Dust ‘N’ Branches… Songs from A Wanderer is the newest release from award winning songstress, Christene LeDoux. Not since the days of Karen Carpenter has there been such a crystal pure voice, seductively enchanting as it leads the listener from one journey to the next. A world traveler, LeDoux captures the essence of her soul’s desires combined with observational experiences in another stunning collection of songs that is sure to delight her current fans, and draw in new ones.
LeDoux burst onto the folk scene in 2003 with her CD, Little Lighthouse, which sold over 11,000 copies Independently. A critic’s choice for honesty and depth, as well as her intricate storytelling, she rose fast in the ranks of Folk favorites. Her songwriting collected awards worldwide, including those of Billboard, USA and Performing Songwriter, and she became a finalist in numerous Folk Festivals including Telluride Troubadour, Falcon Ridge and Rock Mt.Folk Festivals. Her songs have appeared in Independent films and the Compilation discs Peace Talks, Back Home (for Children’s International), and GINA (for Missing Persons).
A native Californian, Ledoux was almost thirty before embarking on a professional music career. A connoisseur of life experiences, she built lipstick holders in Connecticut, fueled airplanes at the Grand Canyon, raised huskies in Alaska, waited tables in Colorado, owned a dog walking business and worked as a clown and party planner in San Francisco. It was there that she began performing her originals at Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghiradelli Square, and in the blink of an eye sold over 5000 home-burned demo CDs to locals and tourists.
A testament to her desire for growth and expansion as an artist, Ledoux began traveling the world with only her guitar for company, taking her stories and love for expression to many ‘homes’ along the way, including Austin and Nashville, and the wide scope of Europe. She currently resides in Innsbruck, Austria, where it appears the self professed ‘wanderer’ has found a home.
“Toward the end of each year before heading over to the States for the holidays, I start imagining returning someday,” she says.”Then after a few weeks, I start missing my home in the alps and the pace of European life. It’s much more mellow. Since living in the alps I have purposely separated my music and the business from my personal life, something I could never do whilst living in America. Not to mention I neglected every other aspect of my life other than music and the business. The pace of life in my own country was too much for me personally. I always felt I was running on empty. I don’t know if it’s Europe, me or both. I just know I feel really comfortable in my new more peaceful life abroad.”
That peacefulness has led to a deeper self awareness, as the songs on the newest release reveal more detailed insights into Ledoux’s personality and inner workings, in an excellent production by Grammy-nominated producer/engineer Mark Hallman (Ani DiFranco, Shawn Colvin, Carole King). Recorded at The Congress House in Austin (and cover art designed by none other than Tom Russell), LeDoux recorded the CD in just six days on a visit ‘home’ to Austin.
“Mark played a huge array of instruments, sang a lot of back-up, was just a complete star. Amazingly talented, intuitive and a wonderful soul and I’m proud to say, good friend. I had a lot of other talented musicians coming in both recommended by Mark and friends I have known, respected and trusted for years,” LeDoux says of the experience.”The entire process was overwhelming and stressful in some ways but of course when I look back on it, I get goose bumps, really excited and cannot wait to do it again. I can’t believe we all did it. I am so proud of everyone. I admit last minute is the way I do most things, so I wasn’t that surprised and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
There is an essence of soul filling beauty and light on”Dust”, in the self reflective songs “Tumbleweed” and profound “Love To The Grave” as well as an appearance of a sensual subtle edge as in “Whiskey Night” (a song about a one night affair), and a strong political stance appears, accompanied by Eliza Gilkyson on “Dear Mr. President”…
“Dear Mr. President, please do not speak in my name
please don’t use my face
in the picture you paint of America.”
With”Dust” getting extensive airplay in Europe and selling effectively in the United States, LeDoux has solidified her stance as one of the world’s top Folk and Americana artists. One hopes this “tumbleweed” blows back into the States someday soon.
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