Genre: Acoustic / Americana Music / Lyrica
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Bob Leslie is the unknown soldier of the Scottish singer-songwriter scene. Out of full-time professional action for fifteen years (owing to family commitments), he has never stopped writing and has recently returned with a 12-song album of self-penned Americana with more than a touch of Tom Waits about it. This is most apparent in the strong, image-rich lyrics and hooks that refuse to leave you hours after hearing them. In A Different World mixes jazz, country, folk and rock influences into a semi-acoustic mélange that reflects the varied career of the artist.
Originally from Edinburgh, Bob has been involved with music all his life. His Glaswegian mother was a professional club and theatre singer, while his father's Orkney Islands folk tradition showed itself in his mastery of piano, accordion, and fiddle. Bob started singing from the cradle and made an early mark on the Edinburgh music scene, winning his first talent show at 14 years old. 20 years in professional rock bands and many more semi-pro have honed Bob's performance and writing skills to a keen edge. He has played every type of venue from folk and workingmen's clubs to festivals and theatres.
Early in his career, he excited interest in his voice and songwriting from Apple Records, Chrysalis Records, and Robert Wace (the Kinks' manager) and his later songs have elicited high commendation from the organisers of the prestigious Billboard Song Contest.
Top-class musicians Bob has worked with include the following:
Andy Hamilton (sax player for multi-million-selling Canadian songwriter Corey Hart)
Chris Glen and Ted McKenna (bass and drums, respectively, with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band)
Colin Bass (bass player of seminal prog-rockers Camel)
Dave Vasco (guitarist for Warner Brothers artists Clancy)
Fraser Speirs (harmonica maestro with Paolo Nutini and Scots blues legend Tam White)
Jim Keilt (virtuoso lead guitarist with John Otway and the London production of Tommy - the Musical)
Kathy O'Donoghue (vocalist with, amongst others, Roger Chapman and Hank Wangford)
Zeke Manyika (drummer for Scots chart-toppers Orange Juice)
In A Different World (release date August 2010) makes the most of a rich crop of musicians from the Central Scotland scene: Bernadette Collier on backing vocals; Fraser Speirs on harmonica; Jim Keilt on lead guitar, Alex Mack on banjo, mandolin, and lead guitar; Craig Nelson on alto sax; and Carl Esprit Bridgeman on bass guitar. The instrumentation alone is a clue to the variety of styles blended into Bob's very individual sound.
Influences: ..Dylan, Steve Earle, Louis Armstrong, Tim Buckley, RB Morris, Country Joe, John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, Gillian Welch, David Rawlings, Muddy Waters, Hendrix, Grateful Dead, Tom Waits, Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young, Jimmy Rodgers, Hank Williams, Guy Clark, Ray Charles, Lowell George, John Lee Hooker, The Who, Otis Redding, The Kinks, Beatles, Stones, Beefheart - love T-Bone Burnett's production, wish I could afford him! Same goes for R.S. Field - his production on R.B. Morris's Take That Ride is immense! What a guitar sound!
• Variable: Me - acoustic guitar and vocals,
• Alex Mack - lead and vocals,
• Ted McKenna - drums,
• Chris Glen - bass and vocals,
• Fraser Speirs - harmonica;
• Bernadette Collier - vocals,
• Alice Leslie - vocals,
• Jim Keilt - lead,
• Craig Nelson - alto sax,
• Carl Esprit Bridgeman - bass
Live track: Me, Alex Mack, Bob Leiser - bass and vocals, Stevie Anderson - drums and vocals