Leslie Rich and the Rocket Soul Choir
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Leslie Rich and the Rocket Soul Choir

Minneapolis, MN | Established. Jan 01, 1994 | SELF

Minneapolis, MN | SELF
Established on Jan, 1994
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter




"Loud Folk Records"

After 15 years of silence, the Rocket Soul Choir is back with a crisper, tighter set of tracks. This time the Rocket Soul Choir utilizes the arrangement skills of new drummer, Pete Boulger, and finally succumbs to stalwart bassist Jason Wahl's wishes to plug in an electric and turn it up. The result still plows the field of folk honesty, but also delivers a much-needed injection of energy into Leslie's slightly off-kilter way of approaching love, hope, rejection and salvation. The music itself won't be rewriting the book of singer-songwriters gone electric, but the believability contained within is something all but a few in this genre consistently provide. - Loud Folk Records

"Simon Husbands - KFAI (TRUE BRIT!)"

Leslie has a truly authentic voice, that’s calling out to be heard above the noise - KFAI

"Youa Vang"

"Leslie Rich and the Rocket Soul Choir nurture the inner puzzle that is life throughout their new (record). The group has knack for melody, song construction, and structure -- all the boring, essential stuff. Their energy carefully placed into the songs -- both a casually instinctive move and a stroke of ingenuity for room to breathe." -

"Mary Carson"

A songwriter too long unnoticed by the music industry in Ireland and a performer who consistently defies the norm of solo and group performance, on an Island bogged down by band mentality. - Hot Press, Ireland

"Nancy Mayer"

Red Sea 01-28-05.
Rich drove on relentlessly through his set, I found I couldn’t immediately categorize him as sounding like anybody I knew well. (Nick Drake on speed came to mind later on; some might point to Eliot Smith or Mark Eitzel, for whom Rich has opened in the past.) Furious rhythmically and complex lyrically, Rich’s songs seemed to be less reaching towards heaven or redemption than realizing that here in the purgatory of modern life, we just have to reckon with the capricious meanderings of fate and callous disregard of time, the noisy collision of the material and musical worlds, the tedium of the Standard Questionnaire (as one of his songs is titled) that can define the aimless lives of most everyone in western civilization. On the catchy, melodic “Made Up My Mind” during the set Rich sang “I made up my mind/I ain’t going nowhere/you can kiss my arse/I’m going nowhere”—a kind of ironic simultaneous rebellion of spirit and resignation to stasis. Which is indeed more interesting than a Bud ad on the wall, in my view. - HowWasTheShow.com

"James Elliott - Rock Gossip"

GEEKLOVE is an understated acoustic treasure from one of our most under-rated songwriters. - Belfast Newsletter

"Alan Crawford - Headin' Out"

State of the art entertainment facilities such as the Waterfront and The Odyssey might bring the superstars of today, but where do tomorrow’s stars shine? Forget the manufactured TV sensationalism of such shows as Pop Idol and Star for a Night. Instead join Leslie Rich and the Rocket Soul Choir (for) the launch of his 2nd Album, ‘The Written Lie’. This (is a) brilliant new album, full of creeping, probing rhythms, which melt into melodic breaks…. Defining good music in words is a clumsy task….. The point is these are not superficial pop songs: they are born naturally from moods of loneliness, frustration, irrationality, happiness, lust and foreboding. The ability to make music is a gift, to make good music requires devotion, hard work , and faith in what you’re doing. In this way Leslie Rich is not a pop star, he is an artist who has been determinedly applying his craft, both locally and abroad. His diligence in self promotion has led him to set up an American Rocket Soul Choir for his gigs throughout the US. Last summer he wowed Finland in their annual musical festivals. I can only urge you to witness Leslie Rich and the Rocket Soul Choir blast off into another orbit. - Belfast Telegraph


“He Says He's Truly” single 1990

“Parents Anonymous” EP 1992

“cucumbercupidwounduplove” album with Emily Ryder on ERCo, 1993

“Otto Stand Alone” EP with Emily Ryder on Immortal Recordings (Ire), 1996

“Singing 9th & Hennepin”, on the Immortal Recordings (Ire) Compilation, “Hit The North” 1997

“Holiday In Cambodia” & “Teeth And By Skin”, on the Immortal Recordings (Ire) Compilation, “Covers And Others”

“Geek Love”, 7 track Mini Album on Immortal Recordings (Ire) ,1999

“Born With A Sad Gene” album with Emily Ryder on Immortal Recordings (Ire), 1999

“The Written Lie”, album on Immortal Recordings (Ire), 2002

“Men In Boats” album with Hounds Of Finn on New Folk Records, 2010

“Unjust Justice And Loving Vindictiveness” EP with A Little Of the Ready, 2010

“Belfast Telegraph” compilation EP on Time To Be Proud Records, “EP1” 2012

“Colorado” EP with Hounds Of Finn on New Folk Records, 2012

“Gravity Pulls” album with Hounds Of Finn on New Folk Records, 2013

"Kidder's Son EP" with The Rocket Soul Choir 2016



Leslie Rich has been a principle songwriter, singer and guitarist for bands such as Emily Ryder, A Little Of The Ready and the Celtic folk band, Hounds of Finn. He has been the main driving force behind the Rocket Soul Choir since 1994. The Rocket Soul Choir have released two albums, Geeklove in 1999 and The Written Lie in 2002 on the Immortal Recordings (Ireland) label, and an EP, Kidder's Son in 2016. Various recordings and tracks are available from Immortal Recordings (Ireland), Time To Be Proud Records, New Folk Records and Loud Folk Records

Pete Boulger joined in 2015 and has been in a multitude of Twin Cities band such as, Church Of Cash, Sawbones, Dander and The Grande Machine. Along with being an integral part of the Rocket Soul Choir, he also performs with Rich Yarges & The Pop Mechanics and Jim Crego in The North Electric.

Atom Robinson took over bass duty in December 2018

Past members, that have made an indelible mark on the Rocket Soul Choir are:

Jason Wahl, Michael Jorgenson, Gary Morrison, Jonny Mitchel, Paul Woods, Emma Rea, John Steel and Rick McCullough.

The Kidder's Son EP (CD, or vinyl) is available at all good Twin Cities record stores and online via our web store or Bandcamp

Band Members