Formed of Laura Lee on bass, Mark Speer on guitar, and Donald DJ” Johnson on drums; Khruangbin’s sounds are rooted in the deepest waters of world music infused with classic soul, dub and psychedelia.
leon bridges beyond lyrics – Global Music Rights
It’s hard to believe Leon Bridges is only 29 years old. Much of that balance can be credited to Reed. Before his involvement, Bridges and his Fort Worth team (which includes former White Denim guitarist Austin Jenkins and drummer Joshua Block) had been pushing even further, jumping decades ahead and constructing sounds from ’70s soul to ’80s R&B.
R&B singer Leon Bridges has a few good things coming his way. The opening act was awesome! Leon Bridges was vary good but his vocals were VERY difficult to understand. He is a great showman and I would love to see him again if the vocal situation was better.
Leon brought in raw, unfinished songs,” Mercaneau says. We played with those ideas with Austin and Josh from his first record. Leon might come in with a chord progression or a melody and we’d build around that or find the best way to express his idea.
Humility aside, Bridges’ light is burning bright. Following the October 2014 release of two tunes that set the on-line world aflame, and accompanied by intimate solo shows from London to Los Angeles and Nashville to New York, the singer and songwriter has proven himself more than worthy of the spotlight, with a nuanced style and range that serves as a welcome addition to today’s musical landscape.
Since the release of The Universe Smiles Upon You, Khruangbin have spent the past two years playing non-stop worldwide. The band’s live history ranges from a European tour with Father John Misty to supporting Tycho on a US tour, a string of festival dates including Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, ACL, Outside Lands, Desert Dazed, SXSW as well as extended headline excursions. In a nod to their travels, Laura and Mark have been presenting a weekly AirKhruang” DJ set live each Friday on their Facebook page, where the pair play a selection of music by artists from a particular city. They also hold a monthly NTS radio show called Cabin Pressure”.
Leon Bridges has just placed his order at the bar of the Ludlow Hotel: Something brown,” he says, a glint in his eye. It’s just a prop, but not a prop,” he banters, taking a taste and turning to pose for the camera. It takes a few more sips for the singer to open up, his quiet drawl giving way to song and small dance moves at our table.
In a span of three years, Coming Home would take Bridges to the White House to perform for former President Obama, the stage of Saturday Night Live and earn him nominations for two Grammy® Awards including Best R&B Album. The debut album has gone on to sell over 500,000 records (certified RIAA Gold) and has been streamed 350 million times and Bridges now regularly sells out 10,000-person capacity rooms in cities around the world.
Sawyer had no idea her son was writing songs until the day he walked into the living room and told her he had written one for her. For all that has been written about Bridges’ incredible voice, the strength of his lyrics—and of the song Lisa Sawyer” in particular—have thus far been overlooked, probably because Coming Home” is such a simple and endearing little pop song. In Lisa Sawyer,” Bridges spins a generational tale of migration, through the South and out West, a song about witnessing love and faith, as well as suffering and hardship seen through a child’s eyes. It traces the journey of his own family in a way that parallels a metaphorical journey, raising them up from New Orleans and taking the Mississippi blues through the lens of midcentury soul as interpreted by the pure heart of a young man growing up in suburban Texas.
On this warm April evening, Tony Tasset’s giant Eye sculpture serves as the centerpiece of an extravagant party across the street from The Joule hotel, closing out the weekend of the Dallas Art Fair. Cocktail waitresses in jumpsuits and goggles bounce around couture-adorned art dealers and collectors as they navigate an adult playground replete with a giant swing set. Bridges is the evening’s entertainment, and the whole lavish affair feels like his very own debutant ball. His debut album, Coming Home, will drop in June. No one knew the name Leon Bridges seven months ago, but now everyone expects him to be North Texas’ next big thing, maybe another Norah Jones.
From bussing tables at a Tex-Mex restaurant to playing at the White House in under two years, Leon Bridges has no plans to part ways with his humble beginnings. Clad in Western-influenced threads and with a sound reminiscent of ’60s icons Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, he and his band are poised to bring soul into the new century while staying true to their Texan hometown.
AEG Presents is thrilled to announce LEON BRIDGES live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre Thursday, August 9, 2018. A tour-de-force performance from one of music’s most versatile young artists. That night Paul McCartney danced in the front row as Bridges sang. Backstage he met John Legend, who told him that a friend had passed him Coming Home,” and he really liked it.
That delight in the mundane works, time and time again, on Good Thing. He spools a phone call home to mom into a rapturous reckoning with a relationship’s potential on Beyond” and considers shirking his friends’ advice and running back to an untrustworthy flame on reverb-lined Forgive You.” And on the buoyant one-two punch of If It Feels Good, Then It Must Be” and You Don’t Know” he finds himself gripped with the thrill of new love and desire. But Bridges saves his best for last. On the stellar album closer Georgia to Texas” the singer lays his origin story bare—his birth, his mother’s struggle, the hand-me-down-clothes, the lack of money—and in turn, crafts a moving testament to the power of a mother’s love.
While Leon Bridges notices the similarities between him and Sam Cooke, he wants to point out their differences as well. In an interview with GQ, he mentions that while the inspiration of Sam Cooke is there, the music and writing of the two artists is distinct. When asked about his most recent album Good Thing, Leon Bridges mentioned artists from all over the music scene that inspired him, including Usher, James Blake, and even Willie Nelson.
Ever since the soulful singer Leon Bridges released his debut album in 2015, he has blasted fans back to the past. Leon Bridges came on to the music scene that summer when he released Coming Home. His old-time soulful R&B sound catapulted him up to the top of the charts.
By the time his family had arrived in Texas, around 1992, via a short stint in New Orleans, Todd’s parents had split. In 2002, Todd and his two siblings—older brother Wallace and younger sister Ivy—moved with their mother, Lisa Sawyer, into a 1,500-square-foot house on a gently curving street in Crowley about a mile from the city limits of Kelly Clarkson’s hometown of Burleson. A single mom living miles from her support network of extended family, Sawyer kept her brood close. Todd’s childhood was filled with simple pleasures and family. They invented games, lived at the library, and ate their mother’s Louisiana home cooking instead of fast food. Todd saw his father on weekends and spent summers with him. But at home, it was his mother who kept a tight, loving rein on the household.
Leon Bridges got the crowd grooving during The Late Late Show with his raucous performance of If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be).” The singer, who was recently announced as part of the lineup for Woodstock 50, was accompanied by his live band and a group of backup singers for a jovial rendition of the single, which comes off his 2018 album Good Thing.
After bursting onto the scene in 2015 with his ‘60s-inspired debut album, Coming Home , Bridges’ latest album, Good Thing , has taken him up a couple decades,” he tells PEOPLE, with a new sound that’s less retro, but still full of soul.
Even though Good Thing still featured the soulful 60’s sound that fans loved, it’s a very different album compared to Coming Home. With Good Thing, Leon Bridges wanted the songs to be able to connect with a more diverse audience, rather than the predominantly white audience he took note of while touring. In Good Thing, fans are able to hear a mix of pop beats with the same soulful voice that Bridges is known for. In the single “If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be),” fans can hear this seamless collaboration between the two different styles. In both the bass line and Leon Bridges’ voice, fans can hear the 60’s soul inspirations. However, there is also the dance-able beat and lyrics, much like the songs produced by Pharrell Williams.
No one could have expected how coolly and calmly Bridges would take the whole thing. Here was this shy kid surrounded by musicians 10 or more years his senior, veterans of countless recording sessions, tours all over the world, and they were playing his songs. Bridges slid into the middle of it, swinging his hands at his sides to the rhythm of his homespun soul songs.
During 2016 and 2017, Bridges was active primarily as a performer and collaborator. He co-wrote and was featured on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “Kevin,” Nick Waterhouse’s “Katchi,” and Kacey Musgraves’ “Present Without a Bow.” Additionally, he recorded “On My Own” with Lecrae (for Birth of a Nation: The Inspired by Album) and connected twice with Gary Clark, Jr., as heard on Live North America 2016, and on a collaborative cover of Neil Young‘s “Ohio.” Work with Aminé and ODESZA was also out by the end of 2017.
More important than Bridge’s singing, dancing and rock-solid backup band, more important than the jovial sellout crowd at South Florida’s favorite music venue, more important than anything else: This show was a hell of a lot of fun. There’s not much more you could want on a Friday night in Miami Beach, and I have a strong feeling that when Bridges comes back, he’ll be commanding a much bigger venue than the Fillmore. If you weren’t there, you probably missed your last chance to see this ascendent talent at such an intimate venue.
Perhaps it’s not surprising that the artist hasn’t polished his interview skills to a shine—he’s been more or less behind the scenes since releasing his debut album, Coming Home, in 2015. And while that’s all about to change—his second album, Good Thing, something he would call new territory,” comes out May 4—here’s hoping his aw-shucks charm stays exactly the same.
Some people call Bridges a natural. But to understand how this singer was able to perform so well in this unconventional recording session, you have to know that no one who really knows the young man calls him Leon Bridges.
The 30-year-old treacle-voiced Texan soul singer, dressed magnificently in a flamboyant tropical shirt, wide-leg trousers and Gucci shoes, has already bowled over the whole of the West Kensington photo studio by the time I arrive. When he laughs, lavish mutton chops no one should have the right to pull off dance merrily on his cheeks. I even have to shoo out one swooning fan girl as she gushes: ‘By the way, Coming Home was one of my favourite albums… ever’.
After a smooth intro from the group, Bridges arrived on stage, helping the band kick off the night with the appropriate “If It Feels Good (Then It Must Be).” A lively “Bad Bad News” kept the energy level high, with a funky breakdown at the end allowing Bridges to show off the dance moves he perfected during his time as an aspiring choreographer in North Texas.
Leon Bridges’ first strides as an R&B artist prompted comparisons to legends like Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, but he quickly came into his own as a Top Ten, multiple Grammy-nominated artist. The Eagles added a batch of dates to their ‘Hotel California’ 2020 tour in which they will perform the iconic 1977 album with an orchestra and choir at each stop followed by a set of greatest hits.
The result is an album that veers from uptempo to down, from highly structured pop-R&B to deconstructed jazz, and from past to present. It is not just sonically rich, but lyrically complex as well, touching on the more intimate details of Leon’s life, from experiencing love and heartache to grappling with newfound fame.
Musician Leon Bridges uses Squarespace to share his music with the world. Bridges’ 2019 summer tour picks up again on August 10th with a performance at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno, NV. Head to Bridges’ official website for ticket info.
In just five years, Leon Bridges has managed to rise from obscurity in Texas to success in music’s mainstream by adding his own spin to retro musical styles. On 2015’s Coming Home, the Atlanta-born, Fort Worth-bred singer-songwriter lent his Otis Redding-meets-Usher style of performing to a list of earnestly crafted tracks that would’ve fit seamlessly into Motown Records founder Berry Gordy’s personal discography.
Through it all, Bridges once again pushed the envelope not by inventing genres, but rather by expanding his own repertoire of beloved established styles closer to the present day. Along the way, he showed himself to be as much a soul singer in the mold of Sam Cooke as a vibrant, fearless performer as the late (and perpetually sweat-stained) James Brown. Given the pace at which Leon’s star has risen and his handle on different genres has grown, those who have followed his burgeoning career thus far should be on pins and needles while they wait to see where the currents of his own sonic river flow to next.
The upbeat numbers were all well-received, but the slower, more introspective and personal tracks got a little lost in the din of the room. Bridges’ individual journey was illuminated in “Georgia to Texas,” with a smoldering “Dazed and Confused”-like arrangement, while his ode to his mother, “Lisa Sawyer,” was dedicated to all the mothers in the room. But though these heartfelt revelations hit hard on record, they didn’t translate on stage, and the energy level sagged.
Working with Bode herself, Huelster and Bridges fashioned a full corduroy suit covered in drawings representing various aspects of the singer’s life, from his love of Texas (check out the cowgirl) to favorite musicians, his own album artwork and his mother’s name. There’s even a Ford logo — a nod to the first car Bridges bought while working as a dishwasher before he got his start in music.
Bridges began the encore on electric guitar, sharing the lone spotlight with backup singer Brittni Jessie. The room lit up with cell phone lights during the duo’s stunning version of “River.” The song was a soulful cleansing, the weight of whatever was troubling us lifted during that intimate moment of congregation.
Good Thing brought Bridges’ particular genre of soul from the past to the present, seamlessly transitioning from the retro-soul throwback of Coming Home to a more unique neo-soul sound that incorporates elements of jazz, R&B and funk. This willingness to venture into new territory bred crossover radio hits like Beyond” and Bad Bad News”, which certainly had something to do with the show selling out well in advance.
On the day I talk to Bridges’ mother, he is performing in Chicago. I ask her if she ever gets worried about him out there on the road, if she’s wary of this world he has entered—the entertainment industry, the whirl of fame, the fashion editors, fawning publicists, the music-hall backstages, all those admiring eyes, what it can do to the soul, how it can slowly eat away at who you really are.
It has been a steep learning curve. Coming Home was a revival of the 1960s soul era sung by a young, modern man from the South — but critics wondered if he could write anything more original. And so came Good Thing last year: funkier, fresher, a ‘melting pot of different sounds’. Bridges has loved touring it, but bad reviews stay with you. When he played Brixton O2 last November, a major newspaper reported ‘a chant that struck up during a jazzy section mid-gig, urging Bridges to stick to his old material’.