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Leslie Alexander | Savage Country

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Savage Country

by Leslie Alexander

From fingerpickin' soul to flat-out rock'n roll, Savage Country travels from the grainfields of Alberta to the darkest part of the city and back again, telling a tale of loss, hope and redemption.
Genre: Folk: Modern Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Bargain Store
4:16 $0.99
2. The Jones
4:37 $0.99
3. Four Walls
4:37 $0.99
4. One & Only
3:58 $0.99
5. The News
3:36 $0.99
6. Sweet Irene
2:59 $0.99
7. Rachael's Song
4:30 $0.99
8. Savage Country
5:10 $0.99
9. Father's Day
4:43 $0.99
10. Them
5:21 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Leslie Alexander grew up on a sheep farm and couldn't wait to get to the city. She hit the road, made a bunch of mistakes and wrote songs about them. Somehow she wound up singing on a street corner for spare change. She does not consider this a mistake.

Along came producer/guitarist John Ellis (Be Good Tanyas, Barney Bentall, Ferron) who helped Leslie make her first CD Bird in the House in '97. Since then Leslie has opened shows for the likes of Louisiana roots artist Mary Gaulthier, rock legend Barney Bentall, and the incomparable Jane Siberry, appearing on concert and festival stages across the country.

Leslie's sophomore CD Savage Country was made after Wyckham Porteous turned up at a show where Leslie opened for Harry Manx. He approached Leslie and producer John Ellis with the idea of co-producing Leslie's current set list, inspired by her return to her Alberta home while touring with Grrrls with Guitars. In the time Leslie had been gone, most of the grain elevators on the prairie had disappeared, and their absence created the central motif for the record's themes which deal with the encroachment of technology on rural life, the harshness of urban and rural environments in Canada and how these factors affect relationships.

The official CD release for Savage Country occurred at the last remaining grain elevator in Leslie's home town of High River, with the generous media support of CBC and CKUA radio. The event doubled as a fundraiser for the elevator, to be turned into an arts facility. The event took in over 10,000$ in community support, while Leslie pledged a portion of all CD sales from Savage Country for the life of the project.

With guests Harry Manx on lap slide and guest vocalists Sam Parton (Be Good Tanyas), Linda MacRae, Wyckham Porteous and Angela Harris, the songs were recorded at Red Stripe Studios with Pat Steward on drums and Doug Elliot on bass, also featuring John Ellis on guitars, pedal steel and harmonium. The record was well received at radio and press, bringing Leslie new performance opportunities and the community concert and festival levels. Music writers praised the album wherever she went, the record turning up on Campus, CBC, BBC, & Australian National Public Radio playlists. In 2004, Savage Country was #4 Most Played Canadian Folk/Roots album on the CBC's Galaxie Satellite Radio.

Today Leslie's songs are receiving international airplay on her own recordings as well as cuts with other artists, and have been licensed to film and television. Leslie is currently planning to sow seeds across Canada with her first coast-to-coast tour in support of her third CD Garden in the Stones, avaible through Festival Distribution and at CD Baby. Performing solo or with her band The Wild Rose Hippies featuring John Ellis on pedal steel, banjo, & guitars, Leslie's unique perspective, songs & stories combine to create a show that moves from pin-drop intimacy to foot-stompin', flat-out folk rock'n roll, taking you all the beautiful & terrifying places she's been.

“Wonderfully evocative . . . the simplicity and directness of these songs make for a superb listen.” Four Out Of Five Stars / Americana-UK.com

“A true Canadian sound. . . country crisp with gorgeous shadings of rock and bluegrass . . . a balanced mix of barn burners and ballads. Don't be surprised if Canadian roots bands start referring to their music as Savage Country - an apt title that says much about who we are and where our music comes from.” Channel M Vancouver

“Recollections of her farmstead upbringing colour this fine second album from the Vancouver-based songwriter. There's nothing savage about Alexander's vocals, which echo folk-country icons Rosanne Cash and Alison Krauss.” “Pick Of The Month” Western Living Magazine

“From the first urgent notes of her new album Savage Country, a dark vein snakes through Leslie Alexander's open-sounding roots music the way fork lightning snakes across a prairie sky . . . pure, simple, complex and jaded all at the same time.” FFWD Magazine

“An impressive collection of songs . . . an eloquent ode to the grain elevators of Alexander's native Alberta . . . the arrangements are varied and the musicianship creative . . . Ellis knows just when to add the right twang on steel guitar. More importantly, Alexander is a wonderful singer and a good songwriter . . . one to watch.” Penguin Eggs Magazine

"It's an often-beautiful collection of songs that plow the fields of roots and western music, while romantically drawing on the experiences of her upbringing. And fittingly, the music and the material go hand in hand to create a landscape that's familiar, yet filled with so much to explore." Calgary Sun

“Truly magnificent . . . Alexander has us wrapped around her finger instantly. Great production . . . should please both fans of roots rock and Americana and those of more commercial country outings . . . write Alexander's name in red letters on your list of talented people to keep an eye on! " Ctrl.Alt.Country E-Zine.Com

“A folksy vibe that grooves and soothes at the same time . . . country music for those who don't like country music. Savage Country captures the Western rural experience . . . clean and rich with a hint of sweet twang and spot-on production both economical and complimentary . . . an expressive songwriter . . . the music takes you on a journey and the honesty behind it is tangible. Alexander's songwriting/performing gifts are in full bloom. . . the CD satisfies on many levels, presenting the vision of an original and well- rounded musician . . . Savage Country is the real deal.” Vernon Morning Star

“Savage Country is full of little things that grab your attention in a big way . . . rich, realistic details of rural life, love and hardship . . sets those lyrics against a prairie backdrop of pretty, melancholy melodies that combine, folk, bluegrass and Celtic influences. Put all those things together and they add up to an artist of sizable potential.” Winnipeg Sun

"Compelling . . . more than just a teary lament for the old world's passing. There's also a deep sense of what-goes-around-comes-around in Savage Country, which makes the musical tale all the more tragic." Calgary Herald

“Builds from an acoustic strummer to a full-out rocker with Alexander nearly spitting the lyrics . . . Alexander has a fine voice, capable of shifting easily between fury and exaltation. And she gets some high-powered help from fellow Vancouver musicians Sam Parton (Be Good Tanyas) and John Ellis, who plays guitar and pedal steel.” Billings Gazette

“Savage Country is full-band folk with a rootsy twang best exemplified by the delicate Rachael's Song and a cover of Dolly Parton's Bargain Store that should please both the folks back home on the farm and the urban cowboys drinking fraps while listening to Lucinda on their way to the office.” Georgia Straight

"One of the hardest-working members of the burgeoning Vancouver roots scene, Alexander here ruminates on the sad changes on her native Alberta prairies. Both the title song and Father's Day are particularly evocative." The Province

“There's a place where the walls between musical styles are non-existent - that's where Savage Country lives. Leslie's managed to get everything you've ever felt about life onto one CD. It won't let you go 'til you've heard it again and again.” Harry Manx



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When in "Savage Country" I can feel the praire wind in my hair the praire soil beneath my feet.I'm so happy I could spit.Grin