Leslie Stevens, Izaak Opatz Supermoon Duets duo by Morgan Nagler of Whispertown-with Jake Bellows at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneertown
** Leslie Stevens
“Canyon Country Bands are as common as brush fires in LA but the thing that separates this combo apart is the voice of the titular Leslie…a rounded shining thing that evokes Patsy Cline¬πs sass and sorrow in one swoop.” – LA Times
“Leslie & the Badgers are quietly turning into one of the city’s best…what makes the songs magical is the way Stevens spruces up the retro country-pop settings with clear-eyed and thoughtfully incisive lyrics.” – LA Weekly
“As the heart of its expressive ability, Leslie Stevens’ voice is the picture of gorgeous restraint, a refined mixture of urbane sophistication and genuine country honey…radiant with style and intellect…her singing is more about movement than volume, and it’s what makes it an enduring marvel.” Flagpole Magazine
“A fresh, ear-pleasing sound that’s attracted a growing Eastside following…’Los Angeles’ and pleading ‘Winter Fugue’ serve notice Stevens is a writer to watch.” – Pasadena Weekly
“Seasoned as the weather itself…like a gypsy caravan picking up musicians and fans along the way…real enough to steal one¬πs heart away.” – LA Record
“Roomful Of Smoke is an unexpected pleasure and a record that fans of Whiskeytown and Neko Case will find as comfortable as a well-traveled pair of boots…too many standout tracks to list…’Los Angeles,’ sounds like it was inadvertently left off Case’s Canadian Amp EP, while ‘My Tears Are Wasted On You’ will likely rocket up the country charts as soon as some savvy producer convinces one of Nashville’s cookie-cutter starlets to warble her way through it.” – My Old Kentucky Blog
“…led by adorable, sweet-toned singer-songwriter Leslie Stevens whose pipes and presence recall such honest and heartfelt vocalists as Emmylou Harris, Iris DeMent and Alison Krauss, with a touch of Patsy Cline’s guilelessness…literate, emotionally-accessible, sometimes whimsical and always heartfelt lyrics….” – MOG dot com
“This album has more class in a follicle of its metaphorical hair than most new country has in its entire existence…That class is established early on by Leslie Steven’s soothing voice. Awarded “Best Country Singer” in the LA Weekly’s 2018 Best Of, you can feel Leslie Stevens’ voice reach the nails in the doorframe. She spins a high craft, with songs about donkeys and drinking and driving in heaven— and just when you thought she might light your living room on fire with a giggle, she’ll blast you through the skylight into outer space. The LA Times calls her “one of the city’s best” and Chris Ziegler (LA Record) explains that Leslie has “the kind of voice you’ll realize you’ve been waiting to hear since forever.” She’s sung on records by Jim James, Father John Misty, Jonathan Wilson, and live with Joe Walsh, Jackson Browne, and John Fogerty, as well as other musicians not beginning with the letter “J.” Brave lyrically and vulnerable in spirit: Leslie never shies away from laying down what’s what, if only to leave a mark on the most golden part of your soul.
You can’t help but be reminded of Emmylou Harris when you hear her voice but you will never be confused by it. Ms. Stevens can sing country, R & B, blues, or anything else that may come her way…You best have your ear to the ground on this. It’s that good and you can expect to hear a lot more from this amazingly talented band.” – No Depression
** Izaak Opatz
Izaak Opatz is a mountain man (from Montana)! He works in National Parks, cutting trails through the woods, probably wearing a vest or a funny hat and crapping in holes in the ground. He goes weeks on end without seeing another single person. When he does finally wander into town, he usually comes back with a pack-mule-donkey-satchel-thing chock full of songs about women that he’s been dreaming of, places where he used to be happy, situations he screwed up… really dipping into a well of memories that are probably better left alone.
His songs teeter on the edge of sentimental-songwriter’y-sad-n-lonely stuff. This is a tough area for a songwriter to inhabit, because it’s easy to get lumped in the with the rest of the middle aged losers at the open mic night BUT IZAAK DOES IT SO WELL that you’re convinced almost immediately that he’s the real deal and he doesn’t need to prove it. You hear the songs and you’ll be won over immediately. You watch him play and you’ll wish he’d never stop. You talk to him for a minute and you’ll offer up your prettiest daughter and welcome him into your family. But if you turn your back on him for even a minute, he’ll probably wander back up the mountain and give up whatever you offer him, no matter how sweet the sitch or pretty the daughter. He’s got his own agenda and it’s frustrating but also so admirable. My advice is to catch him whenever and however you can and celebrate this sensitive mountain man while he’s around. ~Jonny Fritz