Leroy Justice
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Leroy Justice

New York City, New York, United States | SELF

New York City, New York, United States | SELF
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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Leroy Justice"

Leroy Justice
Brittany Sturges
With a good ol' Southern feel and a name that screams Americana, it’s a surprise that Leroy Justice is a band straight out of New York City. After seeing their performance at the Bitter End, I was able to chat with Jason Gallagher (vocals and guitar) and Sloan Marshall (keys), before a Tuesday night show, about their whole Southern feel and some of their dirty secrets that even their fans don’t know.

Leroy Justice is composed of Jason, Sloan, Jim “Chickenbone” Ernst (drums), Bradley Wegner (bass) and Brendon Cavanaugh (guitar).
How and when did Leroy Justice begin?
Jason: The band started back when I was playing acoustic. I met up with Jim— his band had broken up— we merged together. It was a bit grittier. It grew from collaboration. We lost members, but then Sloan joined and we acquired Brad. So I guess you could say that this line-up has been together a year and a half.
I read that the name “Leroy Justice” has an interesting meaning. “Leroy” is the name of the name of a good friend’s father (what you consider “soul”) and “justice” is your bit of Americana, correct?
Jason: Yea, that’s right. It was fitting. If we analyze it, it has a bit of soul and Americana— just like our music. The music is based in bluegrass, soul and country.
You recently released your ten-track CD debut, entitled Revolution’s Son, correct? Any reason you didn’t release the normal “EP” first and then a lengthier CD later on?
Jason: Yes, it’s ten tracks. We all wanted a product for both review and showcase. When we started recording as a band, everything was going incredibly well. We were going to narrow it down to five tracks, but we loved all the ones we recorded. I mean, each song was taking only one or two takes— we had the studio time, so we kept playing. The songs kept piling up. We connected to all of the songs and finally managed to pick ten.
Where did the title Revolution’s Son come from?
Jason: It comes from the first track on the album. The words were written when I was in L.A., away from the band. It turned Leroy Justice into a band that is something more than just a gritty bar band. We play– really get out there and play every night.
Speaking of songs on the album, I heard your rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain.” Any reason why you chose to cover that song in particular, especially with the whole Southern feel of the band?
Jason: I’m going to let Sloan answer this one.
Sloan: “Purple Rain” kind of fell into our lap. We were playing at a fundraiser for Brad’s friend and she requested that we sing “Purple Rain.” We kind of goofed around with it. Something happened and it turned into country rock. When it’s played live, the audience is usually very receptive. The request turned into a pretty good following and it was something we all had laughed at.
I saw your video on YouTube for the song “Belt Buckle.” When did you guys film that and who directed it?
Sloan: It was directed by John Hyams, who directed the movie Rank, which is a movie about professional bull riders. The cinematographer was Steve Schleuder. We were lucky that we know a lot of filmmakers and people in that field. We used a 35-mm camera, which reduced the price to about a fraction of the cost. We pulled in a lot of favors. Overall, it cost about $1,000 with the film and processing.
Where was it filmed?
Sloan: It was filmed at Drive-In Studio in NY in one 20-hour day.
So back to the music. It has a definite Southern feel, but you’re all from New York…
Sloan: I think I can say that we all pretty much grew up on 70s classic rock, including Lynyrd Skynyrd.. I mean, we’re different in the sense that Skynyrd has that honky-tonk Southern rock feel, while we’re more collective all around. But our roots are based in that classic rock.
I saw you guys play at the Bitter End on the same night that Fat City Reprise played. I noticed on a flyer that you guys were scheduled to play there three times in December… Do you play there a lot?
Sloan: We played there a few times during the end of the year. There were decent crowds each time— it was a three day thing, well three Saturdays. We’re playing there New Year’s Eve as well.

I was surprised— you played the set sitting down. I think you may have been the first band to do so.
Sloan: The sets aren’t usually that mellow. The first show we played at the Bitter End was bit more original, the second was mellow and acoustic. The third we had about ten people on stage…
You’re playing New Year’s Eve... any special plans to add to the stage show because of the occasion?
Sloan (laughing): We’re open to suggestions. We’re brainstorming about it right now. Either way, we’ll be ringing in New Years on stage. We’re not out to get everyone to love us. We want to have a good time and play music. It’s contagious. We’re happy... the whole damn world is happy. (laughs).
If you could describe Leroy Justice in five words or less, what would you say?
Jason: Makes you stand and dance.
S - Ink 19

"Loud and Sweaty"

Leroy Justice expands its sound, gigs
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 01/12/07
After a spin of Leroy Justice's debut disc, "Revolution Son," you would never guess that the gritty, Southern-sounding rockers reside in Manhattan.
"We hear a lot of Black Crowes comparisons, and it's all right with us since they're one of our favorite bands," Leroy Justice singer/guitarist Jason Gallagher said. "They're a rock band and a jam band, which has the same kind of lineup we have."
Leroy Justice, whose members include guitarist Brendan Cavanaugh, bassist Bradley Wegner, keyboardist Sloan Marshal and drummer Jim "Chickenbone" Ernst, are showcasing new tracks. Some still pack a power reminiscent of the Black Crowes, but there also are some mellower, alt-country tunes.
"We're stretching out a bit," Gallagher explained. "Some of the songs have that Whiskeytown feel to them. Those songs aren't as raucous as a lot of our stuff, but we still have the songs (that) are garage rock-like. They have that rough, edgy kind of feel to them."
Leroy Justice, which has been around for five years, will make its Asbury Park debut today at The Saint.
"It's funny — we're not far from Asbury Park, but somehow we never played there," Gallagher said. "I can't wait, since we've heard a lot about it."
In 2007, the quintet will be performing in quite a few cities it's never played before. That's because this is the first year Leroy Justice will be focusing completely on music.
"In the past, we had quite a few different members of this band," Gallagher said. "A lot of the guys had day jobs and other concerns, but we're changing the course of this band. For the first time, we're going to go out and play five, six nights a week. We're committed to what we're doing. In some ways, it's all starting this weekend in Asbury Park."
Leroy Justice, which has played the annual Austin, Texas, music conference South by Southwest, is an intense, energetic live band.
"We sweat a lot up there," Gallagher said. "We're all about giving everyone a good show, and we like to play loud. After we play we like to hear people say, "They were a little loud, but they were really good.' "
- Asbury Press

"Press Quotes"

"NYC's Leroy Justice has the same spark as early Black Crowes and Mother Hips. There's enough twang to make you think it's southern rock but the tender lyrical turns tie them closer to Springsteen and other Northeast roots rockers. Their debut is great and they kick ass live. Belly up to the bar and let them pour you a shot of what you need."
Dennis Cook Jambase
"...blues rockers with a Delta sound."
NY Daily News
"...their Southern-fried boogie is so faithful, it's hard to believe these guys are from the big city and not from some Mountain Dewand Southern Comfort hollar..."
All Music Guide
"...alt-country meets southern rock, plus lots of guitars, sound will remind you of a cross between Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Rolling Stones."
Paper Magazine
"...a ten-gallon hat stage presence with a CBGB's attitude and I was in love with rock and roll again... ...bourbon rock is here to stay."
"A gritty, pure, rock n' roll vibe that comes off as both familiar and refreshing at the same time. It's very good stuff."
The Weekender Wilkes-Barre, PA
"...LJ's lead singer celebrated winning over the crowd by dismissively flicking his guitar pick to the ground and stomping straight to the bar. Rock and roll, baby."
CreativeLoafing, Atlanta GA
"...part of the fun of SXSW is hearing stuff you'd never discover otherwise. Many of the bands that showcase are talented, but nearly all of them need to work on stage banter. And they're not all country, of course. Still, isn't country music what you'd expect from a band named Leroy Justice? Especially when they start the show by asking, "How y'all doin'?" Sure, but when they follow up with "I said, 'How y'all motherf-----s doin'!" it's probably time for something a little more polite."
Craig Shelburne CMT.com
"The blues-fueled spirit of Seventies Southern rock lives. Oddly, it lives in New York City. The crunging riffs, the twinned leads, the squealing keys, the hard-road vocals--the backup chicks! All here! Oh, and the songs--the songs're here, too."
Kurt Loder MTV
- MTV, Jambase, Paper Mag, and others


Revolution's Son (LP, 2006)
Leroy Justice (EP, 2005)

Several tracks from Revolution's Son are receiving Triple-A and College radio play.

All songs are available through streaming


Feeling a bit camera shy


Like a roadhouse ghost rattling his chains, Leroy Justices debut album, Revolutions Son, comes to life. Their revolution is the same one rock n roll has been fighting since the blues and country bedded down together to water the tree of musical liberty with the blood of true patriots. Leroy Justice opens a vein thats colored like the Black Crowes, Marah, Old 97s and vintage Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Its roots music that never strays too far from the garage or an open whiskey bottle.

Chief lyricist, hickory smoked vocalist and shred-tastic guitarist Jason Gallagher discusses the bands lawman name, It has a good mix of soul (ala Leroy) and Americana (ala Justice). Leroy is the name of our friend Stoney's father. Literally. He owns an auto body shop and couple of poker machines, and plays a wicked telecaster. He lives in South Carolina. We wanted a good name. He has one of the best. We used it.

From the opening one-two punch of Revolutions Son and Bender on through slow burners like Belt Buckle and Hey Baby Its Me, their debut mixes youthful energy with a surprising confidence that recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd, MOFRO and Little Feat all groups that seemed to arrive fully formed, ready to use dead solid songs & heartfelt playing to whip you up something that sticks to your ribs. The young Bruce Springsteen in his arc towards Born To Run also springs to mind. Leroy Justice vibrates with the same kind of promise these powerful ancestors had.

It's soulful rock. Like American rock. Like rip your heart out and drink it down rock. It's the rock we grew up on, says Gallagher. Theres a distinctly Muscle Shoals vibe, especially when Anise White belts it like a 60s Atlantic Records soul sister behind Gallagher. When you find out theyre from New York City it throws you for a bit of a loop. When I think of Southern rock, I think of confederate flags and long hair and harmonizing guitar leads. We aren't really into all that, offers Gallagher. We are into playing in the pocket and kind of can't listen to indie/pop/metal rock though. THAT's kind of southern.

When I came to NYC, I was writing ballad/folk songs. When the band started, everything got louder. In a good way, Gallagher recalls. There's just something about the city that makes you want to make people shake their asses, sweat a little bit, and raise their drinks and yell YEAH. Our sound adjusted, and there was no looking back.

Bassist Bradley Wegner further excavates their sound, My influences draw more from the R & B end of things. I learned how to play music through Parliament/Funkadelic, Curtis Mayfield, Bill Withers, Beastie Boys, Taj Mahal and Motown. The day I bought my first bass a got home and pieced together Rage Against the Machine "Take the Power Back". Walking side by side with all of this were always great songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Blind Melon. Neil Young's Harvest and Harvest Moon were the Cocoa Puffs of my childhood.

The band performs regularly in New York and is branching out into the Northeast. An upcoming appearance at Austins South By Southwest Festival will introduce them to an even wider audience. In the meantime, theyll be bending an elbow and breaking hearts. Its what rock & roll outlaws do.

Leroy Justice has participated in plenty of bad behavior in our time, says Gallagher. We just think bad behavior creates some of the best, as well as some of the most regrettable times in our lives. Both are worthy of a good rock song.