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Folk / Rock Vancouver, BC Website
Leslie Alexander

Leslie Alexander grew up on an Alberta 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. She wound up singing on a street corner in Vancouver for spare change. She does not consider this a mistake.

Along came producer John Ellis (Ridley Bent, Be Good Tanyas), who put together Leslie's first CD "Bird in the House" (1997). Tom Zillich (Westender) called this collection of tunes about street life and redemption "one of the best indie releases I've heard." Anyway, it got Leslie out of the rain and into some coffeehouses where she set her sights on the concert stage.

Then she contributed a recording to the "Grrrls with Guitars" Compilation 1 (FESTIVAL 1999), jumping in a van with a bunch of other Grrrls to tour Western Canada. Songs about the contrasts between her rural roots and her new home in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside followed, evolving into her second record "Savage Country." Produced by John Ellis and Wyckham Porteous, featuring guests Harry Manx, Sam Parton (Be Good Tanyas) and Linda McRae, the record turned up on Campus, CBC, BBC, and Australian National Public Radio playlists. In 2004, "Savage Country" was the 4 Most Played Canadian Folk/Roots Album on the CBC's Galaxie Satellite Radio.

Since then, Leslie's appeared on concert and festival stages across Canada, headlining or sharing the spotlight with the likes of Mary Gauthier, Jim Byrnes and Corb Lund. Today her songs are receiving international airplay on her own recordings as well as cuts with other artists and have been licensed to film and television.

Invited to open shows for Barney Bentall in 2006, before long Leslie became a part of his acoustic-based trio, playing banjo, guitar and piano. Soon to follow were a series of guest appearances with Barney Bentall's Grand Cariboo Opry, a highly entertaining variety show (think Prairie Home Companion) featuring a rotating cast of Canadian artists such as Joel Plaskett, Jim Cuddy, and Tom Wilson. Pre-production with John Ellis and Wyckham Porteous for her third record was underway when Jane Siberry, Barney and Dustin Bentall, and Sony/BMG artist Jeremy Fisher offered to pitch in.

A collection of songs about life, death and dandilions in the concrete, "Garden in the Stones" generated international acclaim from music critics. The CBC stepped up with generous support, featuring Leslie's story and songs in a nationwide special called "Healing the Heart," as well as a live broadcast from "Sounds Like Canada." The record charted at 3 on Galaxie Radio's recommended list of Folk-Roots albums, and was featured as Album of the Week at CKUA Radio. Three of the album's tracks advanced to the semi-finals of the International Song Contest (2004-2005), while three more received Honourable Mentions in the international Billboard Magazine Song of the Year Competition (2006). Others were chosen to be featured on compilation CDs representing Sonicbids, the Pacific Music Industry Association, and the Odd Squad's Downtown Eastside fundraising compilation "On the Beat" also featuring Bruce Springsteen, the Barenaked Ladies, and Randy Bachman.

Leslie is currently showcasing material from her fourth upcoming release, on tour with Jane Siberry across Canada and the U.S. Leslie’s unique perspective, songs and 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 and terrifying places she's been.

Upcoming Events for Leslie Alexander

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