The band and I had a great time at White Linen Night in the Heights (the best inner loop neighborhood in Houston). Yes, I’m biased because I live in The Heights. This year was a record breaking year for attendance. The streets were packed with beautiful people all dressed in white, all sharing an unusually comfortable evening for Houston in August. Thanks to all the great people who make events like this enjoyable.
You know what’s more fun to read than a good review of your new record? I’ll tell you, a review that has to go through the Google translator in order to read it! Yes, the syntax is a bit wonky, but I think you’ll get the gist of it. Thank you Freddy for the kind words.
“Who succeeds in the Texan pedal steel virtuoso and legend Lloyd Maines and singer and song writer Terri Hendrix to bowsas producers of his new album is without a doubt a great talent. That’s what singer and song writer Leslie Krafka from Houston managed to achieve for the recording of her second album “on. ward”.
This talented young lady had than in 2010 even though the title of ‘ Songwriter Of The Year ‘ by the ‘ Houston songwriter’s Association ‘ and the award for song of the year for the song “Wandering Troubadour“ from her debut album “The White Cat in the achieved Sessions”. Her second studio album, the expectations were very high and we can reassure you-they were also totally fulfilled.
Leslie Krafka wrote ten of the eleven songs, all with the love Act and she chose the hit song “Drunken poet’s Dream“ byHayes Carll & Ray Wylie Hubbard to make it a handsome cover version for this cd in to sing. This album opens beautifully with the countryliedje guided by accordion “Magdalena” with Lloyd Maines in addition to multi-instrumentalist also as backing vocalist, as later on quite a few other tracks from this record.
At the very best songs to “on.“ ward “we select the dynamic Wine, Women And Song”, and the impressive South Texas Fall “tearjerker“ love songs “Stay With Me” and “The Pain Of Losing You” over the fear of love luck anyway yet to lose. The typical country rockers “Whiskey High” (see video), “I Want Love” and “Freedom Train” with a lot of pedal steel by LloydMaines are almost mandatory work on a Texas country album.
You have to be a fan of traditional country music to this new album from Leslie Krafka to know to value estimate, but that this disc can be a classic genre within his music stands for us beyond dispute. Convince yourself and enjoy the crystal clear singing talent that this young lady from Houston, Texas lies.”
Follow me….I won’t lead you astray
I wanted to save it for posterity, just in case I never make it onto a music chart again. Here it is in all it’s glory…on·ward debuting at #43. Thrilling!
The Roots Music Report’s
Weekly Top 50 Americana Country Album Chart
for the Week of Jun 6, 2014
TW LW Album Title Band/Artist Name Label
▲ 1 3 The Red Album Red Molly
- 2 2 Carry the Water Lucy Billings
Sassy Time Records
▼ 3 1 Tarpaper Sky Rodney Crowell
New West Records
▲ 4 11 Trouble and Love Mary Gauthier
- 5 5 Carter Girl Carlene Carter
- 6 6 Our Year Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison
- 7 7 Savannah Road Brigitte DeMeyer
▲ 8 9 I Just See You Tracy Newman and the Reinforcements
▲ 9 20 Small Town Heroes Hurray for the Riff Raff
▲ 10 18 World of Strangers Zoe Muth
▼ 11 4 In a Perfect World Kerry Patrick Clark
▲ 12 21 Ancient Dreams Red June
▼ 13 8 Trouble The Howlin’ Brothers
▼ 14 12 Bright Side of Down John Gorka
Red House Records
*NEW* 15 – Country Mile American Nomad
▲ 16 23 The River and the Thread Rosanne Cash
▼ 17 14 Full Circle John Zipperer
▼ 18 15 Prairieography Del Barber
▼ 19 16 Put Your Needle Down The Secret Sisters
▲ 20 – Where Two Roads Meet Mark Alan Stansberry
▼ 21 13 South Blackie and The Rodeo Kings
File Under Music
▼ 22 10 Bitin’ at the Bit Clay McClinton
▲ 23 24 The More I Wonder Craig Bickhardt
▲ 24 25 The Waiting Place Sara Jean Kelley
Blue Jean Records
▲ 25 26 Never Give in Will Hoge
▲ 26 27 Single Chase Bradley
▲ 27 28 Daylight & Dark Jason Eady
▲ 28 32 Hang Your Hopes on a Crooked Nail Rod Picott
Welding Rod Records
▲ 29 30 Memories and Moments Tim O’Brien and Darrell Scott
▲ 30 34 Long Night Moon Reckless Kelly
No Big Deal Records
▲ 31 33 A Place in the Sun Tracy Newman and the Reinforcements
▼ 32 22 Loving a Fool Tumbling Bones
▲ 33 35 Shine The Keller Sisters
▲ 34 68 MacLear & Quinn MacLear & Quinn
▲ 35 58 This is Home Amy Black
▼ 36 19 Old Time Angels Jim Lauderdale
Sky Crunch Records
- 37 37 Still Fighting the War Slaid Cleaves
Music Road Records
▲ 38 39 Sweetheart of the Sun The Greencards
Darling Street Records
▼ 39 17 Parish Lines Rod Melancon
Medina River Records
- 40 40 My Favorite Picture of You Guy Clark
▲ 41 42 This Side of Jordan Mandolin Orange
▲ 42 45 The Lights from the Chemical Plant Robert Ellis
*NEW* 43 – On.ward Leslie Krafka
▼ 44 43 The Haden Triplets The Haden Triplets
Third Man Records
▼ 45 29 Old Mill Sessions The Blushin’ Roulettes
▼ 46 31 A Dozen Other Loves Matt Nakoa
▼ 47 44 South of Delia Richard Shindell
▼ 48 46 High Life Charlie Robison
▼ 49 36 Good Luck Girls Guns and Glory
▼ 50 38 Honky Tonk Son Volt
Dreams are wonderful things. We have all dreamed of something…something we want to accomplish; something we want to share; creating something bigger than ourselves that we can pass down to a future generation. Some dreams are big and some are small, but all are created equal in the heart of the dreamer. Sometimes someone else has a dream, and you want to help them make it a reality. And the only way to do that is by asking. My friend Terri Hendrix is making her dream of creating a non-profit Art Center in San Marcos a reality. I have pledged to raise $300 to support Own Your Own Universe through the sale of my new CD on·ward on my website. Some of you have seen my announcement that my CD sales will go to charity—-I am thankful for all of you who purchased one in the past week. But I still have a ways to go before I reach my goal. So I’m making a plea to you and asking you to please help me raise $300 and make good on my pledge. Here on the website is the link to the Merch page where can be purchase the CD. Check out OYOU www.ownyourownuniverse.org ….true community comes from people…people like Terri and people like you. Thank you.
Houston’s Leslie Krafka is proof that it’s never too late to find your true calling. A few
short years ago, she attended a songwriting workshop taught by Terri Hendrix and Lloyd
Maines — not to further hone her craft or learn new tricks, but rather, by her own admission, because she thought it would be fun (she’d long been a fan of the duo.) But she came away from that workshop with her very first song and, apparently, an addiction to both writing and performing that by 2010 found her nabbing both Songwriter of the Year and Song of the Year honors from the Houston Songwriter’s Association. Not bad at all for a start (especially for such a late one); but Onward, her second album, is where Krafka really arrives. Produced by Maines and Hendrix at the Zone in Dripping Springs, the whole record sounds fantastic, crisp and full (but never cluttered) and impeccably played by such A-list pros as Richard Bowden, Riley Osbourne, Bukka Allen, David Spencer, Rick Richards, and Pat Manske (not to mention Maines on his generous pedal steel and Hendrix on harmonica and harmony vocals). But Krafka, despite being a rookie separated by that formidable bunch by decades of collective experience, holds her own all the way through with conviction to spare. Her voice alone is a real find: sweet but assertive and ribboned with color, it glistens through “Beauty,” swaggers sassily through “Whiskey High,” and settles like a golden-red sunset over the river of pedal steel on “South Texas Fall.” Her songs are real winners, too, full of buoyant melodies that never sag or drag and lyrics that convey both maturity and a young-at-heart spirit that’s playful but never fluffy. Best of all, though, is the way she handles herself on the album’s one cover, “Drunken Poet’s Dream.” Memo to Ray Wylie Hubbard and HayesCarll: hate to tell you this, boys, but while you were sleeping, that woman done stole your song. — RICHARD SKANSE
|Leslie Krafka – Anderson Fair – Houston, TX|
|Written by Eddie Ferranti|
|May 03, 2014 at 08:00 PM|
|Many times in my busy musical life, I get something shot at me out of the blue. One of those instances was at a recent Mike Stinson gig where a young lady approached me after his show, shoved a CD in my hand and asked me to come cover her CD release show.
That CD was “On.Ward” and the artist in question was Leslie Krafka. I gave the CD multiple listens and decided to bring Rose, her niece and her husband from Denver to catch the show. I was very surprised to see a four piece band set up in the intimate confines of the famous Anderson Fair. It’s rare to see that at this rustic listening room and it came off very well indeed.
The first half of the set was devoted to the new release and it rocked pleasantly harder than the actual recording itself. Don’t get me wrong- the Lloyd Maines and Terri Hendrix produced album has plenty of moxie to it and the inner sleeve shows the quality musicians she got to make it so. Besides Maines playing a ton of instruments and Hendrix backing vocals, the likes of David Spencer and Jack Saunders jumped out at me.
The band consisted of Jimmy Pettit on bass, who has played with Joe Ely among others, Pat Manske of Flatlanders pedigree and stand out lead electric guitar work by Kevin McKinney. “Magdalena” kicked it off which is also the first cut on the record. Krafka told me after the gig that they had only been together for three rehearsal days and she seemed to show nervousness early on being surrounded by such a nice collection of dudes.
Once the jitters wore off though and they let McKinney loose, the gig took on a whole happy go lucky feel. “Wine, Woman and Song”, “Stay With Me” where she reminded me of Trish Murphy and my personal fave, “Whiskey High” amped up the energy level and then some. Krafka’s delivery is very straight forward and lyrics are refreshing like on the consistent beat “I Want Love”.
The elongated jams on “South Texas Fall”, only cover tune Ray Wylie Hubbard’s “Dead Poet’s Dream” done from a woman’s view, “Jewel”, and super “Freedom Train” really saw the band bonding more together and rocking.
LK came out strong after the break with her tune “Wandering Troubadour” off her 2011 debut ‘White Cat Sessions’ that won her song of the year by Houston Songwroter’s Association. The foursome did a greasy good rendition of classic “Angel of Montgomery” and followed it with an inspired by Tom Petty cut called “Can’t Let Go”. She also displayed a nice sense of humor when she said she normally has hair like “Harpo Marx” and was surprised it was so straight still. Classic.
All in all I was quite pleased that I had been “blind sided” by this performer and look forward to following her progression down the musical road of life…That’s all I got and go get you some live music soon folks!
That’s Top Ten Songs of the Week…and an honor indeed. Yes, fueled by her craving for mescaline and a need to rhyme it with gasoline….I was affected by this woman from the first moment I heard the song. I knew I had to sing it, and there was only one way to do it. I took poetic license from the muse and made the song my own. I just love how it turned out. Thank you Ray and Hayes for dreamin’ her up.
What a pleasant surprise to have William Michael Smith feature me in the the Houston Press Rocks Off 200. Very cool…indeed.