The Savannah Leigh Band
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The Savannah Leigh Band

Band Alternative Folk


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"City of Grey Album Review"

Vancouver's Savannah Leigh Band plays a slightly bluesy kind of folk rock - very smooth and unassuming - and City of Grey is a fitting title for this album. On a musical level, things are straight-ahead, as excitement occurs rarely with hooks few and far between. This, of course, could be part of the concept - to channel, both lyrically and musically, the bland loneliness that can take hold during winter in the Pacific Northwest. The title song certainly succeeds in this:"I've got a broken umbrella and ten bucks to my name / my shoes are second hand and my shirt is the same / I think I've lost my social graces / and I have a funny way of forgetting faces / 'Cause when the clouds roll in, you know that they're here to stay." Leigh's not basking in depression, just trying, as she informs us directly, to "discover a way to stay sane."

Via a series of soft choruses, softer harmonies, shakers and twists of old-school country (as well as a Feist-esque number, vocals lightly distorted and all), Leigh's contemplative, matter-of-fact tone reaches its apex in 'Polygraph': "Your heart won't admit what your cheeks cannot hide / why continue to lie?" Underneath the almost too-perfect instrumentation and angelic vocal delivery, it's a scathing song - a needle in the hay of an otherwise introspective, inoffensive record.

Mark Hewitt

Discorder Magazine, July/August 2008
- Discorder Magazine

"BC Musician Magazine - November 2008"

“CITY OF GREY” The Savannah Leigh Band CD review

“CITY OF GREY” The Savannah Leigh Band (Factor) *** ½
The debut disc for this alt folk combo is feisty and gloomy. Recorded at Mushroom Studios, where so many of our favorite 70’s bands (Doucette, Heart) laid it down, “City Of Grey” is surprisingly warm.
SLB are Vancouver-based and the title is a comment on the city. Calling this folk is too broad a stroke. Acoustic in nature you’ll feel the jazz/pop undercurrent too of this talented band; Savannah Leigh, vocals & piano/ Diego Zargoza, guitar & vocals/ Adam Jones, bass & cello/ Brendan Krieg, drums & percussion, plus help from their friends.
“City Of Grey” is atmospheric and moody, much as Vancouver feels, but without the frantic desperation. It’s a cross between Sarah McLachlan and the first New Bohemians album, but with a dark melancholy all its own.
“COG” is also mature sounding, major league stuff with none of that beginning keener’s enthusiastic but overly earnest, somewhat artless delivery. The musicianship is sublime, and I particularly dig it when Savannah strolls up to a note to say “hi” instead of nailing it dead on.
So, yeah- the title sums up the band’s city of origin and it’s an accurate picture of the overall sound of the disc, superb company when you’re felling ‘grey’ yourself.

KEY CUTS: “Polygraph”, “These Words”, “Music Is His Mistress” (could be a hit, I’d also like to adopt it as my unofficial theme song)
- John Kereiff

"YouThink Magazine - September 2008"

Savannah Leigh

City of Grey

By Crislana Rafael – Kwantlen Park, Surrey BC

City of Grey adds some sunshine to your day.

If you’ve ever lived in Vancouver, chances are that you’ve experienced its notorious wet and windy spells, some of which can last for days on end. For The Savannah Leigh band, Vancouver’s waterworks turned out to be their source of precipitation – er, inspiration. “I was literally sitting outside one afternoon thinking about how drastically our moods can change depending on the weather,” explains Savannah Wellman, lead singer of the alt-folk-rock band. “I had all these little snippets of lyrics that were all about random moments of my life, and I realized they had a kind of self-deprecating, depressed feel to them, so I brought the two together and thought lots of people would be able to relate.”

Thus “City of Grey” was born, the band’s aptly titled debut album. The album, released this summer is indeed The Savannah Leigh band’s ode to rainy weather of their Vancouver hometown. A little bluesy, a little folksy and a touch jazzy, “City of Grey’s” mosaic of styles is what makes it musically unique. If you’re ever stuck inside on a rainy afternoon, “City of Grey” is the perfect album to reflect and contemplate on while watching the pitter-patter of raindrops.

In light of their recent CD release, the band, who has been playing together for only a year, is determined to make a name for themselves in Vancouver’s vibrant indie scene and beyond. “We hope to get on the road and tour this fall,” says Savannah. “And I’m already thinking about the next album.”

With that kind of ambition, the only forecast for the Savannah Leigh band is a torrential downpour – of success.

The Savannah Leigh Band’s space:

Crislana’s fave track: “Killin’ Time”

- Crislana Rafael

"Garage Band Track of the Day!"

The SLB tune "Music Is His Mistress" received Garage Band's Track of the Day award in Folk Rock April 5, 2008!
Savannah was also awarded Best Female Vocals for the week of May 19, 208.
Here's some of the feedback on the song:

" Love this!
This is very Amy Winehouse, you have done a perfect juob of re-creating that cool mid-60's sound and then made it your own by adding the extra cool country-rock guitars. Just a great song!
- DPSTANLEY from Blaine, Minnesota on 17Mar2008 "

" Music is these guys' mistress!
Great arrangement, the whole spectre sounds really tight with good instrumentation and vocal performances. The kind of vocal one sometimes hears on the charts but within other genres. The slide solo is perfect almost like Johnnie Winter!
- leivreed from Reed, Nordfjord on 5Mar2008 "

Right from the beginning I liked this song! The mood of the song it set right away, slowly eases you into the song which builds to a nice guitar solo. This is one of those songs where you just say to yourself,.. nice!
The vocalist was flawless, kind of jazzy, moody, smooth and I really like that. The band has obviously got their chops down. Real nice guitar work, keyboards, drums. Lead vocalist was fantastic, band's playing was great. Song structure was good. I Love the smokey bar room mood of the song. What else can I say but "GOOD JOB."
- SixJinxMinx from Temecula, California on 26Feb2008"

You can check out more reviews at the SLB's Garage Band Site,|pe1|S8LTM0LdsaSjZFi-ZWE - Garage Band

"Industry Quotes"

"With a tasty blend of heartfelt lyrics, hooky acoustic guitar riffs and a splash of color from the lap and pedal steel, the debut album from Vancouver’s The Savannah Leigh Band demonstrates a high caliber of musicianship and makes each consecutive listen anything but grey."
~Tariq Hussain, Host CBC Radio 3

"With fine musicians, mature arrangements and a twinkle in her eye, Savannah Leigh captures the timeless nature of roots, jazz and folk music. City of Grey showcases the sweetness, the sadness and the serendipity of good songwriting and great production."
~Nat Jay, Editor Discorder Magazine - various

"Sunday Morning Coffee"

Sunday Morning Coffee:: The Savannah Leigh Band

Right now, the roots/country/Canadiana scene in Vancouver is booming. With acts like Steve Dawson, Cameron Latimer and Roger Dean Young, the city is soaked in the reverb of pedal steel, much like the ever present rain that floods Vancouver in the winter. Although the Savannah Leigh band may only use pedal steel to add some atmosphere on a few tracks, fans of the more established roots acts in the city are going to fall head over heels for the sounds they create.

The four-piece (stand up bass, acoustic, drums and Savannah Leigh on vocals) stretches the expectations of the scene - whether it's the sweet (but somehow depressing rocker) about the Vancouver rain (City of Grey), an organ heavy, hand clap filled number (Music Is His Mistress - think Grace Potter), a driving, moody pop gem (After a Drink), or straight ahead folk songs like You Were There or the beautiful Under the Stars - the band constantly challenges the listener, but never stray far enough to take the listener out of their comfort zone and change the flow of the record.

But even with all these styles, it was tracks like Killin' Time and These Words that grabbed me right away. The jazzy pop arrangement of the former reminded me of Salena Catalina (and that is always going to be a-ok with me) and the staccato delivery and stand up bass of the latter builds a solid foundation for the catchy track. All in all, the record plays like a good book; constant shifts and unexpected changes that keep your attention. -

"Savannah Leigh Band Live Review"

Front-woman Savannah has a powerful voice hidden within her tiny frame. I was pretty pleased with her country-ish control and timing. She and guitarist/bgv Diego Zaragoza compliment each other perfectly, creating warm, folky harmonies that meld into one.

The band is pretty kickin'. Bassist Adam Jones was plucking his upright just perfectly and drummer Brendan Krieg was very dynamic. On "Music Is His Mistress" a true boot-stomper, Brendan's bass drum was driving the song like a trucker drives his big rig. Always steady, both hands on the wheel. - Musical Interpretations

"Savannah Leigh Band - Live at the Railway"

The band is comprised of Savannah Leigh Wellman (Vocals, Guitar, Keys), Diego Zaragoza (Guitar, Vocals), Craig McCaul (Guitar), Adam Jones (Acoustic Bass), and Brendan Krieg (Drums). And even though the band name is based off Savannah, it’s a little misleading because each member is showcased and provides the musicality that makes this band special. Throughout their set at The Railway Club, I was captivated by Craig’s effortless guitar solos as well as Diego’s and Savannah’s ability to compose memorable harmonies. Overall, the band was solid and performed like seasoned professionals.

I really enjoyed the up-beat alternative country folk tune “City of Grey,” a track that is reminiscent of Canadian superstar Kathleen Edwards (I’m not completely sure, but I think she’s singing about the rainy Vancouver lifestyle). Each line was memorable, and I could tell that Savannah put a lot of thought and effort into these lyrics, as well as every other song in her repertoire. It was quick and quirky, and when she sang the line “If I had my way I’d sleep till noon” I could tell she and I have a similar love for our beds. Aside from her sweet and tender, yet powerful voice, I was captivated by her elaborate peacock quill tattoo on her left bicep. With a rock star image just peaking out (pun intended), and her radio friendly tracks blossoming, she will no doubt grace the airwaves in the coming years.

For more information on this lovely songstress and her talented mates, collectively known as The Savannah Leigh Band, visit their myspace and website for all the details. - Ronatron.Net


City Of Grey - May 2008



"The musicianship is sublime...City Of Grey is mature sounding, major league stuff."
John Kereiff - BC Musicians Magazine

"The four-piece stretches the expectations of the scene - All in all, the record plays like a good book; constant shifts and unexpected changes that keep your attention."

"With a tasty blend of heartfelt lyrics, hooky acoustic guitar riffs, The Savannah Leigh Band demonstrates a high caliber of musicianship and makes each consecutive listen anything but grey."
Tariq Hussain, Host CBC Radio 3

Give The Savannah Leigh Band a chance and they’ll take you to another place, far away from here. They’ll set you down on a weathered back porch of an old farmhouse and sit down beside you while you brush the dust off your boots; they’ll make you feel at home. This feeling of comfort may stem from the honest approach they take to their music - from the first words of a song being written to the moment they step on stage. It’s a characteristic that runs deep in their alt-folk roots, and something that seems to have been forgotten in modern music.

After experimenting with a variety of sounds and bands, studying jazz at Concordia University, and singing in classical chamber choirs, front woman Savannah Leigh Wellman formed the Savannah Leigh band in Early 2007. She and guitarist Diego Zaragoza had been performing together acoustically at local bars, and together with long-time bandmate Brendan Krieg (drums) recruited double bass player Adam Jones to complete the set. After establishing their folk-pop sound with local gigs, they enlisted the help of local indie-wiz kid producer Winston (Hannah Georgas, Nat Jay) to produce their album “City of Grey” at the legendary Mushroom Studios. Using artists such as Brandi Carlile and Neko Case as inspiration, together they produced a creative, warm, intimate album that blended a variety of styles, and sold over 600 copies within the first 6 months independently.

Since the release of “City of Grey”, the band has seen highlights such as appearing at JUNOFest with local legend Barney Bentall and Juno Nominees NQ Arbuckle, being a featured artist on CBCRadio3, being chosen for the Music BC 2009 compilation CD, and playing shows all across BC. With the addition of Craig McCaul on electric guitar, the band’s style has grown from their folk-pop beginnings to a robust, mature roots-rock that gets audiences on their feet, but keeps them thinking with introspective, honest lyrics.

As the band prepares for their sophomore album, and with tour dates across Western Canada this Summer, the Savannah Leigh Band is facing the music world with their own take on what it means to make good music.