Southern Ground

Country Spotlight: Sonia Leigh

October 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm , by

Is it possible for an entire NYC magazine staff to collectively crush on a country artist? Apparently the answer is yes. Sonia Leigh blends country, blues, rock and soul so masterfully that I could’ve probably made a fortune selling “I ♥ Sonia Leigh” T-shirts after her recent visit to the LHJ offices. Even despite the fact that she was battling a cold, Leigh (accompanied by bandmate/guitarist Will Harrison*) belted out five tunes for us on the eve of the release of her latest CD, 1978 December, wowing everyone with her thoughtful lyrics and raw, honest delivery. From the tongue-in-(liquored-up) cheek “Bar” to the achingly wistful title track, Leigh more than proved why she’s currently billed as a Listen Up! Artist over at CMT. Some staffers picked up a Janis Joplin vibe, while others threw out names like Lucinda Williams and even Johnny Cash. (The fact that she’s an Arrested Development fan who’s Tweeted us a favorite catchphrase only makes us love her more.)

* “I ♥ Will Harrison” T-shirts sold separately.

1978 December is a release off of Zac Brown‘s Southern Ground Artists label, and Brown (a close friend and mentor) appears twice on the record (“Bar”, “Roaming”). There’s also a great guest vocal from Amy Ray on “Virginia” for all you Indigo Girls fans out there.

Be sure to check out our up-close-and-personal video (below) of Leigh and Harrison entertaining our staff with acoustic versions of “Ain’t Dead Yet”, the highly addictive “My Name is Money” and “1978 December.” Once you’re hooked (and you will be … so just let me know your shirt size), continue on after the jump for bonus footage of Leigh getting us thirsty with the CD’s “Bar” and “A Poem From the Ocean Floor.”

Read more