in the works, Guzmán will head to Mexico in March as a member of Los Monarchs, a group she debuted recently at The Alamo in Lafayette with Cruz Contreras, Ferd Lione Moyse IV and Matt Morelock.
They’ll be there as part of the Hummingbird Music Project, a cultural exchange program between the southern Appalachian Mountain area of the United States and the Michoacan Mountain area of Mexico.
“Los Monarchs may ride again, or maybe it’s just a one-off,” she said. “We definitely enjoyed our time together.”
Guzmán will continue to “play bass and harmony sing for Esther Rose,” she said. However, another ride with a women-led Cajun band, did come to an end.
“I won’t be playing with Daiquiri Queens anymore,” she said. “It’s time to scale back. I’m getting a little too busy.”
Guzmán first hit Lafayette while on tour with Flat Iron String Band with J.P. Harris in about 10 years ago. Her visits became longer and then she moved here in 2015 for all those reasons musicians and artists settle here.
“For me, being here in Lafayette, has offered more opportunities to become more myself than I think I’ve maybe felt anywhere else,” said Guzmán. “And it could be just where I’m at in my own timeline of just, you know, how many years I’ve been on this Earth. It could be that has something to do with it.
“But I think it also has to do with the kind of special community that’s here that drew me to here. It’s a little hotter down here. It’s a little greasier down here. It’s spicier down here. I guess I just feel more at home here than I’ve maybe felt anywhere else."
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Sometimes the stars align. And when they do, it’s probably a good time to make a move, to take that step along the starlit path inexplicably i…