LIKE most New Orleanians, singer/songwriter Paul Sanchez lost his home and all his possessions in the cataclysmic flooding caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
An unfathomable loss for the musician who began performing in the clubs of the French Quarter at 16 before moving to New York where he immersed himself in the East Village anti-folk scene of the 80s and became a founding member of popular roots rock band Cowboy Mouth.
Recovering from his loss, Sanchez channelled all the bleak emotions that came with it back into his art.
A prolific songwriter, he has released 15 albums under his own name since debuting with Jet Black and Jealous, in 1992.
Fate and a search for catharsis after Katrina led to him becoming the creative force, writer and performer of the musical Nine Lives, based on Dan Baum’s best-selling book about the city where he was born and the tragedy that befell it.
Sanchez has also written songs for Darius Rucker (ex-singer of Hootie & the Blowfish) and New Orleans soul legend Irma Thomas.
2016 saw the release of his latest offering Heart Renovations, recorded in Louisiana with legendary New Orleans producer Marc Bingham. It’s an album sure to feature when he plays Bannermans on Wednesday.
Tracks on Heart Renovations range from the humorous to the desolate to the life affirming, with the songs Getting Drunk in Ireland, Be the Light, If It Isn’t Himself and In Galway were written on a visit to the emerald isle in 2015.
“Songwriting for me is the easiest thing on the planet, it’s the rest of life that’s the challenge,” laughs Sanchez.
Having toured Heart Renovations across the length and breadth of the USA for six months now, the storyteller is ready to share his songs and tales on this side of the Atlantic.
Paul Sanchez, Bannermans, Cowgate, Wednesday, 8pm, £6, 0131-556 3254