Featured Artist: Jeff LeBlanc

July 19, 2013

Singer-songwriter Jeff LeBlanc is our featured artist of the week. After wanting to become a history teacher, it wasn’t until he picked up a friend’s guitar that he realized he wanted to be a musician. The rest, you could say, was history. Now LeBlanc has played shows all around the country, has recorded a couple albums, with a new one to be released at the end of the month. He comes to FNDTN tomorrow night for a Buncearoo show with Ken Yates. We reached out the New York-native about his upcoming record, influences, and more.

Catch Jeff LeBlanc live tomorrow night at Foundation Gallery & Liveroom.

You’ve got a great story as to how you became a musician. Could you talk a little about how you started for those who aren’t aware?

I essentially started as a street performer on the east end of Long Island. Tourists flock here in the summertime, so I’d go down to the main streets and street busk with my friend until they kicked us out. We kind of “earned it” down there. Over time, it gave me plenty of confidence to get out on the road and do what I’m doing now.

What are musicians that you would say influenced you and the music you make?

I’m really influenced by so many kinds of music. Of course the classics are part of my collection but growing up in the 90’s, I was really into Third Eye Blind, Alanis Morrissette, Matchbox 20, etc. When my friend gave me John Mayer’s album back in 10th grade, it really opened my eyes to the singer/songwriter sound I’ve grown to love…

Your new record “My Own Way There” is set for a July 30th release. What can you tell us about it?

I think it’s my best to date. I dug a bit deeper. I wrote about things I was scared to write about in the past. I’m excited to get this out to my fans since everyone’s been on board for a few years now. It’s exciting to watch the energy build up over time…

From songwriting to recording, could you tell us about the creative process for this new record? Were there any differences in the making of this record compared to your previous ones?

I didn’t want to abandon my “sound” but I also wanted to push the envelope with what we were doing in the studio. We used pedal steel on a handful of songs and it added an incredible element to things. I wrote R&B songs, I wrote folk songs, I wrote pop songs… I think they all blended well together and helped my sound to mature.

What’s the significance in the choosing of “My Own Way There” as the title?

It came about after I wrote the song “My Own Way There” with Ken Yates actually. I felt it signified my journey perfectly… I’m trying to find my way in this crazy business / life.

In addition to a string of upcoming show dates, you’ve got a Buncearoo show coming up with Ken Yates at our very own FNDTN. What do you look forward to most when you get on the road for these shows?

I love interacting with the fans at the shows. It makes all of the traffic worth it. Getting to chat with people about music and connect with them is something I treasure. I always say, if I didn’t do music, I would have never met any of these folks?

What is currently your favorite album of 2013?

I’m really digging Matchbox 20’s “North”… It’s pulled me back in as a listener. “I Will” is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard.

Thanks for talking to us at Pick-Up. Any last shout outs for the readers out there?

Thank you for having me! I’m excited to play at FNDTN for the first time and meet everyone there. It’s amazing when people support independent artists and give us a venue to share our story. I look forward to releasing the new album and I hope you can all check it out!

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