Rockin' George Leh
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Rockin' George Leh

Arlington, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1963 | INDIE

Arlington, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 1963
Band Blues Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Barry and the Remains at Once by John Keegan - May 13, 2016"

They had a surprise guest - George Leh, almost forgotten now he was a big presence on the Boston music scene in the late sixties and early seventies.

People used to talk about his performances with awe. I don't know how many even in this savvy group remembered him (WMBR Lost and Found DJ Eli Polanski did) but his take on "Shake Rattle and Roll" got him maybe the biggest ovation of the night. It was a heartwarming moment. - Boston Groupie News

"Rockin' George Rocked in New Hampshire Last Night - March 27, 2011"

By Bill Copeland on March 27, 2011
Rockin George Leh and his back up band wowed an audience at the Village Trestle in Goffstown, New Hampshire last night. It’s a good thing the Trestle is a fairly sizable room lengthwise. Leh and his five piece backing band made a huge sound during every song and their collective talents took advantage of all that breathing room.Leh opened with an oldies tune “Hide And Go Seek” that featured the thumping bass guitar, freewheeling harmonica notes, and jaunty piano that would mark most of his set list. There were a lot of old fashioned guitar phrases to boot, and Mr. Leh could be as feisty as a circus barker introducing his numbers. He often brought his vocal register down into the baritone level and would hold a note forever before resuming his usual pitch to finish a song. Boy, can he belt, and he knows his genre. Leh’s knack for knowing how to deliver these 1950s era blues and rock and roll tunes is uncanny, taking it beyond showmanship into a level of art.

On “Whole Lotta Shakin’” his vocal phrasing was perfect and he, through force of stage personality and dynamics, controlled the music too. His band followed right behind his locomotive voice. The band made the groove happen on “Roll Over Beethoven” and Leh’s voice rode it like nobody’s business. On “Let The Music Move You” his band emphasized the talents of Harmonica Hank Brennan and organist Richard Friedman. The two brought out the gospel roots of the song with their intervals of freewheeling melody.

Bass player Tom Mitchell lays it down heavy with thick dollops of low end notes that anchor each song and he created every groove. This thump did so much for tunes like “I’ll Take You There” in which the players and Leh glided through that rolling vibe. Friedman kept that piano melody alive with sprightly notes and meaningful tinkling. Mitchell’s bass work got thick and supple on “My Girl” when his four string took on the lead role.

“Danger Zone” came off with the pureness of blues. Its harmonica portions came at you loud and clear, like a locomotive coming down the tracks, steady, unwavering, driven by an inner momentum you can’t miss. Lead guitarist Cathy Lynes whipped up a fanciful, brittle melody that was full of zip and character. In fact, Lynes was the cool edge on all of these classics.

Leh and his band play with a strong sense of where rock and roll and blues comes from. “Stand By Me” allowed Leh to hum and coo, his beautiful voice full of old school charm. The piano melody here was also stand out. Segue into Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” and another side of Leh’s rich timbre was revealed. Tackling an a cappella version of “Over The Rainbow” may have daunted other singers, but Leh went into it with total confidence and he could have blown the roof off with the lung power he put into it.

Drummer Ted Parkins was almost invisible sitting behind those five huge talents, and he probably likes it that way. Parkins doesn’t want to make a lot of noise at the drum set. He played with a lot of subtle, adept moves that could almost make you forget there was a drummer in the band. Yet, he got the band through a lot of sharp twists and turns in these demanding classics.

The band came back from a break and Harmonica Hank Brennan blew a hurricane of notes through his harp to perfectly nail the melody line from J. Geils Band’s “Whammer Jammer.” After this instrumental work out, Leh came back on to deliver a steady rendition of “Big Boss Man” but it was his version of “The Twist” that got the room on its feet. Harp shots, guitar riffs, and a thumping rhythm made it a “Twist” to remember. It also showed more of the band’s uncanny way of responding to and matching Leh’s sense of oldies dynamics.

Richard Friedman was a big help on the Ray Charles standard “What’d I Say.” The pianist met the challenge of driving this piece with class and verve. The group move on to B. B. King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” in which Cathy Lynes paid out a gritty, lean, mean, blues lead guitar intro. Soothing harp notes were also a big plus here.

Village Trestle owner Steve Pascucci got to play harmonica on “Got My Mojo Working,” a rendition that found Tom Mitchell making all the difference with his big, loud bass anchoring the tune and emphasizing everything going on during the call the response. “Let The Good Times Roll” was another big, loud blues song with a heavy rhythm section support.

Leh got into the 1970s with “Ain’t No Sunshine” and his baritone refrain of “I know, I know, I know” was killer, with his voice supported by a subtle touch from the band. “Sunshine” got another boost from Cathy Lynes’s sharp, defined guitar lead and Friedman’s classy electric piano. - Bill Copeland Music News

"Boston Pheonix"

"Rockin' George Leh: blues shouter. Grabs his throat and shakes it for vibrato. Nice gutteral low-end growl, akin to Tuvan throat singing. Big vocal range. Soulful harp solo. Originals that sound like originals. Good ensemble sound. Down on his knees, jumping, rocking. George has great stage presence. Barks like a dog, but on key, and gets crowd to bark too. Joe Turner Medley good; "Stand by Me" bad." - Battle of the Blues Bands Review - July 25-August 1, 2002

"Guitar World"

"On Powerhouse's Lovin' Machine, Principato comps with conviction behind the great R&B shouter George Leh on such driving shuffle fare as "Sweet Little Woman" and the swinging title cut." - Powerhouse Album Review - October, 1988

"Boston Globe Calendar"

"In the early 70's, the rock-jazz-blues-everything band called Swallow was the one Boston band that was certainly going to make it. The cast of all-stars included George Leh, a powerful blues shouter. Eventually the band failed for some of the many reasons bands fail, but Leh carried on in small groups playing local gigs heading a band called Powerhouse. This new re-release of one of Leh's best albums is a welcome piece of nostalgia and strong music. Leh sings some robust, bluesy, gospel influenced songs like "Sweet Little Woman" and "Lovin' Machine," and some strong messages of universal angst on "Hard Times" and "Sad Hours."
- Lovin' Machine Album Review - September 15, 1988

"Boston Globe"

"Boston Baked Blues, George Leh help keep a local tradition alive... As for individual performance, no one was better than George Leh, the local veteran who used to sing with the bands Swallow and Powerhouse in the '70s. Leh's supercharged style lay somewhere between Little Richard and Big Joe Turner (with whom he shared a bill at Sandy's Jazz Revival in Beverly earlier this decade). Leh went into electrifying high falsetto on Wilbert Harrison's 1959 hit "Kansas City," before flat out roaring through "Hey Bartender." He also worked the crowd better than any of his peers, while his sole original "Sky High," proved a perfect description of his high octane mood." - Steve Morse - July 5, 1988

"The Beat"

"George Leh and Rockin' Shoes treated J.J. Flash to a real blues experience. George, weaving back and forth, body trembling with blue emotion, sang song after song with a vocal range that was incredibly dynamic. Singing high, growling low, George warbled music influenced by Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Sleepy John Estes, Joe Turner, and Little Walter to name a few...It's hard to keep your feet still while hearing this band. Go see them and treat yourself to George's emotive singing and the band's swinging performance." - A.J. - J.J. Flash Review - June, 1985

"Boston Globe"

"Speaking of a lot of fun and not much profundity, the blues-R&B singer George Leh is "sitting in la la waiting for my ya ya." Huh? Well, that's the main concern of "Ya Ya " (Bow) and, the gist of it is this: Leh is all alone waiting for his baby, who, you can bet your last blues harp, won't be coming back. A rollicking lament. On "I Ain't Lyin'," the A-side, we find the saxaphonist quietly smoking and Leh wailing: "I guess I slippped up a little bit/But I didn't mean to make you cry/Tell me now baby/I ain't lyin'." These blues cats sure have a lot of relationship problems. And they sure do have a lot of fun singing about 'em." - Jim Sullivan - January 24, 1985

"Boston Globe"

Memorable Concerts of '84

"Concert prices were at an all-time high this year, capped by the Jacksons' $30-a-ticket Victory Tour, but this was still an outstanding year on the concert circuit...Best Blues: When is a record label going to sign Boston's George Leh? He shook the rafters at Great Scott one night." - Steve Morse - December 20, 1984

"The New Hampshire"

"When performing the blues, George Leh's blindness is no obstacle. He still understands the blues like any other singer, probably even better. Friday night at the Stone Church Leh was at his best, ripping through a wide variety of Blues classics and rarities. Through his three set show, his bluesy voice held the audience's attention..." - Bill Millios

"Boston Globe Calendar"

"Sample Variety of Music...Blues lovers should also have a busy weekend. The Tam in Brookline has two of the area's best with George Leh & Rockin' Shoes on Saturday, and Sugar Ray & the Bluetones on Sunday."
- Steve Morse - May 24, 1984

"Boston Globe"

"Joe Turner Still the Boss - Big Joe Turner in concert with Roomful of Blues and George Leh at Sandy's Jazz Revival Tuesday night...Amid a night of gripping moments was a fiery talking-blues tribute to Turner by the underrated blind Boston bluesman George Leh.

From his heart Leh sang, "You've given everybody a whole handful of soul." No one could put it better, and a moved Turner gratefully embraced Leh as he left the stage." - Steve Morse - November, 1981


2014 - Alan Arena - Fortune Wheel - Alan Arena Records

2011 - Wild Bill & Chris Fury - Good Groove:  American Roots Music - B & C Records

2010 - Swallow - Swallow - Wounded Bird Records

2010 - Swallow - Out of the Nest - Wounded Bird Records

2006 - Music for Middlesex - Live CD of concert featuring Johnny A, New England, Rockin' George Leh, James Montgomery, and many other great artists - PH Productions

2003 - Powerhouse - Nightlife/Lovin' Machine (limited edition CD) - Powerhouse Records

2002 - Rockin' George Leh - Danger Zone - Bow Records

1996 - West End Blues Band - Beantown Drive - Hammertone Records

1990 - Rockin' Shoes - Bo-town Does Mo-town - Fast Track Records

1988 - Powerhouse - Lovin' Machine - Powerhouse Records

1984 - Powerhouse - Nightlife - Powerhouse Records

1981 - Rockin' George does the Good Day Show (WCVB channel 5 - ABC - Boston, MA) May 12th

1981 - Rockin' George Leh - I Ain't Lyin'/Ya Ya - Bow Records

1979 - Store 24 Commercial - March 3rd

1979 - Geoff Muldaur - Blues Boy - Flying Fish

1976 - Powerhouse - Nightlife - Aladdin Records

1974 - Skyhook - Live at Jack's - Rulu Records

1973 - Swallow - Swallow - Warner Brothers Records

1972 - Swallow - Yes I'll Say It/Aches and Pains - Warner Brothers Records

1972 - Swallow - Out of the Nest - Warner Brothers Records



Since 1963, Singer/Songwriter/Warner Brothers Recording Artist Rockin' George Leh has been a fixture on the New England music scene.  Rockin' George was a member of Street Choir (1967), CC and the Chasers (1967), The J. Geils Blues Band (1967), Swallow (1968-1973), Skyhook (1973-1975), Powerhouse (1975-1977), and Rockin' George and The Thrillers (1978-1981).  From 1982-1983, Rockin' George appeared at Sandy's Jazz Revival in Beverly, MA as the club's opening act (keyboard & vocals).  Since 1983 Rockin' George worked with The Rockin' Shoes performing throughout New England.  This was done as a light & fun project as he pursued other activities outside of the music industry.  Rockin' George can often be found entertaining Boston area visitors and commuters at The MBTA and Faneuil Hall Market Place when he is not busy with other projects.

Rockin' George was declared a Blues Legend by the Boston City Council in 2008.

Rockin' George presently has a five-piece band backing him.  He also works with many great artists such as James Montgomery and Friends, Danny Klein's Full House, and Ernie and the Automatics.  He has appeared at many great venues including B.B. Kings (Foxwoods Resort Casino), House of Blues (Boston), Hard Rock Cafe (Boston and Foxwoods Resort Casino), and The Lone Star, NYC.

Rockin' George brings his own unique style to an eclectic mix of soulful R&B, classic blues, and spine tingling rock & roll.  A singer of power and emotion, his ability to inspire an audience is legendary.  At the age of 78, Rockin' George sounds better than ever.  His Maine fans started calling him Rockin' George in the mid 70's and it stuck.

Rockin' George has shared the stage with many great musicians over the years including:  Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall, Joe Cocker, Grand Funk Railroad, Bob Seger, Janis Joplin, Alice Cooper, Jefferson Airplane, Queen, Sly and the Family Stone, Ike and Tina Turner, The James Gang, Albert King, James Cotton, Joe Turner, Taj Mahall, Big Mama Thornton, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Johnny Copeland, Joanna Connor, Roomful of Blues, Bill Chinnock, Lonnie Mack, Ian Mitchell, Jon Butcher, Charlie Farren, Johnny A, and Ronnie Earl.