The Alex Leach Band - Up To You [Single]
  • Up To You
  • Up To You
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:12) [7.31 MB]
Biography
Why You Should Care: Hailing from the mountains of East Tennessee, Alex Leach has already been in the music business for more than two decades and has appeared on CMT's "Big Ticket," the BBC, and Peter Jennings' "ABC World News Tonight." He began his professional career as a musician at the age of 19, and was recruited a few years later by Ralph Stanley II, the son of iconic bluegrass pioneer, Ralph Stanley, with whom he had the opportunity to play banjo on the Grand Ole Opry in 2014. In the following years, he toured widely with “Two,” earning critical accolades for his playing, his compelling lead and harmony vocals, and for his additions to the bluegrass canon with songs like “Mountain Heartache.” Although he has helped carry on the legacy of bluegrass founding fathers, singer/songwriter/guitarist Leach and the eponymous band he fronts are joining contemporaries like Billy Strings in redefining what modern roots music and bluegrass are through originality and a purposeful evolution away from long held stereotypes. Music from their Jim Lauderdale-produced album I’m The Happiest When I’m Moving, was featured on Spotify’s Grass Roots playlist.
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Although he has helped carry on the legacy of bluegrass founding fathers, singer/songwriter/guitarist Alex Leach and the eponymous band he fronts are joining contemporaries like Billy Strings in redefining what modern roots music and bluegrass are through originality and a purposeful evolution away from long held stereotypes. I’m The Happiest When I’m Moving, their Jim Lauderdale-produced Mountain Home Music Company debut, marked the starting point of that evolution, blending a couple of traditional-sounding touchstones with more contemporary original material and some organically framed nods in the direction of Americana and the broader roots music world. Now, with the release of two new singles that display the breadth of their multifaceted talent, The Alex Leach Band are doubling down on their commitment to blazing their own, unique musical trail.

On the bluegrass side, “Up To You,” written with producer Jon Weisberger, delves deeper into Leach’s propensity for thoughtful lyrics and his fondness for the progressive and newgrass-flavored sounds of musical progenitors like the Country Gentlemen and Cliff Waldron & the New Shades of Grass. The band — Miranda Leach (vocals), Joshua Gooding (mandolin, vocals), Jason Johnson (banjo) and JT Coleman (bass), along with guest violinist Chris Sexton of Nothin’ Fancy and legendary studio drummer Tony Creasman — delivers a solid groove and supple, distinctive solos, as Leach delivers a meditation on how our views of situations reflect our individual outlooks and experiences.

“I am very excited to release ‘Up To You,’” notes Leach. “I brought the idea to Jon a few months back about an optimist and a pessimist on a trip together, and how each of them viewed a stressful situation. After writing for a bit, we decided to let the listener be the one to decide if they thought of themselves as a positive thinker or a negative thinker. I also want to compliment how tastefully the band played and sang on this track. I hope this song will cause the listener to think about how they deal with situations, all while groovin’ to the music — but at the end of the day, take it exactly how you want, it’s completely ‘up to you.’”

In contrast to the original “Up To You,” the group’s cover of Paul Simon’s “Slip Slidin’ Away” foregoes the ‘grassy accents of the banjo and delivers instead a carefully crafted yet utterly natural reading that focuses tightly on the singing of Alex and Miranda. Framed by Leach’s inventive guitar figures and Sexton’s subtle violin, the husband and wife duo reveal Simon’s enigmatic parables with intimate, sympathetic tone and phrasing, making the familiar masterpiece feel as if it’s being heard for the first time.

“I have always had a broad taste in music, and regardless of what genre it’s thrown into, a good song is a good song in my book,” Leach observes. “Simon and Garfunkel always caught my ear with their harmonies, and even though Paul Simon recorded ‘Slip Slidin’ Away’ as a solo track, he and Art sang it as a duet years after it was released. It was the duet version that gave me the inspiration for our arrangement, with the instrumentation and crisscrossed harmony parts between Miranda and me. It was so fun to record and I think it broadens the spectrum for the band and their versatility. We have many surprises up our sleeve, and this may be a little glimpse of more things that are in store. Enjoy!”

About The Alex Leach Band
Hailing from the mountains of East Tennessee, Alex Leach is no stranger to the world of music. Just 30 years old, he has already been in the business for more than two decades, earning two “DJ of the Year” awards from the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music of America by the time he was 15, and appearing on CMT's "Big Ticket," the BBC, and Peter Jennings' "ABC World News Tonight."

Yet even as he was building his reputation as one of the premiere radio voices in bluegrass, Alex was honing his skills as a guitarist and banjo player. He began his professional career as a musician at the age of 19, and was recruited a few years later by Ralph Stanley II, the son of iconic bluegrass pioneer, Ralph Stanley, with whom he had the opportunity to play banjo on the Grand Ole Opry in 2014. In the years that followed, he toured widely with “Two,” earning critical accolades for his playing, his compelling lead and harmony vocals, and for his additions to the bluegrass canon with songs like “Mountain Heartache.”

In late 2019, Leach took another giant step in his career when he and his wife, singer Miranda Jo, launched the Alex Leach Band, a quintet that includes JT Coleman (bass), Joshua Gooding (mandolin, vocals) and Jason Johnson (banjo). They released their album, I’m The Happiest When I’m Moving, in 2021. ​With influences ranging from The Stanley Brothers to The Beach Boys, and Curtis Mayfield to Porter Wagoner, Alex Leach's music is both traditional and original, nostalgic and forward-looking — the sound of a new generation of bluegrass artists.

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  • Members:
    Alex Leach, Miranda Jo Leach, JT Coleman, Joshua Gooding, Brandon Masur
  • Sounds Like:
  • Influences:
  • AirPlay Direct Member Since:
    11/02/21
  • Profile Last Updated:
    03/26/22 23:01:27

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