George Leach


Songs appear out of thin air, seemingly from nowhere but actually from all around us. The greatest of these seem to have always been there, carrying in them something true and universal that connects at a depth beyond language. Songwriters accomplish a strange magic in pulling them from the ether. By doing so, they give voice to their feelings and experiences, and in turn, ours too. Their songs tell our story and provide the soundtrack to our lives. George Leach is one of these magicians. His dedication to songcraft is evident throughout his career, and nowhere more so than on his Juno award winning album, “Surrender”.

“Surrender” is the result of years of living, learning, trial and error, falling and getting up, winning and losing, breaking up, making up, and writing through it all. The album’s 11 tracks offer ample proof that the time was well spent. Far from a victim of the dreaded ‘sophomore slump’, George has instead delivered a masterful artistic statement of purpose. The opening track, You Got It, serves as both a link to George’s blues roots, and a departure, with a funkier groove and a grittier vocal delivery. From there, the real adventure begins, with pleasant surprises aplenty – the confident modern rock groove and keening vocal hooks of the first single, Carry Me; the vulnerability and intimacy of the soulful title track and the song that closes the album, Try; the hard rock swagger of They; and the album’s centrepiece, the majestic Zep/Floyd influenced Magdalene.

Where his debut album, Just Where I’m At, centred on a young man’s precocious command of the blues, Surrender covers a broader, vaster terrain – touches of classic rock, soul balladry, R&B, and funk, all in the service of a restless musical explorer chasing his muse, in the process maturing into his own as a singer and songwriter. The music evokes the home territory of the Sta’atl’imx – massive riffs like the ranges of the interior, cascades of blue notes glistening in the air like the falling spring water of a mountain stream, the vocal melodies soaring over top like an eagle in flight, all in George’s unmistakable voice. It’s a record that ranks among the finest you will encounter, this year or any other.

Now it’s time to hit the road again, to take the music to the people. The energy level of a George Leach show is something you don’t want to miss. As the first notes issue forth from George’s doubleneck Gibson, the air in the room changes. George disappears into the moment, free to explore the nuances of the songs, losing himself and finding his purest form of expression at the same time. Audiences across Canada are raving. Attend a show and find out why.