Shane Leonard is a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter living in Eau Claire, WI. Recently he’s toured the UK opening for Jeff Tweedy, worked with Field Report, Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Paul Simon), Justin Guip (Levon Helm Band), Sara and Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco), Ben Sollee, Evan Ziporyn (Steve Reich, Bang On A Can), Zachariah Hickman (Ray Lamontagne), Robbie Lackritz (Feist), MIT’s Balinese Gamelan, Berklee College Of Music’s Ensemble Robot, and taught music through the Exploration School at Yale University, Augusta Heritage Center, and other programs throughout the US. Somewhere amidst all that he managed a steady output of solo work, releasing two EPs and a full-length, Westbound, under the moniker Kalispell. The debut album made many Best Of The Year lists, was profiled by Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa Public Radio, and featured twice as No Depression’s favorite new music.
Kalispell’s new record, Printer’s Son, which Leonard crowd-funded by independently raising over $15,000 on Kickstarter, will be released June 3rd on Cartouche Records. Connecting an improvisational heart with meticulously constructed arteries of melody, it eschews the stomp-clap boom-chuck trend of indie-folk, instead giving nods to the entranced sonic tapestries of Phillip Glass and lyrical sophistication of Paul Simon.
Kalispell toured constantly throughout 2011-2013 before Leonard was hired by Field Report as a multi-instrumentalist on drums, strings, and vocals. After opening for Counting Crows, Aimee Mann, Dawes and Emmylou Harris, Field Report recorded their sophomore record, Marigolden, with Feist manager/producer Robbie Lackritz. Leonard’s influence can be clearly heard throughout, elevating the grounded guitar-and-voice platform with inventive percussion, lush strings and book-matched vocal harmonies.
Now increasingly sought-after as a producer and player, Shane Leonard began his relationship with music very early, sitting-in on drums as a kid at jazz sessions in Milwaukee and Chicago. From there it was classical percussion lessons with players of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and legendary percussionist Jim Sewrey. After college he embarked on a journey across Appalachia to learn banjo, fiddle, and hundred-year-old songs in the presence of masters Clyde Davenport, Lee Sexton, Frank Lee, Bob Carlin, and Joe Newberry. These influences come together in Kalispell’s sophomore album.
JT Bates – drums
John Dehaven – trumpet
Dean Granros – electric guitar
Patrick Harrison – accordion
Steven Hobert – piano, clarinet
Shane Leonard – acoustic and electric guitars, field recording, synths, percussion, drums, banjos, voice
Ben Lester – percussion, piano, synths, pedal steel, baritone guitar
Kelli Lester – bassoon
Heather McEntire – voice
Jessi Lee McIntosh – violin
Joseph O’Connell – voice
Kevin Rowe – upright bass
Ben Sollee – cello
Alec Spiegelman – flute, bass clarinet