The Local Lowdown
One of Lexington's
Singing of everything from sailing to farming and drinking, Logan Leet writes songs with a world-weary wisdom and heartfelt sincerity. His earnest voice perfectly fits his original tunes about the human condition, always finding a touch of irony, humor and tenderness. With the recent release of his new record, More Things Change, Leet is garnering much well-deserved attention from fans of the singer/songwriter school of performance.
It was just a few years back that Leet found himself searching for a new path in life. Though he was raised in a musical family and taught himself guitar and piano before the age of twelve, it wasn't until later in life that he realized something was missing and began to truly pursue his musical ambition.
"Music is something I've done on some basis all my life," Leet comments. "When I wasn't playing, I really missed it."
Leet began performing at music houses, fairs and festivals. Consistent solo performances and steady songwriting left Leet with plenty of material to share on the stage. Taking those songs into the studio, Leet began working on More Things Change, a collection of some of his finest pieces.
From the Van Morrison-style romp of "Sucker at the End" to John Prine-inspired folk numbers like "Legacy" and "Pam's Song," this is a record full of varied influences. "Hello Barstool" is reminiscent of old Eric Clapton while "To the Sea" and "Unimportant Things" bring James Taylor to mind. There's even some reggae flavor with "Jamaica Rain."
Boasting an impressive list of contributing musicians including dobro maestro Rob Ickes, More Things Change stands as a strong local record rooted in personal observation and experience.
Having recently returned from performances at the North American Folk Alliance Conference in Vancouver, BC, and as a finalist for the 20001 Kerrville Folk Festival in Kerrville, TX, Leet is already hitting Lexington clubs once again.
In the daytime, Leet keeps busy as the owner of the Brand House Inn, Kentucky's only AAA Four-Diamond Bed and Breakfast Inn. But the nights belong to music and as long as there's a microphone in sight, you can bet Logan Leet will continue to belt out perceptive compositions of Kentucky-bred insight.
As he puts it, "Writing and playing music is like a nervous habit for me. I can't stop."
Logan Leet plays Jul 20 at the Marriott; Jul 23 & 24 at Regatta's; Jul 26 at Thursday Night Live in Courthouse Square, 10pm. Free. For more info on Logan Leet, visit www.loganleet.com.
Coming of Age
Drawing inspiration from bands like The Replacements and the Meat Puppets, Ten Months Later write and perform Americana roots rock with an eclectic blend of sound. Formed in 1999, the band is starting to stake its claim to a growing fan base in the bluegrass region. Opening slots for the V-Roys, the Silos, Bare Jr. and My Morning Jacket have provided them with plenty of exposure. Now, with their latest release, Sadie Hawkins Dance, Ten Months Later find themselves dipping into a deep well of influences, showcasing a sound that's laced with the spirits of super talents like Steve Earle, John Prine and Elvis Costello.
As with most bands in the No Depression vein, it's difficult to pinpoint a style since the tunes range from hootenanny to pop/rock. Songs like "Thunder and Cartoons" and "Big Sky" build on gentle, catchy radio riffs and slowly pull you in. "Every Now and Then" is a backyard stomp with plenty of twang and a classic country shuffle. There are even some rockers like "Mike Hyde" and plenty of playful pop smarts in songs like "Strangest Places" and "Fried Cheese."
"We tried to pick out the best songs that kind of define who we are," explains bass player Matt Garlove. "Sadie Hawkins Dance is musically diverse because we all come from different backgrounds with varied interests."
Most of Sadie Hawkins Dance is about growing up and coming of age, dealing with life and searching for enlightenment. And it feeds off the energy of each different member.
"We're all friends," vocalist/songwriter Randy Arnold comments. "There's a great chemistry to the band. And to date, there has been no good 'business reason' to play besides the fact that we love it and are compelled to do it. Creating music and playing it for others is something we truly love to do."
Soulful maturity and melodic fortitude propel the tunes on Sadie Hawkins Dance directly into your psyche. Familiar approaches to time-honored song styles make it an enjoyable dose of American music.
"We are not reinventing the wheels of roots rock," adds Arnold. "We're just putting a different hubcap on it."
Ten Months Later play July 20 at High On Rose at 10pm. Cover is $3. For more info, visit www.10monthslater.com.
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