MP3 Leslie Smith - Feel Me
Soulful, funky grooves and powerful alt pop, this collection of originals by one of New Orleans strongest songwriters is a must buy.. Produced by Ivan Neville
9 MP3 Songs
POP: with Live-band Production, URBAN/R&B: Soul
After Katrina, I thought about a lot of things. One of the things really in the front of my mind was where I come from, my home and my way of life; New Orleans.
I have been an artist since I can remember. Even when I didn’t know I was an artist, my city nurtured that part of me. What we have in New Orleans is very special.
I was brought along in the great tradition of musical mentoring by amazing artists, and when I was in my teens, was blessed to work with Willie T., Ellis Marsalis, Earl Turbington, George French, George Porter Jr., James Black, Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeleste, Johnny Vidocavich, James Rivers and countless other great New Orleans artists.
Much of this mentoring and sharing began at a club called Tyler’s Beer Garden, on 5234 Magazine Street, owned by Fred Laredo. David Torkanowsky hired me in there and played in my very first band with David Berard on bass, Kenneth ‘Afro” Williams on percussion and Bernard “Bunchy” Johnson on drums. This club was Uptown and only a few blocks from Valence Street and Ivan Neville’s stomping grounds
This was also where I first came into contact with Ivan.
Ivan would come to my gigs and teach me new songs he was just writing on the breaks. Back in those days, he was always with his friend Reginald Cummings. We would walk in the neighborhood working out our harmony parts, then he would come sit in, and we’d perform the newly learned material. This is how I first got to know Ivan. We’ve both been down some interesting roads between then and now, but when I was asked to do another all original CD, I wanted it to be something special, that represented where I come from and who I am, and right away I thought of Ivan.
I need to be connected to my people, people who have watched me grow over time and know my musical background.
I’ve done a lot of recording over the years and none of it feels cohesive to me. Each project I’ve done has been a document of a place inside myself I was discovering. I’ve never had a clear vision of myself, like so many other artist friends of mine. It’s all about learning and growing though, and I’ve certainly continued doing that, musically and personally.
Post Katrina, the only way I know to feel that sense of home I miss so much is to touch some of the people that go back to my childhood and make some music with them.
Many people have urged me not to combine some of this music I’m writing that goes back to where I came from in the funk and R&B school, with my “songwriter” stuff. I brought all the songs I wanted on this project to Ivan and asked him if he thought they could live together. He said yes. That’s good enough for me.
"Feel Me" feels real good and we had a lot of fun making it. Every artist involved in this project is amazing. Go to https://www.tradebit.com, and click on "media" to see an interview with me and some out takes of the sessions we did in Austin Texas in late Jan. and Feb of 2006. I hope you enjoy my newest CD!