Biography: Hailing from Fort Worth, TX, Leon Bridges didn't always take on the classic soul style that initially rose him to critical acclaim. In fact, Leon originally found inspiration in more modern artists, such as Usher, but found his voice wasn't built for flashy runs. Instead, Leon began to partner his voice with a smooth soul sound. After test-driving his new sound regularly at open-mic nights (at the same place he worked as a dishwasher), Bridges began to attract attention. It was his track, "Lisa Sawyer", in particular that first began to make waves. Quickly, the signature 50's/60's soul styled-songs formed an entire album titled, "Coming Home". Nonetheless, as time has gone, Leon has further developed his sound with a bit of a fusion between classic soul and the music that first inspired him. Indeed, his sophomore release, ‘Good Thing’, successfully blended his different musical worlds. Since then, Bridges has continued to explore and push the limits of his music endeavors, including via a collaboration with fellow Texans, Khruangbin (‘Texas Sun’ EP). Leon Bridges’ constant pursuit of development of an artist is sure to continue to take the music world by storm.
Major Discography: Coming Home (2015), Good Thing (2018), Texas Sun EP w/ Khruangbin (2020)
I’ve tried to best compile a mix of the different sounds that come through with Leon’s music. Because he’s not limited himself to one strict sound, each of his releases thus far serves as an entirely unique journey. So, if you like what you hear, I’d encourage listening to the full albums.
Similar Artists: Sam Cooke, Curtis Harding, Michael Kiwanuka, Durand Jones & the Indications, Black Pumas
Similar Bonnaroo Artists: Brittany Howard, Devon Gilfillian, The Marcus King Band, Yola
Physical Reaction/Live Show:
Leon Bridges & his band put on a highly engaging, energetic show that is also true to the quality of his tracks on record. I’ve seen him a few times - including his 2015 Austin City Limits Taping and 2016 Bonnaroo set, and the level of performance 100% exceeds already high expectations. At Roo his last go, his cover of Pony (I’ll link an acoustic version below) was absolutely phenomenal. All in all, I think he’s the perfect fit for a late afternoon/early evening Sunday set.
Tejas por siempre - pumped as hell for Leon’s set, and you should be too.