SLUG Mag Soundwaves
SLUG Mag Soundwaves
Episode #377 – Early Successional

Early Successional is a folk-rock band made up of Tamarra (guitar, vocals) and Sabra (vocals, mandolin, piano, harmonica and guitar). Based in Utah, the duo began their music journey together in 2016, with a magical first gig in the pouring rain at the Blue Moon Arts Festival.

“At its core and foundation, [our music is] folk,” says Tamarra, “but then we have bluegrass flair and blues flair and pop flair and rock flair sometimes.” Sabra agrees: “We mess around and play with a lot of different genres … Me and Tamarra do a duo and do more acoustic sounding stuff, and then we also, for bigger shows, bring out our amazing drummer and then it kinda changes the vibe and makes it a lot more dancy,” she says.

When they started, the two musicians packed their schedule with gigs, playing lots of open mics and building a solid network over those first two years. But then life happened: Tamarra tore her achilles and got married, leading to some big lifestyle changes and putting the band on hold.

After this hiatus, she caught the bug again when a friend put out a call for Black musicians to perform a Juneteenth show. “I thought, well, there aren’t a lot of Black musicians in Utah, so it almost felt like a duty for me to commit to doing this gig … We loved it, so we decided to keep on playing,” she says. With the gang back together, Sabra was thrilled: “I was so happy … When she called, it just felt like going home again. Being so comfortable on stage with somebody and just knowing that they have your back … takes so much performance anxiety out,” Sabra says. “We always say we’re musical soulmates.”

Now, Early Successional are focused on their song writing, and Tamarra explains that her goal now is to be even more vulnerable with her songs: “Sometimes I feel like I could bring more of that strength to my music, because vulnerability is strength, so that’s kind of my goal in this next wave of songwriting,” she says.

You can follow Early Successional on Instagram @early_successional for news about upcoming gigs and releases. You can also catch them christening the stage at the new Shades Brewery on Dec. 17 and they hope to get some clean, studio-recorded versions of their songs up on all music platforms by early next year.