“I feel like I’ve never stopped learning,” says Houston’s Leslie Waugh (formerly Leslie Krafka) of the journey she began nearly two decades ago after attending what she calls a “life changing” songwriting workshop hosted by Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines. It was a surprise 20th anniversary gift — not quite the trip to Hawaii she’d asked for, but ultimately far more impactful. Although she’d never written a song or played guitar before, Leslie came away from that weekend with a new sense of purpose and personal empowerment, and she’s spent every day since honing her craft and slowly but surely establishing her bona fides as a true Texas troubadour. Her first two albums, 2011’s The White Cat Sessions and 2014’s on.ward (co-produced by Maines and Hendrix, her teacher-heroes turned duly-impressed peers), were warmly received out of the gate, with Richard Skanse of Lone Star Music Magazine praising her songs for being “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.” Other accolades include her wins for “Songwriter of the Year” and “Song of the Year” from the Houston Songwriter Association, as well as being named a Regional Folk Finalist at Kerrville and a finalist at Songwriter’s Serenade. And she’s still gathering steam. In the spring of 2022, she released the EP Vignettes From a Woman’s Serenade, a short-but-sweet collection of songs spotlighting love, life, hardship, and perseverance from a woman’s point of view — then chased it with Vignettes From a Woman’s Serenade, Volume II later that same year and, in September 2023, Volume III. Will there be more? “I always saw them as a trilogy, but, being a woman — I reserve the right to change my mind,” Waugh demurs with a laugh. Regardless, count on this: Whatever she does next, this woman’s serenade is worth hearing.
Vignettes From a Woman's Serenade, Volume II
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