The Sieve and the Saddle is a local Americana/folk duo that has been performing all across the Coachella Valley. Singer Morgan Alise Carmona and guitarist Johnny Carmona released their debut self-titled album in 2019 and haven’t slowed down, playing shows almost every weekend. Morgan is the host of Intimate Acoustics at Plan B in Thousand Palms, where a variety of artists play acoustic with The Sieve and The Saddle every first Thursday of the month. For more info, visit www.facebook.com/thesieveandthesaddle. She is the latest to take The Lucky 13; here are her answers.
What was the first concert you attended?
A group of friends and I bought tickets to see Metallica’s Heavyweight Summer Tour in 2000. It was at the Coliseum in L.A. with Korn, Kid Rock, System of a Down and Powerman 5000. I was coordinating the trip, so we all met up at my apartment, and I drove five of us in my ’89 Corolla to L.A. Traffic was awful, and for a while, we were just parked on the freeway with the Coliseum in sight. People were getting out of their cars, and eating and drinking and chatting. It was like a tailgate party on the freeway. Just as traffic finally cleared, I realized I left all of our tickets on my coffee table at home. That was a huge bummer, but we did go back and get them and were able to catch all of Korn and the headliner, Metallica, which was all I cared about anyway.
What was the first album you owned?
In high school, I heard a song on the radio by Pearl Jam called “Yellow Ledbetter” and was instantly obsessed. I went to the local record store to buy the CD. The owner said it was an import and would take a few weeks to get. I had to have it, so I paid $16 for the single, which was a ton for me at the time. It was well worth it; I had never heard such a beautiful guitar.
What bands are you listening to right now?
The Black Keys, Cage the Elephant, ZZ Ward, Highly Suspect, Arctic Monkeys, and The Beatles.
What artist, genre or musical trend does everyone love, but you don’t get?
Ugh, this is a loaded question. I know my opinion is hugely unpopular out here in the valley, but, dude, reggae. It’s just not dynamic enough for me. There, I said it. I love the peace, love and unity vibe. I love my friends who are in reggae bands, but the music is just not my thing.
What musical act, current or defunct, would you most like to see perform live?
Queen. Freddie Mercury. 100%.
What’s your favorite musical guilty pleasure?
I love catchy pop songs to sing along to, so if I am home alone doing the dishes, mopping the floors, etc., I will blast some Ed Sheeran, Lewis Capaldi or Shawn Mendes.
What’s your favorite music venue?
That would have to be the local bars and breweries that support live music here in the Coachella Valley. I love this valley. I love our music scene. I play all the time at Coachella Valley Brewing Co., which puts on incredible shows. Then there’s Plan B Live Entertainment and Cocktails, owned by my friend Jeannette Krehbiel. I met her about eight years ago when I was first starting in music. She allowed my band to play when we were brand-new and has supported me as a singer and a friend ever since.
What’s the one song lyric you can’t get out of your head?
How about an entire album? We still watch, listen or reference Hamilton almost daily in my household. My husband and my kids quote the lyrics to each other constantly. We’re a fun family. I absolutely love musicals, and Hamilton is hands-down the best I have ever seen or heard. When Anthony Ramos sings the line, “Tomorrow there’ll be more of us” … ugh, right in the feels.
What band or artist changed your life? How?
My husband, Johnny Carmona. I was just starting in music eight years ago, pushing myself to get out and meet musicians, when we were introduced. I had never sung in public. I had terrible stage fright. I had never worked with musicians. I wrote poetry but didn’t understand how to put it to music. I didn’t understand timing and when to come in with vocals. I didn’t even know how to sing. I just knew I could be completely moved by a song and wanted to be a part of that. Johnny is a classically trained guitar player who loves metal music, and, man, does he have patience. He has always encouraged me to keep at it, even when I make him change the key six times to find the best one for my voice. Even when I forget the lyrics and make him play a two-minute intro. Even when I butcher the first song of our set, because I am just so nervous I could puke. He is my rock and the reason I am able to rock.
You have one question to ask one musician. What’s the question, and who are you asking?
Robert Johnson: What really happened at that crossroads?
What song would you like played at your funeral?
The mashup of “I’ll Cover You” and “Seasons of Love” from Rent. If you can get Jesse L. Martin and the original Broadway cast to perform it, that would be great.
Figurative gun to your head, what is your favorite album of all time?
Counting Crows, August and Everything After.
What song should everyone listen to right now?
“Bath Salts” by Highly Suspect. My absolute favorite of all time, the most incredible production of an alt/rock song I have ever heard. Also, “Lydia” by Highly Suspect is amazing.