Paul Sanchez is one of the most intriguing musicians in New Orleans. Never one to be categorized or stay inside the lines, he has a musical career as varied as New Orleans itself. A native of the Crescent City’s Irish Channel neighborhood, he was born across the street from the Mississippi River on Jackson Avenue.
Sanchez, along with screen writer Colman deKay (with additional songs by Shamarr Allen and Matt Perrine), has written a musical adaptation of Dan Baum’s book, Nine Lives, a New York Times Best Seller. Nine Lives is the story of New Orleans in the forty years between Hurricane Betsy in 1965 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as seen through the eyes of nine New Orleanians. The release features the talents of Tony Award winning actor Michael Cerveris and the star of the HBO series Treme, Wendell Pierce as well as actor/director Harry Shearer, Michelle Shocked, Bryan Batt and New Orleans legends Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas and John Boutte along with a hundred New Orleans artists.
“New Orleans’ musical renaissance, so well documented in the HBO series Treme, has reached its apotheosis with this expansive project.” John Swenson on Nine Lives in Stereophile Magazine July 2011
Sanchez has appeared as himself in the first two seasons of the HBO series, Treme, singing, with his good friend John Boutte songs which they wrote together.
Paul has released 6 Cds since the flood as he reinvented his life and career. The most recent is Paul Sanchez and The Rolling Road Show — Reclamation Of The Pie-Eyed Piper on Threadhead Records. Sanchez features the talents of his talented New Orleans bandmates on this record with vocal performances by Debbie Davis, Arsene DeLay and Michael Cerveris. Songs by Sonia Tetlow and Alex McMurray and solos by Shamarr Allen, Craig Klein, Matt Perrine, Alex and Sonia. The legendary Washboard Chazz shows up on a couple of tracks and the drumming is handled by Eric Bolivar.
Paul there are a couple of duet Cds with John Boutte and Shamarr Allen, both warm musical examples of friendship.
Paul began his career in New Orleans but wound up in New York City in the 80s, paritcipating in the “anti-folk” movement. Moving back to his hometown in the 90s, he formed Cowboy Mouth, which enjoyed quite a bit of success, though he left the band after 15 years to go solo.
When Hurricane Katrina washed much of the city away, Paul began writing a lot of music around that catastrophic event. He also published a book in 2009, Pieces of Me, which deals with his sense of loss and rebuilding after the storm.
Paul resides in Treme and coninues to live, breathe and sing New Orleans.