Mike Leslie Band
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Mike Leslie Band

Rochester, Michigan, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Rochester, Michigan, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Blues

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Music

Press


"Gary Graff SXSW Interview"

Rochester singer-songwriter Mike Leslie was among the Detroiters who came down without a gig but felt that it was important to be at SXSW. “I knew there’s be a lot of anybody who’s anybodys down here,” Leslie said as Jamaican Queens performed. “I’ve met people from Texas, from the East Coast, from around the world. It’s great.” Armed with promotional postcards, he planned to possibly play on the street in order to attrack some attention. “I brought my guitar, so whoever wants to hear me, I’ll pull it out and play them something,” Leslie, 25, noted. - The Oakland Press


"Jamsphere Review"

If you’re unfamiliar with the band and love rock n’ roll and pop sounds, then I highly recommend this refreshing Ep. MLB have completed a very self-assured and mature album, not one that kicks you in the balls but rather thoughtful and polished. The sound quality is stunningly clear and natural sounding, while the playing is assured and the chemistry between the trio fires on all cylinders throughout.

A solid Ep from beginning to end, go out and pick this one up, you won’t regret it!! - Jamsphere


"Hip In Detroit Interview"

Hip in Detroit Interview - Hip in Detroit


"Kevin Mathews Review"



The Mike Leslie Band is a fairly new combo – having been formed in Downtown Detroit during the hot and steamy summer of 2012. Consisting of Mike Leslie (naturally) on guitar and lead vocals; Mike Parrott on bass and vocals and Mike Swain on drums, the trio developed an instant chemistry through jamming an eclectic mix of cover songs. You know the familiar rock band story – Leslie, Parrott and Swain played in several local Detroit bands and finally came together entire by chance; fortuitous moment for band and fans alike.

This five-track debut EP is an excellent sampler of the trio’s somewhat eclectic twist on “classic” pop-rock music, where the emphasis is on hooks, spine tingling melodies and deeply relatable lyrics. The official bio claims that the band prizes the influences of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Jim Morrison, and Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.

Well, there’s certainly more varied inspirations brewing around in these five songs and it behooves any diligent reviewer to run through the entire track-listing to give you, dear reader, a fair assessment of this EP.

The opening “Notice” contains a potent R&B groove that easily recalls the mid-60s goodness of Cream, The Beatles and (previously mentioned) Jimi Hendrix. Leslie himself does a bang-up job in his dynamic singing and his incendiary lead guitar solos. This soul-rock effort ranks very high on the melody quotient, with the backing vocals strengthening the harmonious vibe of the overall tune. There is an edginess in the lyrics – “This ain’t no fairy tale/Everybody fucks around/Maybe it’s not where you’ve been/But where you’re going now” – that suggest a melancholy, frustrating the protagonist of the piece.

“Embers” sounds very much like a solo Lindsey Buckingham composition from the early 80s. And that’s a compliment! This comparison arises due to the manner in which Leslie fashions the guitar arpeggio and most of all, the melodic and harmonic development that is reminiscent of the musical brains behind the mega-selling Fleetwood Mac. There is also an easy-going West Coast vibe that also channels the mid-70s twangy pomp of The Eagles – it’s slick and catchy, like the best 70s hits were, once upon a time.

“Nothing to Lose” begins the band’s move away from rock territory into more poppier exercises. Naturally, the use of jazzy major sevenths in the chord progressions is a dominant factor and once again, the 70s are resurrected accurately to deliver that crucial soft-pop vibe that simply never goes out of style (if handled properly, of course). Parrott demonstrates the versatility of his vocals, stretching out his range into the higher register, rather effortlessly, it would seem.

If nothing else, the Mike Leslie Band leaves the best to the last with the two Beatlesque power-pop tracks viz “Sickness” and “Sooner or Later”. The former is a raucous number with a chorus that utilizes the time-tested major-minor change that will always reel in the tune lovers, hook line and sinker. There are touches of The Who in the arrangements as well, if one is astute enough to pick up on the subtle references, especially in the breaks. Overall, “Sickness” works well due to the attention to detail afforded by the band – well worth the effort!

“Sooner or Later” begins in a jaunty fashion – employing that similar major-minor construct in the verse this time. Uncannily enough, the chorus is able to match the verse easily enough – quite an achievement – there are several “chills down spine” moments in this refrain. Not only that but Leslie pulls off a tasteful guitar solo that is elegant and classy. Words that come to mind when evaluating “Sooner of Later” in summary.

In conclusion, the Mike Leslie Band EP is essential listening for anyone who loves the shimmering pop-rock/power pop of the 70s and 80s.

Artist: Mike Leslie Band
Album Title: Mike Leslie Band EP
Review by Kevin Mathews
Rating: 4.5 Stars (out of 5) - Kevin Mathews


"Front Page of The Oakland Press"

Monica Drake interview - The Oakland Press


"Real Detroit Review"

It's often hard to make it in the city of Detroit, so we like to support our local scene as much as possible here at the city's most dangerous weekly. What makes that effort a little bit easier, is when local musicians put out music that's as great in its technicality as it is in listen-ability. Mike Leslie and his backing band have done just that, and while their new EP is only three songs long, it's a great listen from back to front. Rock in its truest sense, those who blindly call themselves fans of anything that graces the radio as such will truly delight in this record, as its musicianship is spot on and it's lyrics are ubiquitously felt. As is not always the case with newer acts, the singing done by Leslie is very enjoyable and the harmonizing in "Embers" is pretty impressive as well. "Nothing to Lose" offers something a little bit different than its two other fellows, a much lighter tune that has hints of doo-wop that we personally dig. The change of pace also showcases this group's versatility and dexterity in various different styles, a knack that will have them going places soon enough. - Real Detroit Weekly


"Middle Tennessee Music Interview"

From what I understand, the industry has changed a lot, and it’s becoming easier to be independent, especially with the internet. But unfortunately this means there is so much more trends, fads, and competition. You just have to stick to what you love, and those who love you. - midtnmusic.com


"Treethugger Review"

The vocal hooks are catchy, poignant & well crafted while the guitar lines are straightforward and precise- a refreshing sound in an era of brash and overly energized rock bands. For their genre and market, Mike Leslie and his crew are onto something very good at the moment - treethugger.com


"Tom Lohrmann Review"

The production on this album was solid throughout. My album highlight was “Notice” due to the brilliant Crybaby Wah guitar line that was featured prominently. I wish Mike Leslie Band the best of luck in their musical career - tomlohrmannmusic.com


"Indie Band Guru Review"

The production values seem well beyond a band that has been around for half a year and I wouldn’t believe it if I didn’t do the research myself. Mike Leslie Band is definitely one to keep an eye on. - Indie Band Guru


"Chuck Taylor Billboard Magizine review"

While the Mike Leslie Band offers the sweaty sonic signature of Downtown Detroit rock troubadours, make no mistake: Their gritty, grimy palette is also polished to perfection, with sing-along hooks to beat the band. Single “Notice” smacks of a radio smash, with a flypaper chorus, alongside pristine vocals and masterful guitars from lead Leslie. - Billboard Magizine


Discography

Mike Leslie Band EP (2012)
Mike Leslie Band LP (2014

Photos

Bio

The hot summer of 2012 saw the renaissance of Downtown Detroit and the
formation of the Mike Leslie Band out of the big bang of old structure,
new generation and classic Motor City-born musical styles. MLB offer
their eclectic jam twist on pop progressions over rock structure; these
gentlemen have strong folk and classic-rock guitar chops yet write
around hooks and lyrics to produce urban sonic jewels.
Their influences span musical and literary generations, yet are honest
and familiar, like your favorite pair of jeans and work boots. Imagine a
block party jam session with Johnny Cash, Alabama Shakes, early and
late career John Lennon, Sam Cooke, Government Mule, Nirvana, Gary Clark
Jr., Hendrix and Jim James. Nietzsche and Capote offer prose
inspiration to Mike's songwriting. MLBs live show is a three-ring
circus of primal energy, Motown soul and spur of the moment surprises
that translate this fine young Midwestern band from great album into
hell of a party.

Since their Detroit debut show to a sold out
crowd at the Magic Stick in December 2012, Mike Leslie Band has been a
speeding bullet of buzz and critical acclaim. MLB have sold out headline
shows at the classic Michigan market rock and roll mid-sized clubs as
well as opened for Three Dog Night, Jimmie Vaughan, Rick Derringer,
Sponge, Mitch Ryder and Larry Carlton. In 2013, Mike Leslie Band took
command of the Detroit music scene with two Detroit Music Awards,
including the Peoples Choice Award. On the national scene, MLB
showcased at SXSW 2013 and won DOUG FMs regional crown at Battle of the
Bands.

Band Members