One of the greatest things about writing on this blog is the number of new artists I am fortunate enough to hear. Out of the blue, someone will send me a link or YT video of a musician of whom I’ve never heard and it ends up being the best part of my day. Such is the case with the individual here: Mr. TJ Leonard, a Swedish Country artist who sounds more than “at home” with this uniquely American musical genre.
His new album is titled “High on Livin,” a ten track LP that spans moods from folk to rock all accompanying Leonard’s straightforward and clear tenor voice. At times the recordings are gritty, and I mean gritty – a quick listen to “Redneck Neighborhood” as an example of how well distorted guitar and fiddle fit together will remind you that this no album looking for Hollywood sheen (and thank goodness for it!) Alternatively, “The River” is upbeat and uplifting, and I for one, love how prominently the banjo plays.
All in all, this is a very interesting injection into Country music from across the ocean. I know that many fans of the genre are sometimes skeptical of artists that don’t hail from somewhere in the Southern United States, but I firmly believe that foreign influence just shows us how healthy the genre really is. And TJ Leonard is simply the latest example of that health. To learn more, please visit: tjleonardcountry.com