MP3 Db Leonard - The Beast Ep
Folktronic. 1932 Regal Acoustic Guitar meets 1923 Corona Sterling Typewriter meets British Soundscape for a walk down East Fourth Street in New York City.
3 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Gentle, ELECTRONIC: Soundscapes
''DB Leonard’s work is served by a virtuoso understanding of the music in language. His songs, poetry, and fiction play off each other. And each is informed by an intuitive sense of text’s roots in oral forms. Furthermore, the warmth and intelligence in his diverse body of work readily enables audiences of all kinds to experience the singing underneath, the singing deep within writing.''
Executive Director, Poet’s House
New York City
My relationship with the guitar began at eight years old and has never dissipated. It has often morphed- from the acoustic, to the classical, to the electric, and then back again. It has settled back at square one, and it is here that I find myself beginning the beginning, building up a sparse soundscape with talented spirits who pray to the altar of negative space. The depth of the instrument has bridged many gaps in my life, and created some of its own.
During my relationship with music, words have increased in their significance- first in lyrics, then in poetry, and now in works of fiction. My use of vocabulary has always been simple and understated, reaching out for a conversational element in the writing. I aim for a lyrical quality in my prose. Indeed, the three novels that I have completed even utilize the rough structure of a pop song, (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus).
Paul Bowles, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, and Patti Smith have served as my signposts along this highway. Each of these artists has successfully bridged music with words, often taking each form in its own context. Their mixture of the simplest of phrases with the most profound sonic visions has served to create a body of work that is all at once haunting, compelling, stark, provocative and sexual in nature. I see in each of these artists’ writing the mind of a composer. There is an attention to detail in the arrangement of every word that allows their pieces to sing. Much like their music compositions.
Like these artists, I have experimented in different forms, with the concept of Place. I have actively sought out the meaning of the word Home, by abandoning it for adventures in over thirty countries, to find it again, like so many others, in New York City. Hell’s Kitchen has now been my home for eight years. Like so many artists before me, the city itself has evolved into a character in my work. The history of this place- ever-shifting, ever-changing- has proven fertile ground in which my words and music have taken root.
The visual image has been the final component for me. Film, a fascination, has proved an ultimate merging of interests. How the melody can squeeze its way into an image, while also making way for the words. A combination is the Story itself, with all of its moving parts. I discovered a 1950''s Canonet at a flea market in Hell''s Kitchen, New York City, which put a visual image to the words and the melodies that I sing. I needed to see it first hand, it seems, in order to believe it. And once I did, there was simply no turning back. So I have three loves then, that intermingle and flirt and fight with each other late on Saturday nights. It is the combination that I have committed myself to sharing with the world. The goal being only to add a moment of reflective beauty up to the face of a world that sometimes is quick to forget.
It is here, in New York City, that I have been blessed with opportunities to present my work both in print, on record, on stage and screen. I have discovered that a line on a page and an image on the wall can sting as hard as a minor chord from a classical guitar and I endeavor to strike in these three contexts. The rain and thunder that have protected both my Heart and my Art have now cleared to make room for visitations from new friends. I believe that Music, in all of its forms, was designed to be heard. I thank you for listening.
"try to imagine Dylan embodied in the spirit of Joe Jackson..."
The Boston Globe
"db is a shot of adrenaline to a listless industry. He has reinvented music and made it his own creation..."
"the laid back ethereal jaunts of db leonard are so casual and unassuming that you find yourself being comfortably wrapped up by their design...a sinfully languid musical offering with clever tack and purposeful precision... there’s no pushing and pulling here, but rather the band’s ingenious ability to let the music develop on it’s own terms. a stellar recording and one of the best efforts this year from the irrepressible db leonard"
"Isn''t this just a multi-talented superstar waiting to happen?... emotional and engaging... Leonard''s voice is perfect for the songs he sings- emotive, fresh, unafraid to yell or be quiet... God is it good. One of those moments you find on acoustic albums where you can hear the emotion, hear the feelings, cause it''s all you hear. You hear me?..."
Eliot Popkin, https://www.tradebit.com
"Vivid sketches of what seem like detail, yet they actually paint larger pictures... DB Leonard knows how to do it- write songs, craft melodies and pick his supporting cast..."
Les Reynolds, https://www.tradebit.com
"...a staple of the New York scene for several years now, this is db at his best- a gentle but firm rocker with the emotional directness of the late Jeff Buckley, the wistful musicality of Jackson Browne, a mimetic ability reminiscent of Harry Chapin... succinct, authentic, immensely entertaining... An important piece of evidence that the news of pop''s death is highly exaggurated... db leonard is among it''s foremost exponents."
Ariel Kronman, fan
"Top honors for this singer-songwriter- very nice arrangements... but what puts this effort over the top is the writing. Now, comparisons are the ground beef of this little butcher shop called music reviewing, but I will add a couple of my own lean grinds- Himmelman, Penn. Norm Deplume, https://www.tradebit.com
"...Informs the personal introspective sonic quartet with necessary emotion and power. These are observational songs about life and love, pain and sacrifice, retribution and redemption..."
Richard Thorpe, The Boston Globe
"...Leonard''s lyrics are a concerned largely with sex and character sketches of sketchy characters..."Paul Gibson, Seven Days- Vermont
"...the sort of music the label ''introspective'' seems tailor made for. It has a soft, folky ambience and stirring subject matter throughout..." Butch and Brenda, The Noise- Boston