on·ward Release at Anderson Fair Gets Kudos by Edge with Houston Music Review

Leslie Krafka – Anderson Fair – Houston, TX Print E-mail
Written by Eddie Ferranti
May 03, 2014 at 08:00 PM
ImageMany 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”.

ImageThe 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!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on on·ward Release at Anderson Fair Gets Kudos by Edge with Houston Music Review

My Cover of Drunken Poet’s Dream On Alternate Root’s Top Ten

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.

http://thealternateroot.com/what-s-trending/2271-alt-root-top-ten-songs-of-the-week-05-14-14

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on My Cover of Drunken Poet’s Dream On Alternate Root’s Top Ten

Houston Press Rocks Off 200

What a pleasant surprise to have William Michael Smith feature me in the the Houston Press Rocks Off 200.  Very cool…indeed.

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2014/05/the_rocks_off_200_leslie_krafk.php

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Houston Press Rocks Off 200

on.ward Review by Sun 209 Americana Music News

REVIEW: LESLIE KRAFKA’S “ON.WARD.”

POSTED ON APR 24, 2014 IN AMERICANA MUSICNEW RELEASESREVIEWS

krafka cover 150 Review: Leslie Krafkas on.ward.by Paul T. Mueller     

For a testament to the respect Leslie Krafka has already earned in Texas music circles, check the credits on her second album, on•ward. The Houston-based singer-songwriter enlisted a cast of experienced, talented musicians for this project, and the album’s 11 tracks – 10 written by Krafka and one well-chosen cover – for the most part are worthy of the all-star team.

 Krafka has a way with narrative, and many of on•ward‘s songs are stories about love – looking for it (“I Want Love,” “Stay With Me”), finding it (“Magdalena”), saying goodbye to the bad kind (“Wine Women and Song”), saying goodbye to the good kind (“The Pain of Losing You”), and finding a substitute for it (“Whiskey High”). The writing is strong for the most part, and the playing is excellent.

The music has a pop feel, with country and folk overtones courtesy of accordions, fiddles and steel guitars. Co-producer Lloyd Maines’ pedal steel helps turn “South Texas Fall” into a serious country weeper. A couple of songs (“Beauty” and “Jewel”) take a more optimistic tone. For her one cover, Krafka turns “Drunken Poet’s Dream” (written by Hayes Carll and Ray Wylie Hubbard), into a first-person account, adopting the voice of the title character. The album closes with “Freedom Train,” the story of a slave’s journey west to a new life.

There’s  nice work on production by Maines and his musical partner, Terri Hendrix – the album has a clean, sharp sound that showcases Krafka’s fine voice. Maines and Hendrix also supplied vocal and instrumental parts; other contributors include such Texas notables as Riley Osbourne on B-3 organ, Bukka Allen on accordion, David Spencer on electric guitar, Richard Bowden on fiddles, Rick Richards and Pat Manske on drums, and Jack Saunders on several stringed instruments. It adds up to a successful sophomore effort that holds promise for the future.

Follow Sun209 on Twitter at @Sun209com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on on.ward Review by Sun 209 Americana Music News

Jim Beal Jr., Journalist and DJ, reviews the new CD on·ward

Don’t try to predict what direction singer and songwriter Leslie Krafka is going to head. If you do, you’ll just embarrass yourself.
With her new album, “on.ward,” Krafka mixes tough and tender with a heavy dose of audacity. She does true love (“Stay With Me”) and heartache (“The Pain of Losing You”) exceedingly well. But Krafka is not afraid to call out a two-legged skunk on “Wine, Women and Song” or throw down a few too many (“Whiskey High”). And she has the guts, chops, confidence and yes, audacity, to cover the gritty Ray Wylie Hubbard/Hayes Carll song “Drunken Poet’s Dream.” If that’s not enough to grab your interest, and your ears, “on.ward,” produced by Lloyd Maines and Terri Hendrix, features an all-star cast of Texas players and just sounds great.
                                                                          – Jim Beal Jr, freelance music journalist/DJ on KSYM radio’s Third Coast Music Network
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Jim Beal Jr., Journalist and DJ, reviews the new CD on·ward

Another Nice Review from Kent @ GoodSongs….

GoodSongs: Leslie Krafka – On·ward

Posted on April 12, 2014 | 1 Comment

nobif-2014-04-12

Here’s a sad little not-so-secret.  There just isn’t much of a music scene in Houston.  We’ve had some great bands over the years (Fever Tree, ZZ Top, the Dishes, etc.) and some fine musicians spent time here (Townes Van Zandt and others), but it’s nothing like the Austin or Nashville scene.

So, when I receive a review copy of a record from a Houston artist, you can rest assured I’ll take a listen.  In this case, I’m glad I did, because Leslie Krafka‘s new record is very good.  The music and arrangements are top-notch, as you’d expect from anything produced by Lloyd Maines.  Much of the writing and singing has a nineties-era Suzy Boggus vibe, and for those who didn’t know me back then, that’s high praise.  Suzy’s recording of the Cheryl Wheeler songAces is one of my favorite tracks ever.  My favorite track on Leslie’s new record is South Texas Fall.  This song is a 10 on anyone’s scale.

 

She does a great cover of Drunken Poets Dream that oozes girl-power (though I continue to lament the way many musicians and almost all of Hollywood play to the false myth of cigarettes as cool and rebellious (when they are, in fact, stupid, unhealthy and offensive to anyone nearby).

Wine Women and Song is another favorite of mine.

On·ward is set for release on May 3, 2014 at Anderson Fair (I’ve seen so many amazing shows there; Steve Fromholz being one that immediately comes to mind as a favorite).  If you share my desire to support Houston musicians (and you should), check it out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Another Nice Review from Kent @ GoodSongs….

on·ward Now Available for Pre-Order

Yes, on·ward is available now for Pre-Order!!!  Now, you can wait until May 3rd to get the new CD at the show, but if you can’t make it, because you live far away, or you’ve made other plans, or you just don’t get out much….then reserve your copy of the record today, and it will be shipped on or around May 3rd right to your door.  Click on the “MERCH” link right on the menu at the top and follow the links to order as many copies as your heart desires.  Then at check out you can pay either with a credit card or Paypal.  It’s so easy a child could do it.  Actually, let your child do it.  This stuff is a breeze for them.  Thanks some much for all the support…..I appreciate it.—Leslie

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on on·ward Now Available for Pre-Order

Rick Heysquierdo likes it…he really likes it!

My new CD on·ward that is.  Thank you Rick for the kind words.

“Having the opportunity to have seen the maturity of Leslie Krafka’s music  from the listener and the on air host side I can without reservation recommend her new CD “onward”.  The title itself frees Ms. Krafka’s writing and opens a new chapter for her and the music, with full respect to the process of story writing “Onward” is a complete musical  novel.  Ms. Krafka’s cover of Hayes Carll’s & Ray Wylie Hubbard’s – Drunken Poets Dream should appease the feminist and bring a smile to the opposing view of the song.”  Rick Heysqueirdo, KPFT’s Lonestar Jukebox

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rick Heysquierdo likes it…he really likes it!

New Video Whiskey High from my new record onward

Ok y’all….my first video is officially unveiled.  Choosing which song to make into a video was tough…not Sofie’s Choice tough, but tough none the less.  I have to say, never having done anything like this before, I was a little nervous going in.  But I was in good hands with photographer Mary Keating-Bruton and make up artist/drummer Terri Cote.  We had a rocking good time.  Next Troy Dillinger did some nice editing and BOOM, it’s a video.  So, check it out.  I hope you enjoy it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on New Video Whiskey High from my new record onward

Terri Hendrix Has Nice Things to Say About my New Record on·ward

I’m blown away…having Terri Hendrix co-produce my new CD so cool.  People don’t come any better then Terri.  I feel so lucky to know her.  Here’s what Terri had to say about my new record on·ward coming out on May 3rd.

“Leslie Krafka is a genuine songwriter that writes about topics ranging from storytelling to matters of the heart.  She’s never trite and always seeking truth in her lyrics with a style all her own.  A little bit of twang with a saucy spice of city slicker.  It makes for an intoxicating mix that leaves the listener wanting more.”—Terri Hendrix/songwriter, musician, producer

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Terri Hendrix Has Nice Things to Say About my New Record on·ward