Amanda LeBlanc
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Amanda LeBlanc

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada | INDIE
Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"Yours Truly, truly worth a listen"

Talented singer-songwriter Amanda LeBlanc brings her sweet sounds to local audiences.

Amanda LeBlanc spent her youth in a home where singing became just about as natural as breathing.

“I’ve been singing all my life,” she says. “My parents are both from Cape Breton, so I grew up with ceilidhs in the kitchen and come by my love of singing harmony very honestly.”

With such a strong musical background it was not surprising that after high school Ms LeBlanc decided to pursue studies in both music and acting at Dalhousie University.

After two and a half years of college she packed up and headed for Toronto where she spent the next six years, ultimately recording her first album, “Yours Truly,” which was released in 2010.

Every song on the CD, which was co-produced by Don Kerr, was written by Ms LeBlanc with the exception of one, “The Tennessee Waltz.”

“Living in Toronto made me pine for the sea … and [that’s] a huge part of the influence on my record,” she laughs. “Once I released it, I did a cross-country tour last spring, then toured the Maritimes last summer and I realized that, hey, if I’m going to do this singer-songwriter thing, I really should be spending more time at home.”

Playing at events such as the 2011 Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso made Ms LeBlanc realize “how warm, welcoming and exciting the music community is in Nova Scotia.

“So when my aunt and uncle on Corkums Island offered for me to come and stay with them while I made some music … I snatched it up,” she says. “I’m totally in love with the South Shore.”

This summer, between working at her regular job waiting tables at the Knot Pub, Ms LeBlanc has been kept busy performing biweekly concerts at the Rum Runner Inn in Lunenburg.

She also appeared again at this year’s Stan Rogers Folk Festival; played at Nirvana Studio in Fredericton, Plan B in Moncton and the Kempt Shore Acoustic Music Fest; and made several appearances with Darren Arsenault.

Despite her busy schedule, Ms LeBlanc has found time to write some new material and she is currently in the process of checking out studios to record her next CD.

Her final two shows for the summer season at the Rum Runner Inn are slated for August 16 when she will appear with Chris Eakins, and August 30 when she will be joined by Sahara Jane.

Both shows start at 8 p.m.

This week, Ms LeBlanc is performing in Toronto at the Lower Ossington Theatre, and she will also be appearing in Truro on August 22, in Tatamagouche August 23, at the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market August 30 and at the LaHave Folk Fest September 2.

“I’ve just been gigging, playing music and working at the Knot,” she laughs.

Visit her website at for more information. - Progress Enterprise

"Amanda LeBlanc Music Reviews"

This Nova Scotian, also a stage actor, has a sweet voice with a more formal approach than many of her peers. Producer Don Kerr (Rheostatics, Ron Sexsmith) treats this as a distinguishing feature, encouraging syllable extension to take advantage of her superb breath control. James McKie’s fiddle pushes for improvisation, opening the door for some sublime intertwine. Some of the songs are fairly basic, and feel like early efforts. On “Keilani’s Song,” however, melody and performance may bring to mind the late Sandy Denny. LeBlanc’s sound is neither retro, trad nor hip except for being timeless, sincere and fresh.
- The Coast

"It's a busy time of year for music lovers"

Last week I stopped in at Wentworth Perk for a nice evening of music with Amanda LeBlanc, a singer-songwriter that I met at the Stan Rogers Festival. Amanda was brought up on the mainland but her parents are both from Cape Breton so there were a number of relatives in the audience. As well as her singing she is an experienced actress who has done stage work across Canada and some TV work as well, most recently appearing on CTV’s “Flashpoint.”

She impressed me at StanFest and I was even more impressed when I have had a chance to hear her do a full night live. A good storyteller, Amanda uses her acting experience to give her a great stage presence. Wentworth Perk is a stopping place for many members of Sydney’s artist community so during her show some came by and most stayed to listen. I wasn’t the only one she impressed.

I walked away from the show with a copy of Amanda’s new CD, “Yours, truly,” in hand and I was just as impressed with the recording as I was with the live show. There are a dozen cut, 11 of her own with a wonderful version of The Tennessee Waltz as an added bonus.

Amanda’s writing skills complement her storytelling. She is also blessed with the voice to back it up, working the sentiment of the situation to their fullest: her love songs (”Highway Drivin’,” “Dear Sir”) are passionate; you feel the emotion of her darker material (”Change”); her lighter material (”Drip”) washes all the darkness away.

“Yours, truly” may be difficult to find in the local area but it’s an excellent CD, well worth adding to your summertime collection.

- Cape Breton Post

"Amanda LeBlanc- Solution: To Fly"

Santa Claus left Toronto-based actor/singer/songwriter Amanda LeBlanc’s debut album Yours Truly in my mother’s stocking this past Christmas and it has yet to leave the stereo in her car three months later. Surely I inherited some of my optimism and the faith that recognition, success and prosperity surely must come to the most talented who work hard and earn it from my mother because she keeps asking me whether Amanda has “made her millions” or become wildly famous yet. When I tell her that Amanda’s star, although rising rapidly not only in Toronto but across the country, hasn’t skyrocketed quite yet she says, “It’s going to happen. She’s really something. She is going to be a big star.” I think my mom is right.

Amanda LeBlanc’s album is comprised of eleven of her own tunes and one cover song, Pee Wee King and Redd Stewart’s “Tennessee Waltz,” all of which I heard and wrote about when she performed at the Press Club back in April 2010. As I’ve previously said, there is an endearing spirit and warm, vivaciousness that shines in LeBlanc’s eyes when she is performing. She is utterly free of ego and instead radiates this joy and rapture of sharing the music she makes together, as though this were not her performance, but rather a communal experience that draws the audience together. This is undoubtedly inherited from her proud East Coast roots and the Ceilidh tradition, and indeed, whenever I see LeBlanc perform I always have this wistful sense that we should all be in someone’s big old fashioned kitchen, overlooking the ocean, armed with wooden spoons and dancing to her playing guitar and singing barefoot with the sea breeze wafting thickly through the open windows. Much of this ambiance also comes from the musicians she has brought together: James McKie (Fiddle/Guitar), Jamie Drake (Percussion), Terry Wilkins (Upright bass), Don Kerr (Cello), Danny Oore (Saxophone and Alto Flute), Chris Eakins (Piano) and Tim Hamel (Trumpet). As Reza Jacobs, Torontonian musical director and composer, said of her Toronto CD launch, "[the] show was nourishing [and] divine, transcendent but earthy, rollicking then moving."

Whenever I see her perform I am always sucked in immediately by how expressive she is in her performance, as she is also an accomplished actor. I was a little concerned that perhaps all this would not translate quite as well in a pure vocal performance on the album, but she and co-producer Don Kerr have truly done wonders with Yours Truly; it is a perfect encapsulation of all that makes Amanda LeBlanc so vibrant and winsome.

There is a vulnerability inherent in most of the stories that LeBlanc is telling in her seemingly simple, yet quietly poignant and undeniably poetic lyrics. It is not just the words that she has chosen to express herself, but how they are saturated with emotion, that make her songs so moving. From the richly lyrical “Keilani’s Song,” which speaks of immediate heartbreak, to “Cover to Cover,” a more reflective longing for a past love and “Movin’ On” which speaks to homesickness and the coming of age as we begin to forge a path for ourselves separate from our childhoods, LeBlanc has a way of capturing a deep sense of sadness and loss without losing her inherent hope and optimism. She also manages to do this in a way that never seems false or contrived. “Change” is a song of powerfully relevant social justice, akin to the early work of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez and “Drip” is perhaps the most joyful and catchy tune about Global Warming ever written, but the medium does not undermine the legitimacy of her message, as in Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi.”

My two favourite of her tunes are still “Let the Water,” a jubilant ode to the ocean which I think will speak innately to anyone with a strong emotional attachment to the sea and “Danger,” the unrequited love song that never fails to make me cry. Her rendition of “Tennessee Waltz” vividly captures another, distinctively classier, time and inspires the imagination to spin with all the other songs of this genre that would certainly suit her voice magnificently.

While I keep telling my mother that Amanda has not yet reached the level of stardom that she feels befits her, she has been keeping in quite continual demand across the country since Yours Truly was officially released in December. Women of Substance Radio on has been playing “Danger,” “Little Walls,” “Cover to Cover” and “Keilani’s Song,” while LeBlanc has recently returned from touring to both Montreal and Ottawa. Most recently she can be seen March 25, 2011 at the Free Times Cafe in Toronto (320 College Street, Toronto) with Dan Mock and James McKie (8:00pm, PWYC), she is the musical guest for Sunday Night Live at the Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West) on April 10th (9:30pm) and will return to the Press Club at 10:30pm on April 23rd. She is also heading to the East Coast Music Awards in April, and will do an across country tour, ending up in Halifax, at The Carleton (1685 Argyle Street) on June 26th for her East Coast CD Launch. To keep up with all of Amanda’s exciting endeavours, check out her website, “like” her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Amanda LeBlanc is undeniably a rising star in the Canadian music scene; hop on the bandwagon now, you’ll want to be able to say you “knew her when” once she’s hit the big-time. Go ahead, buy it today! ( (Or download it on Itunes or pick it up from Soundscapes (572 College Street). - TWISI

"Amanda LeBlanc- Chasin Dreams, Heart Upon Her Sleeve"

I caught an evening with Amanda LeBlanc entitled Let’s Be Foolish on Wednesday, April 1st at the Press Club where she performed with singer/songwriters Melanie Peterson and Marta Pacek. Accompanying herself on guitar, which she plays without a pick, she sang ten songs of her own composition and one cover song with some “impromptu musical splendour” from Marta’s band.

Music from the East Coast often has a particular spirit to it, one that pays homage to our Celtic forefathers and seems saturated with salty sea breezes and a yearning for home. Amanda LeBlanc’s music is no exception. Her song “Highway Drivin’” captures perfectly a journey so many of us can relate to, with “bare feet up on the dash,” as we drive toward the place where “the water kisses stone.” Her upbeat rock-out song “Take Me Down” is a perfect toe-tappin,’ jaunty pub song with similarly wistful lyrics that reflect the magnetic pull of the ocean on the soul. “Movin’ On” reminds me of Melanie Doane’s song “Salt Water,” as it follows in the tradition of tunes written to reconcile the choice so many East Coasters make to leave the ocean behind and to follow our dreams and our hearts to a much larger labyrinth of “grey on grey” concrete.

LeBlanc's signature song is the winsome and utterly endearing “Man in the Moon,” which is a light and poetic tune that freely emphasizes the lovely upper register of her voice. She also sings a “classic breakup song” entitled “Cover to Cover” and the very poignant “Letter” which begins “Dear Sir” and expresses the hope one clings to for salvaging the lost friendship after a romantic relationship has ended. Her voice soars with particular resonance in the chorus of this song. Her haunting song “Change,” is inspired by her reactions to Edmonton’s conspicuous problem with homelessness while she was living in the city performing at the HYPERLINK "" Citadel Theatre. It is considerably darker than her other songs, but very evocative. The song that her voice suits with absolute perfection is called “Little Walls;” the refrain seems as polished as one would expect from a song on the radio and LeBlanc’s belt flies with finesse and breezy ease.

One of the most striking moments of the show is LeBlanc’s rendition of her one cover song, “Tennessee Waltz,” which she sings with utter gorgeousness in a performance that surpasses that of every single one of the long line of artists who have made this classic so beloved and renowned. She belts certain phrases, filling each syllable with emotion, and the effect is absolute, utter perfection. I am so thankful that there is a demo recording of her rendition on her MySpace because all the others pale so dramatically in her shadow. Let’s Be Foolish ended with LeBlanc’s jaunty song “Drip,” which boasts of the catchiest tune and shows off LeBlanc’s brilliant scatting talents, and on this evening in particular the audience was treated to a rousing kazoo solo by the inspired Meredith Zwicker.

“Drip” is the song that you will go home humming at the end of the evening, but with all her wistful tunes and her contagious and utterly endearing spirit and charm, Amanda LeBlanc always insures an evening that will leave you feeling warm and cozy in your heart, although perhaps also pining slightly for the sea.

posted by amanda campbell at

1 comments: anonymous said...

Yes indeed, Ms. LeBlanc is a graceful force of nature. Every time I have heard her play, I am awestruck. Thanks for eloquently exposing her great talent to your particular audience. April 8, 2010 3:24 PM


"Yours, truly." Independent. Released December 5th, 2010.



Amanda LeBlanc has the uncanny ability to make you feel as though she's speaking directly to you with every soul-searching note she sings.

Likened to Joni Mitchell, Norah Jones, Sarah Harmer and the late Sandy Denny, Amanda has a presence that lights up the stage.

"She radiates this joy of sharing the music she makes that draws the audience together. This is undoubtedly inherited from her proud East Coast roots and the Ceilidh tradition". (A.Campbell TWISI 04/11)

Six years ago Amanda left the seaside for the big smoke and now shares her time between Nova Scotia, Toronto and the wide open road. Right now, NS is on the winning end (or rather, Amanda is!) and the beautiful South Shore is home while she tours the Maritimes and spends her days writing oceanside in preparation for her next album.

Her aptly-titled debut,"Yours, truly", recorded and co-produced with Don Kerr (Rheostatics, Ron Sexsmith), was released in December 2010.

In 2011 Amanda played The Stan Rogers Folk Festival, toured solo across Canada, and shared stages with such artists as Lennie Gallant (Kempt Shore Acoustic Festival); Rose Cousins (The Ship, Nfld); Scott Cook and the Long Weekends (Nelson, BC); The Hupman Brothers (Night Kitchen, Al Whittle Theatre, Wolfville) and Keith Mullins, Ian Sherwood, and Anna Ludlow at The Carleton in Halifax. Amanda’s most recent shows in Halifax were at The Company House with the boys from Modern Grass, and Ben Smith and Susan Arenburg.

Tracks from 'Yours, truly' are in circulation with CBC Radio 1 and Radio 3, Seaside FM, The Coast 89.7 FM (ECMA Radio Station of the Year), Women Of Substance on and the album was recently featured on East Coast Road Trip 94.1 FM with Fleur Mainville in December 2011.

On the Gig:
Solo: Amanda- Vocals and Guitar
Duo: Amanda + Fiddle and Guitar or Percussion
Full Band: Amanda + Fiddle, Guitar, Upright, Percussion and Back Up Vocals


As an actor, Amanda has worked in theatres across the country (Citadel Theatre, Edmonton; Banff Centre for the Arts; Neptune Theatre, Halifax; Stephenville Theatre Festival, Newfoundland; Theatre Panache, Quebec; Grand Theatre, London, TNB, New Brunswick, LiveBait, NB, etc) as well as in film and television on such shows as Flashpoint (CBS/CTV), MVP (CBC) and Mayday (Discovery Network).