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Lisa LeBlanc’s Runaway Queen

We review the album Runaway Queen by Lisa LeBlanc

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Lisa LeBlanc – Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen? 

In banjo, there is power.

Lisa LeBlanc proves on her new record that her banjo provides an excellent bedrock of power chords and driving rhythm.

LeBlanc is 26 years old.  A singer, banjo player, guitarist, she is originally from a tiny town called Rosaireville (“it doesn’t have traffic lights or even a stop sign it’s so small”) in New Brunswick, Canada.   She now resides in Montreal and has won Discovery of the Year at the Adisq awards in Quebec and is a Juno Award nominee.

lisa-leblance-why-you-wanna-leaveAt times Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen? is so compellingly original, it takes your breath away.

Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen? was released this September via Bonsound Records.  There are twelve tracks here which include many original songs road tested over the last two years as well as her first bluegrass-tinged recording.  The only cover on the collection is an explosive take on Motorhead‘s ‘Ace of Spades” which is a long-time live show favourite.  The track provides one of my year’s musical highlights.

Plenty to chuckle about lyrically here – dating losers in ‘Dump The Guy, ASAP’, annoyance about getting a break-up message pre-caffeine in ‘Could You Wait Until I’ve Had My Coffee?’.  Sam Roberts is featured on the coercive ‘I Love You, I Don’t Love You, I Don’t Know’ .  ‘Dead Man’s Flats’ is a terrific bluegrass instrumental inspired by the place near Canmore, Alberta.

Recorded at Mixart Studio and at Mountain City Studios in Montreal, Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen? was produced by Joseph Donovan (Sam Roberts, The Dears) with Mico Roy on guitar, Benoit Morier on guitar and bass and Maxime Gosselin on drums.  Award-winning singer Sam Roberts stopped in to help out with guest vocals on the tune “I Love You, I Don’t Love You, I Don’t Know.” – (“Our voices blended effortlessly, it was a dream come true, I’m a big fan of his” – Lisa LeBlanc)

Last year, Nashville was the starting point for a road trip which was a turning point of sorts, musically and personally for LeBlanc.  A huge fan and follower of cajun music and culture, her journey led her to Blackpot Camp in Eunice, Louisiana.  Through workshops of all genres from Appalachian banjo to traditional cajun songs and guitars, to bluegrass flatpicking, square dancing and Louisiana two-step, the trip provoked much inspiration.  Through further meandering through Lafayette, New Orleans, Austin, Asheville and New York, she acquired new skills to refine her guitar and banjo technique.  Guided by her nomadic instinct and experiences, she ended up her new album which also includes throwback inspiration from her teenage years as well as hints of rock, folk, blues, classic rock, spaghetti western and even, some hawaiian music.  Road songs and the people along the way provide the main inspiration, as well as the love songs and break-up songs you always wanted to write yourself.

One of my albums of the year.

Here’s the opening track – ‘Could You Wait ‘Til I’ve Had My Coffee?’:

 

“Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?”

TRACK LISTING

1. Could You Wait ‘Til I’ve Had My Coffee?
2. City Slickers and Country Boys
3. Dump The Guy ASAP
4. I Love You, I Don’t Love You, I Don’t Know
5. Why Does It Feel So Lonely (When You Are Around?)
6. (Self-Proclaimed)  Voodoo Woman
7. Ti-gars
8. 5748 km
9. Eh Cher (You’ve Overstayed Your Welcome)
10. Dead Man’s Flats
11. Ace of Spades
12.. I Ain’t Perfect, Babe

Via Webster Media Consulting

We review the album Runaway Queen by Lisa LeBlanc

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Author: Rob Dickens

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