Tuesday Night Tunes: Lisa LeBlanc Looks to Wake Up the Neighbors at Club Passim
Photo: John Londono
27 year old Folk singer/guitarist/banjo player Lisa LeBlanc hails from Rosaireville, New Brunswick and has toured for five years with her band while selling over 140,000 records on two continents. Upon first look, you’d probably think of LeBlanc as your standard coffeehouse folk artist, and you’d be right…if that coffee house was a dimly lit punk club with a filthy bathroom.
LeBlanc’s banjo will come at you accompanied by a sound a wall of feedback and lyrics with attitude. Her album’s ‘breakup song’ is not what you usually get from a folk artist, on “Could You Wait Til’ I’ve Had My Coffee” she belts out “Since you’re bringing up the subject / I never thought you were the one / and you were bad in the sack / and you’re kind of a dick when you’re drunk / Oh, you owe me $200 / and your band kinda sucks / My friends didn’t like you / It’s not me, it’s you” with that punk rock snarl that makes you believe she’s probably already forgotten the last name of the guy the song is about.
The influence of her music doesn’t come from traditional folk music either, in fact, in a 2016 interview with Exclaim! LeBlanc said “I hated bluegrass. I hated country. It was because that’s what people played back home, I hated it so much and now I’m all over that stuff and my mom’s like, ‘What happened to you?’ It’s because when I moved from New Brunswick to Quebec, I started missing New Brunswick. Sort of as a joke, I started listening to some country and bluegrass and I bought a banjo and all of a sudden I’m going to bluegrass festivals.”
Instead, LeBlanc grew up on classic rock, in an interivew with the Montreal Gazette about her latest album, Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen LeBlanc told the newspaper “My big influences were classic rock and I feel they pop out even more on this record, I feel like the stuff I was listening to as a teenager really comes out on this one. I listened to a lot of Fleetwood Mac. Old Aerosmith. Jimi Hendrix. Tom Petty. Maybe because it was an English record and I was used to listening to the lyrics of these guys.”
Never is her classic rock influence more clear than on her ripping cover of the legendary Motorhead tune, “Ace of Spades” which she likes to play exactly the way the tune is supposed to be, raw; “I recorded it when I hadn’t been touring and it’s so weird for me because when I sing ‘Ace of Spades,’ first of all, I usually don’t hear anything, which includes my vocals and my banjo. She tells Exclaim! “All of a sudden I was recording ‘Ace of Spades’ with headphones and the pristine mics and I was like, ‘Dude, I can’t do this; this isn’t working.’ “
What I ended up doing was right after we came back from two weeks of touring, right as we landed, we went straight to the studio and set up mics. We set up a shitty monitor and a mic and I couldn’t hear anything and it was great.”
Lisa LeBlanc and her band will playing Club Passim in Harvard Sq. a couple doors down from The Sinclair on Tueday night, and while the folks in the restaurant at The Sinclair entertain themselves with Rock and Roll Trivia, LeBlanc might play just loud enough to get a few of them to wander over.
Lisa LeBlac plays Club Passim on Tuesday, March 6th at 7pm. Tickets are $15 and are available HERE.