Leslie Beia — Wallflower
If Mary Chapin Carpenter and Patsy Cline’s voices got together and had a baby, and that baby grew up singing harmonies, it would sound like Leslie Beia. Damn, this record is growing on me. To be perfectly honest, at first, I thought I needed a little more grit but upon the second listen I now realize where my ears failed me. With the help of the excellent musicianship of instrumentalists Kullen Fox (Charley Crockett) and Gary Newcomb (Bill Callahan, Richard Buckner), and drummer Matty Meyer (Pokey Lafarge, JP Harris), this record would be a great sidekick for any outdoor dance, dusk candlelit dinner, or maybe a road trip soundtrack to any desert ghost town.
Having spent the majority of her career in the background singing harmony, Leslie’s first venture into the spotlight sounds natural without feeling too forced. Wallflower boasts a range of styles, ranging from Irish Folk, Traditional Country, Motown, 50’s Rock Soul, and New Orleans Swing. It all somehow seems to blend together seamlessly like honey with the help of Grammy-winning producer Joel Savoy. Speaking of honey, on the Motown jam “How Could I Know” Leslie’s true lyrical and vocal chops shine through, channeling the ghost of Dusty Springfield: “Gramma would sit in the back of her house, bidin’ her time in the shade. Till she had to get back to the burnin’ fire just to get those biscuits made.” If you put the mix in mono and added some record scratches it might be a Detroit classic.
On strong tracks like “Wheels Came Off,” “When You Lose,” and “Fallen Angel,” the harmonies are pure pillows and Sunday sunshine, reverberating like smoke out of an old 50’s bubbler jukebox. I imagine the ghost of Patsy stopping whatever she’s doing to sit down, listen and sip something strong. Don’t mistake Leslie for just a pretty voice though. She wrote every song on this serving. It’s truly impressive, considering the range of styles. If you’re ready for a sidekick, Wallflower makes a trusted highway companion.
You can get/pre-order the record HERE for release June 18th or at http://www.LeslieBeia.com.
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