A gift, perhaps unexpected, that I have encountered since moving to Barcelona is its rich local music scene. One (or should I say two!) of the artists whom I have come across is La Mula y La Pa, a bluegrass duo consisting of the acoustic guitar-playing Mula and the soul-singing, harmonica-rocking Pa.
Origins and Influences
Both Barcelona natives, the two met coincidentally two years ago on a train in the Catalan coast when la Mula heard la Pa and her friend Petra playing blues guitar and harmonica. From there, they began a friendship and musical connection. Eventually, Petra left to study in another town, and la Mula and la Pa started playing the tambourine and harmonica together on the train, usually improvising their songs. La Mula then added a guitar to the mix, and the two found themselves playing popular old blues songs together. Eventually, they added their own lyrics and were showcasing their songs at Club Cronopios’s open mic night.
The lyrics of their songs tend to have rural themes, fitting with their sound. They say that sometimes the words have profound meanings – sometimes even secret messages that only they themselves understand- , whereas other times they sing songs simply about animals. La Pa often sings in English, her voice powerful and moving yet controlled.
Where to Hear Them
The duo has now become a popular fixture in the local music scene, playing shows at venues such as El Taller Bar del Clot and a cool live writing event called “Jam de Escritura.” They also have a twice-monthly residency in the bar l’Astrolabi de Gracia. As for their part in Barcelona’s musical community, they say that they feel lucky to be connected to a scene that is as varied as they themselves.
Their next show is on May 6th in Ca la Sisqueta, a cultural center near metro Santa Coloma, which is off of the red line (line 1). For more information, you can follow La Mula y La Pa on their Facebook page.
(all photos courtesy of La Mula y La Pa)