Leah Zicari
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Leah Zicari

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The best kept secret in music


"Go Girls Music Review"

Leah Zicari's newest release "Pretty on Thursday" is pretty darn awesome! Right from the first track, "This Is Me", I'm wondering why I’m not hearing Zicari on the radio. The quality of her music and gut-wrenching lyrics take me on a musical journey. This is one of the best CDs I've heard in a long time. I highly recommend it! - Madalyn Sklar


The Buffalo/Rochester area of New York State has some of the best independent musicians on the planet in my opinion. Despite the depressed economy of the area, the arts thrive largely unrecognized. A great example of exactly what I'm talking about is singer/songwriter Leah Zicari. Sometimes it takes an artist a bit of time to find their place in the world of music and with "Pretty on Thursday" Leah firmly establishes hers.

Nothing could have prepared me for Leah's latest release. Her talent was obvious on her last album, "Hard Road", but Leah becomes complete with this album. "Pretty on Thursday" is simply put....perfect. Leah's sound varies a bit from song to song but generally falls easily into the singer/songwriter category. Some of the songs come off with more of a rock vibe and that is one of the things that makes this album so perfect- it has variety but is not dominated by its variety. Songs like "Kiss that Boy", and "Run" have a very Eagle Eye Cherry, Sister Hazel, etc. kind of musical feel to them. You know what I'm talking about? When you hear a song and immediately start humming? And by the time the song ends you are going, "Man! Can they play or what!?" Not because the playing was so intricate but because the song was put together perfectly. That's the kind of rock songs you'll find here.

The slower songs are wonderfully played and Leah's vocal delivery seems so honest- even if she were lying about every lyric on the record she could make you believe her. World music-ish moments round out the album, nothing to extreme but there are definite hints of a Paul Simon influence here. I could go on about this album forever but I won't. Suffice it to say that everyone should own a copy of "Pretty on Thursday"; Leah is a refreshing and welcome change in the world of music. Very few people ever accomplish what she has on this album, no matter how many records they sell. Don't miss out on this one.

Key Song: "Kiss That Boy"
- Mark Fisher

"Edie Carey Quote"

"Pretty On Thursday" is just a phenomenal record. Zicari is on fire from the first whispered notes of the record to the very last chord. This is a woman who knows exactly who she is, who knows how to play the hell out of her instrument, and who has clearly had music running through every last vein since the day she was born. I don't know exactly what happened in that studio up there in Canada, but it was clearly magical.
- n/a

"Carpenters Manager David Alley"

After hearing your submission [Thursday in December for a song contest] I just had to hear more of you. I was very impressed! - N/A

"JD Doyle"

Leah Zicari's last CD, "Hard Road," was an extraordinary album of song and songwriting gems. So I was looking forward to her new release. But what I did not expect was to be bowled over with the quantum leap she took with "Pretty on Thursday." It has the right music, the right arrangements and the right singing to get across her wonderful and thoughtful lyrics, and to keep them in your head long after you've turned off the player. If "Hard Road" was a gem, this one's a diamond. JD Doyle, Producer of Queer Music Heritage on KPFT in Houston, and co-producer of Audiofile, heard monthly on 150 stations on This Way Out
- Queer Music Heritage

"The Buffalo News"

Don’t let the CD cover’s hard-bitten chick photo fool you – Leah Zicari hasn’t turned into a tough babe with a guitar. "Hard Road" continues to showcase Zicari’s dulcet vocals and poetic songwriting, with her classical music training evident in flowing arrangements.

Zicari’s lyrics expose a woman unafraid of sharing the importance of love in her life. She has a nice way of putting a new spin on familiar feelings, hitting us on the opening trace ("This Is Gonna Hurt Me") by singing "I wondered where we failed as I smelled the betrayal when you kissed me".

Though some songs are performed with barely a whisper ("Ready To Tell You", "The One Thing"), the CD opens up with some lively pop ("So Much To Say"), a swinging blues shuffle (Torque Me Baby") and a surprising, yet fun, country twang ("What Am I Gonna Do"). The hilarious "30/99", a plea for more stalls in women’s restrooms, is a hoot.

Contributions from Zicari’s friends are also of note, including renowned bassist Tony Levin, who adds some real snap to songs, especially with his stick bass on "Why Do You Care".

- Toni Ruberto

"Windy City Times"

The erotic acoustic number "Thursday In December," by lesbian singer/songwriter Leah Zicari would sound just right in a romantic scene on The L Word. In fact, many of the songs on Pretty On Thursday (Goatgrrl), which feature a more commercial and polished sound from Zicari would fit in well on practically any TV show or movie soundtrack. "Kiss That Boy", a wonderful song about the "many girls who once had a lot of pride/ are crossing over the other side", musically addresses the phenomenon of lesbians switching teams. Other standout tracks include "Tasted Like Ice Cream", Run" and "I Slept Through The Morning."

- Gregg Shapiro

"Best Of Western New York.com"

While some may call her a folk artist, Leah Zicari is much more than that. As much influenced by Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco as well as Jewell and Sheryl Crow she is more than a one-dimensional girl (woman) and her guitar. Her new release, Pretty On Thursday, finds her more focused, more polished and lyrically concise than previous efforts. The CD kicks off with "This Is Me" a song about a former lover who won’t accept the person for their virtues and faults but wants them to change to their idea of perfect. "Thursday In December" is a beautiful song with a simple refreshing melody. "Kiss That Boy", a not-so-tongue-in-cheek prideful boast, is a CD highlight. "Deadly Sin" is another great song with an AOR friendly sound. "Tasted Like Ice Cream" provides levity as Zicari describes and compares a blissful kiss to ice cream. "I Wanna Be Wrong" is a beautiful ballad with guitar and piano accompaniment. "A Better Way" is another AOR ready track. The disc closes with the dark lover's kiss-off, "Goodbye". Rounding out Pretty On Thursday are the tracks "So Nice", "Spinning", "Run" and "I Slept Through The Morning". Helping Zicari on Pretty On Thursday are David Rosenberg on bass, Nick Caraldo on drums, Tony Lind on electric guitars, Ian Tanner on keyboards and Andrew Horrochs on additional guitars, background vocals and programming. If you were wondering about the title, Pretty On Thursday, it comes from a quote Zicari uttered when asked why she was getting her hair styled, a new outfit, etc. for her first appearance at Lafayette Square for Thursday At The Square: "I need to look pretty on Thursday" she said. - Bob Silvestri


Pretty On Thursday (2004)
Hard Road (2001)
Wouldn't That Be Fun (1991-out of print)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Leah Zicari’s poignant and diverse songs have appealed to audiences of all ages and backgrounds, but it is her guitar skills that make her a standout among the genre of girls with guitars. With a master's degree in Classical Guitar Performance and her experience as a professional symphony and theater pit musician, her guitar accompaniments and songwriting reflect this versatile musical background.

Born into a musical family, her father was sound designer and engineer to Judy Collins, as well as to many great performers of our time. As a young girl it was not unusual to eat dinner with the likes of Chuck Mangione, Michael Bacon (The Bacon Brothers), Horace Silver, or members of Weather Report. She’d also had the chance to meet such icons as Roberta Flack, Livingston Taylor, Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and many renowned jazz musicians.

It is this rich musical history that Leah brings to her performances, which have been described as intelligent, poetic, dramatic and intense. Compared to Shawn Colvin, Sarah McLachlan, Jewel, and Joni Mitchell, she was nominated for Oustanding Songwriter for the 2003 Outmusic Awards, and is the 2001 winner of the Buffalo Music Award for Top Female Vocalist. She has placed in the top 5 of several song contests.

Leah’s first CD, Hard Road, features world-renowned bassist Tony Levin. She released her new CD, Pretty on Thursday, in January, 2004, which has wowed reviewers, radio DJs, and colleagues. Fellow singer/songwriter Edie Carey says: “Pretty On Thursday is just a phenomenal record. Zicari is on fire from the first whispered notes of the record to the very last chord. This is a woman who knows exactly who she is, who knows how to play the hell out of her instrument, and who has clearly had music running through every last vein since the day she was born. I don't know exactly what happened in that studio up there in Canada, but it was clearly magical.”

In Leah’s work as a professional musician she has played guitar, banjo and bass in a variety of settings. She has played in over 50 theater pit bands, including two National Tours, and has acted in several productions, including “The Vagina Monologues”. She has played classical guitar with Dave Brubeck, bass for Rue McLanahan, and once played the banjo solo to “Dueling Banjos” with the Erie (PA) Philharmonic under the baton of Peter Bay. She has also played and sung on several recordings by other artists, and was a guest vocal soloist on the 2003 Grammy finalist CD “Polkas In Black and White”.