Leeann Atherton
Gig Seeker Pro

Leeann Atherton

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | INDIE | AFM

Austin, Texas, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
Duo Americana Folk

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

May
01
Leeann Atherton @ Maria's Taco Xpress

Austin, TX

Austin, TX

Apr
24
Leeann Atherton @ Maria's Taco Xpress

Austin, TX

Austin, TX

Apr
17
Leeann Atherton @ Maria's Taco Xpress

Austin, TX

Austin, TX

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


As Leeann Atherton coos the words “Strong and handsome, sweet and smart / But I need lots of passion to keep my heart,” the first few words to “Remember Me,” a love song from her new album Heart Traveled Road, you will fall in love the Austin Texas native’s singing. Atherton’s elegant phrasing brings to mind Patsy Cline and a female version of Eddy Arnold, only with ever so subtle jazz overtones. The mood is classic and romantic, the vocals superb. Rick Botherton’s guitar is smooth and equally exquisite.



For those looking for something a little more rambunctious than the tender “Remember Me,” they need look no further than the song “Kiss,” a good country dance tune that will have you and your partner moving to the great rhythms created by Atherton (acoustic, rhythm guitars) Rich Brotherton (electric, acoustic) and Bill Whitebeck’s (electric bass), while pianist Riley Osborn helps drive this tune with some energetic stride piano playing.



One of the meatier parts of this album comes in the sixth, seventh and eight tracks, two of which we have already discussed, and the third being Atherton’s cover of Mike Stevenson’s beautiful mural “Ode To Nowhere,” on which Rich Brotherton to whom Atherton refers as a treasure, plays an incredibly pretty guitar solo. Atherton and Brotherton have teamed up in the past, as the guitarist appeared on Atherton’s debut CD Only Glory, and on her third album Lady Liberty (Songs of Mike Stevenson). The genius of Stevenson’s songwriting is his ability to help the listener visualize the “dirt road running through a corn field,” and Leeann Atherton’s beautiful phrasing and her sensitivity remind us of those times when the road ahead just does not look very good and how grateful we are for the simple kindnesses extended by friends.



About the song “I Believe,” Leeann Atherton says, “My son cries when he hears it. Everyone needs to know that someone believes in them. This simple song was brought into the studio at the last minute, when the background singers were there and ready to leave. It was a rainy work night and they had been there late. Rich (Brotherton) was tired, but I asked them if they could just hear it once and consider it. I had put down a rough guitar track. The girls nailed it pretty fast and Rich built the drums and the bass track afterwards.”



The choir, the James Sisters, consisting of Sandra Cathey, Phyllis Lewis, Vanessa James and Portia Vincent provide pretty and soulful background vocals that compliment Atherton’s voice as she professes an unshakeable belief in the one to whom she is singing. After hearing this song, make sure you that you do not go to bed tonight without saying “I believe in you,” to someone special or perhaps someone who is just hurting and needs to know that there is somebody out there that does indeed love them and believe in them.



"Looking For a Rainbow" is a proclamation of my eternal hope. My father thought something was wrong with me as an infant; because I was always so happy. The song seems to lift the audience,” says Atherton.



“Change Of Heart,” the second song on the album gives listeners the same goosebumps as a song Atherton recorded many years ago, the soulful “What’s Your Situation,” only this time she breaks free from a toxic relationship, instead of looking to rekindle an old romance. Riley Osborn plays an emotive Hammond B3 groove and Kaz Kazanoff’s reflective saxophone serves as the perfect accompaniment to Atherton’s vocals as the song winds down.



“Change Of Heart,” was given birth in Austins’ TC’s Lounge and Atherton says, “The audience really related to the message and the emotion that I put into it, because I felt every word and I meant every word.”



Leaann Atherton’s album cannot be slotted into one musical genre, because she did not hold anything back on this album, as she performs up-tempo country dance tunes and bares her soul in evocative and vulnerable songs that reflect upon relationships. She can be soulful with blues / R&B tinged vocals and melodies or she can be your favorite cowgirl, but the one thing that Leeann Atherton is always about is honesty and that is what you hear in the songs on Heart Traveled Road; you hear the heart of Leeann Atherton.



You can listen to select tracks from Heart Traveled Road by visiting Leeann Atherton's myspace site.





Reviewed October 2009

- Rivetting Riffs


Texas Platters
BY JIM CALIGIURI



Leeann Atherton
Heart Traveled Road
After a trip through the worldly acoustic sounds of Gypzee Heart, her previous band, Leeann Atherton returns to her roots with Heart Traveled Road. Under the steady hand of producer Rich Brotherton, who not only brings his guitars but a trunk-full of other instruments including mandola, harmonium, and cittern, the South Austin blues goddess offers up a hodgepodge of roots music that's sure to tickle her followers. She channels Dusty Springfield with "Change of Heart" and gets rowdy à la Delbert McClinton on "Kiss." As she has in the past, Atherton relies too heavily on cliché, the cloying spiritual "Soul Song" being just one example. That can also work to her advantage, however, as it does on the torchy blues "Remember Me," sounding like something Billie Holiday might have recorded. Heart Traveled Road won't win over any new converts, but it's likely to stir up passion in 78704.
- Austin Chronicle



Leeann Atherton had a CD release party at the Saxon Pub on September 18th, but guitarist Kevin Hollingsworth was at nearby South Austin Hospital preparing for his first round of chemotherapy (which we understand went well). Let us all hope and pray for a speedy recovery and victory over this dread disease — Kevin’s singer-volleyball star daughter just started ninth grade.
Leeann says this is her personal indulgences record, focusing in song on all of her ex-boyfriends, though one of my favorites is the Mike Stevenson ditty, “Ode to Nowhere.” [Old barn dancers know that Leeann once recorded an entire album of Mike's songs -- as he is too shy to sing them himself.] Heart Traveled Road is also Leeann’s first record done entirely in one studio with one producer — the celebrated Rich Brotherton. The band is David Carroll on upright bass, Bill Whitbeck (Rich’s partner in crime with Robert Earl Keen) on electric bass, Barry “Frosty” Smith on drums, and Riley Osborn on keyboards, with occasional help from Brian Standefer on cello, Kim Deschamps on dobro, Maddy Brotherton on violin, Kaz Kasanoff on saxophone, and the James Sisters on backing vocals. Rich, of course, plays everything else — including the cittern and harmonium. The songs are radio friendly, with the longest (”Change of Heart”) the only one over 4 minutes long. Brotherton has presented us with a stripped down Leeann, a woman who has shaken off old layers of skin to reveal yet another beautiful layer underneath. Less bravado, more sensuality, more vulnerability too.
Funny things happen on the road to somewhere. Leeann said her NEXT record will be her very best ever — and who knows? But ten days before her show, she did not have a band and all of a sudden these cats showed up, some just down from Nashville, to play the CD release and maybe a bunch more down the road. There are also co-writers on “Daily Blues” (an acoustic blues about coffee and the news co-written with recent collaborator Zhenya Rock) and the flat-out rocker “Lucy” (a story of how Leeann got her house and barn written with help from Brotherton), but the rest show sides of Ms. Atherton that many may not recognize.
- Flanfire


“She’s an Austin institution, 78704’s Den Mother of roots music, but Leeann Atherton is here to remind you that she’s a southern girl, born in Alabama, starting her musical career in a South Carolina Shag band. And that she’s the equal of any singer or songwriter she hosts at her Full Moon Barn Dances. And that she can sing just about anything she wants, be it blues, soul, torch, Tex-Mex, country or rock & roll. Her most fully realized album, so far, superbly produced, engineered and mixed by multi-instrumentalist Rich Brotherton, featuring 12 originals, standouts being Change of Heart and Remember Me, plus Mike Stevenson’s Ode To Nowhere, and such A-list players as David Carroll, Frosty, Riley Osborn and Kaz Kazanoff, this is something of a classic of the kind of album you can make in Austin. That is, if you have Atherton’s powered, control, tone, range, pitch, timing, silky strength, grace, sincerity and personality, all of which shine through.”
JC 3rd Coast Music Sept. 2009 - 3rd Coast Music


"Atherton's Southern roots stylings, from blues to jazz,are drenched in soul, and that , as they say, is not something you learn, it's something you have (or have not). She's also a fine songwriter. On top of all that, her personality shines through and makes her albums glow. - 3rd Coast Music


"This CD is just dripping with soul. Leeann has this wonderful kind of old time bluesy rock thing happening that echoes of Motown, Janice Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, and Marcia Ball. Her warm, full, and slightly raspy voice is strong and consistent, and very versatile. Songwriting is also strong. - Austin Daze


When it comes to barn-burning vocalist from Austin, Texas they don't come any hotter than Leeann Atherton. She's got southern fireball pipes that won't quit and an indefatigable spirit.
Margaret Moser, Austin Chronicle - Austin Chronicle


Discography

Barefoot Fields, Heart Traveled Road, Gypzee Heart, Every Day Dream, Mama's House, Lady Liberty, Only Glory. Rockin' at the Barn Vol 1-5,
Slim Richey & Leeann Atherton Limited Edition, Leeann's Barn Dance Vol. 1

Photos

Bio

Seasoned road warrior from years of road house gigs and lots of fun. Based out of Austin, Leeann has held a residency for 19 years at Maria's Taco Xpress, building a strong band that continues to draw larger and larger crowds.
Every so often the humidity in Austin, Texas, Leeann Atherton’s adopted hometown, hangs so heavy in the air that even a few minutes out-of-doors feels undeniably sultry. Then a storm breaks open the sky and rain flows like cosmic champagne, and when the sun comes out the next morning a magnificent breeze caresses the town, smelling like it just got in from the Atlantic coast.
Something similar happens listening to Leeann Atherton. Like the singer herself, who came to Austin via Charleston and Nashville, her songwriting suitcase is full of a seamless blend of twang, soul, gospel and blues owing a lot to Leeann Atherton’s background. Steeped in southern roots, stewed in Texas blues, raised by a hillbilly housewife and an Alabama gentleman in Charleston, South Carolina, away from the shopping mall culture, she put herself through college singing in a beach music dance band. She studied the spirituals of the South Carolina islands, sat in with a rural black choir, and joined the hardened professionals at work in Nashville song factories. “I loved the way those Ft. Worth boys sang “baby””, Leeann gleams. A road trip to Texas was all it took, and Leeann’s independent roots flourished in the fertile musical ground of Austin.
Her first Texas recording sessions at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio introduced her to Robert Earl Keen’s acclaimed guitarist and producer, Rich Brotherton. Forming a musical friendship, his musical style completed her first independent release “Only Glory”. Rich was chosen by Steppin Stone Records to produce her acclaimed Americana recording “Lady Liberty”, garnering #1 in local and independent charts (Austin Chronicle, No Depression), and receiving international airplay. Her musical journey continued with self produced releases “Mama’s House” an acoustic/electric blend of twang and folk and “Every Day Dream” a soulful look at the blues. Joining forces with the legendary Slim Richey, they recorded a CD of Jazz standards “Limited Edition”. Her recent collaboration with Russian composer Zhenya Rock produced “Gypzee Heart”, a blending of their respective folk cultures. In the 2010 release “Heart Traveled Road”, Leeann returns to her roots with Rich Brotherton in the producers’ seat again, along with a cast of Austin’s #1 List of session players. 2015 "Barefoot Fields" is a hauntingly beautiful acoustic recording, stripped down to guitar , bass, and vocals.

Every so often the humidity in Austin, Texas, Leeann Atherton’s adopted hometown, hangs so heavy in the air that even a few minutes out-of-doors feels undeniably sultry. Then a storm breaks open the sky and rain flows like cosmic champagne, and when the sun comes out the next morning a magnificent breeze caresses the town, smelling like it just got in from the Atlantic coast.
Something similar happens listening to Leeann Atherton. Like the singer herself, who came to Austin via Charleston and Nashville, her songwriting suitcase is full of a seamless blend of twang, soul, gospel and blues owing a lot to Leeann Atherton’s background. Steeped in southern roots, stewed in Texas blues, raised by a hillbilly housewife and an Alabama gentleman in Charleston, South Carolina, away from the shopping mall culture, she put herself through college singing in a beach music dance band. She studied the spirituals of the South Carolina islands, sat in with a rural black choir, and joined the hardened professionals at work in Nashville song factories. “I loved the way those Ft. Worth boys sang “baby””, Leeann gleams. A road trip to Texas was all it took, and Leeann’s independent roots flourished in the fertile musical ground of Austin.
Her first Texas recording sessions at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio introduced her to Robert Earl Keen’s acclaimed guitarist and producer, Rich Brotherton. Forming a musical friendship, his musical style completed her first independent release “Only Glory”. Rich was chosen by Steppin Stone Records to produce her acclaimed Americana recording “Lady Liberty”, garnering #1 in local and independent charts (Austin Chronicle, No Depression), and receiving international airplay. Her musical journey continued with self produced releases “Mama’s House” an acoustic/electric blend of twang and folk and “Every Day Dream” a soulful look at the blues. Joining forces with the legendary Slim Richey, they recorded a CD of Jazz standards “Limited Edition”. Her recent collaboration with Russian composer Zhenya Rock produced “Gypzee Heart”, a blending of their respective folk cultures. With her current release, “Heart Traveled Road”, Leeann returns to her roots with Rich Brotherton in the producers’ seat a

Band Members