Tag: Calexico

Live Footage: Acclaimed Singer/Songwriter Dylan LeBlanc Performs “Renegade” at FAME Studios

Dylan LeBlanc is Shreveport, LA-born and based singer/songwriter and guitarist, who grew up in a very musical home. LeBlanc’s father was a country singer/songwriter. who performed in various bars and clubs across the region. At a very young age, LeBlanc acquired a unique musical education, in which he frequently spent late nights watching his father and other musicians record at the studios, where his father play as a studio musician. Naturally, the Shreveport-born and-based singer/songwriter and musician was intrigued and became a musician himself, eventually playing in his first band, an alternative rock band by the name of Jimmy Sad Eyes Blue with another local musician Daniel Goodwill. 

As the story goes, Goodwill inspired LeBlanc to begin writing his own music. After spending a few years with Jimmy Sad Eyes Blues, LeBlanc was forced to attend rehab. Following rehab, LeBlanc decided to pursue music full-time instead of returning to high school. He joined Muscle Shoals Punk Rock band, replacing its lead singer, who left the band to join Sons of Roswell — and as a member of the band, Dylan toured throughout the region. A few years later, he co-founded the band Abraham, a band that also featured Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner, who at the time was also the house engineer at FAME Studios. 

When LeBlanc turned 19, he left Abraham to pursue a solo career. He signed with Rough Trade Records, who released his full-length debut, 2010’s Paupers Field, which featured “If The Creek Don’t Rise,” a collaboration with Emmylou Harris. To support the album, the Shreveport-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist opened for the likes of Lucinda Harris, The Civil Wars, Laura Marling, George Ezra and Calexico. Building upon a growing profile, LeBlanc’s sophomore album 2012’s Cast the Same Old Shadow was released to critical praise, with The Guardian calling the album’s songs “as beautiful as they are bleak,” and the album itself, “eerie rather than unsettling.” That year, LeBlanc opened for Bruce Springsteen, First Aid Kit, The Drive By Truckers and Alabama Shakes. 

Dylan LeBlanc’s third full-length album, the John Paul White-produced 2016’s Cautionary Tale featured Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard and was praised by the likes of NPR and No Depression. Supporting that album, he wound up touring with the likes of Anderson East, The Wood Brothers and others. 

Interestingly, LeBlanc’s fourth album, the recently released Dave Cobb-produced Renegade finds the Shreveport-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist and his backing band attempting to write the sort of songs that matched the atmosphere that they were bringing live. “So, I started with ‘Renegade,’ which was fitting since I felt myself going in a new, more intense direction with this record. In the studio, I let go almost absolutely and let Dave Cobb do his work. It was a different experience for me-how focused Cobb was and how quickly we would get live takes down, mostly in one or two takes and never more than three. It left me spinning at how quickly it all came together. Over the course of ten days Renegade was complete and ready for mastering. And I couldn’t be more excited to share it with you.”

“Renegade” the album title track and first single off the recently released album is a shuffling and atmospheric, minor key rocker, centered around an atmospheric hook, shimmering, pedal effected guitars and LeBlanc’s lilting falsetto, and while clearly being indebted to Damn the Torpedoes-era Tom Petty, the carefully crafted reveals a novelistic attention to psychological depth, as it tells the story of two star-crossed lovers — one, who seems desperate to leave, the other, who is desperate to stay. 

Directed by Alysse Gafkjen, the recently released video was filmed at Muscle Shoals’ legendary FAME Studios. Interestingly, the live session was a sort of homecoming for LeBlanc, who who began working at the studio when he was 16 — and where he later began recording his own music. “It was surreal and brought me back to a time and place that I had almost forgotten,” LeBlanc says of the sessions. “The only place where time always seems to stand still.” 


New Video: Orkesta Mendoza Returns with a Playfully Psychedelic Take on Cumbia

Now, as you may remember “Caramelos,” featuring Salvador Duran was the first single off the collective’s recently released album ¡Vamos A Guarachar!, and unsurprisingly the single managed to capture the act’s signature, genre mashing style –enormous tweeter and woofer rocking beats and synths, organ, twangy pedal steel guitar, a bit of mariachi, a bit of mambo, a bit of cumbia, a bit of flamenco, a bit of this and a bit of that are employed in a stomping dance floor-friendly song that manages to be familiar and alien and mischievously difficult to pigeonhole. And much like the work of a newer JOVM mainstay like El Dusty, this particular track should remind listeners and readers that arguably some of the most sonically inventive club banging music is coming from those who grew up in close proximity to the American-Mexican border.

The album’s latest single “Cumbia Volcadora” is a collaboration with renowned Mexican electronic music pioneer Camilo Lara is a swaggering, riotous and subtly modern take on the classic cumbia sound that kind of nods at Rob Base’s and DJ E-Z Rock’s “It Takes Two” thanks to a series of distorted vocal samples, El-Dusty’s “Cumbia Anthem” but with a psychedelic flair — and paired with a band playing one of the funkiest and tightest grooves I’ve heard in recent memory.

As for the recently released video is a wild visual collage of styles including animation, black and white footage of dancer dancing to the song, people wandering around and purchasing goods at a local market and of the band playing but superimposed with cartoon drawn masks, as well as homages to old movie posters and record art. And in some way it emphasizes the psychedelic nature of the song.

New Video: The Mischievous, Genre Mashing Sounds of Orkestra Mendoza

“Caramelos,” featuring Salvador Duran is the first single off the band’s soon-to-be released album ¡Vamos A Guarachar! manages to possess a genre mashing style as you’ll hear the enormous tweeter and woofer rocking beats and synths of electronica, an impressive organ solo, the twangy pedal steel of country and western, a bit of mariachi here, a bit of mambo there, a bit of cumbia, a bit of of this and a bit of that in a playful and stomping song that doesn’t quite sound like anything you would have heard recently, and they do with a mischievous, swaggering, danceable song. It’s the sort of song that much like the work of El Dusty and others, should remind listeners that the music from the American/Mexican border may be some of the most sonically inventive and challenging music you’ll hear in contemporary music.

The recently released video was shot by Josh Harrison at Tuscon’s RBar and features the incredibly dapper dressed band performing the song in the bar behind an incredibly colorful backdrop.