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LEEROY STAGGER —LOVE VERSUS (True North Records)

 

www.truenorthrecords.com

 

Leeroy Stagger (vocals, acoustic and electric guitar) was raised in Victoria British Columbia, and has by all accounts earned himself a respectable following this side of the pond. For one, he hasn’t been shy on coming over to the UK and with him opening with a song that’s direct, and joyful he starts the record away in a positive fashion before he becomes more serious as he tries to make sense of it all via the title-cut “Love Versus”. With him well and truly hitting his stride “Enemy Inside” hits plumb centre. Love Versus is the Canadian singer-songwriter’s 11th album, and with his love of contemporary sounds as pop, rock and Americana roots music primed by a set of players (Tyson Maiko, Pete Thomas, Paul Rigby, Geoff Hillhorst, Matthew Robinson and guests) who really stir the pot don't be surprised to see this album gain a great deal of attention. 

 

One of the most impressive and biggest attractions to the album is the manner Stagger follows his heart, and with a lot of things to say it is like he can’t wait to get his music to the listener. It’s the energy of the playing and his desire to go out on a limb, musically. Not hold back as he considers genres but let ‘er rip. “Little Brother” is a perfect example of this as he edges, tastily, into the outer regions of r&b and soul, and with him speaking in terms that he’s available to give support I suspect the song is especially close to his heart. In some ways Stagger reminds me of Belfast’s much missed, genial singer-songwriter Bap Kennedy, in the style he leans on blue-collar themes and likes to tell it as it is. “Joe Strummer and Joey Ramone” as you would expect races along at speed, and with Stagger speaking of how the world is struggling to cope with a population that contrasts greatly between the tragically poor, and the elite who get to eat near all the meat.

 

His opener “I Want it All” is him airing his views of how we should live, and how there needs is be more freedom and people are not to played for fools. As for the people he speaks of how they should let us show our love for one another, face to face and not just on the phone! Quick footed, though sad there's little piece “$1,500 A Day (Song For Elliott)”, before he moves, effortlessly into “Until The End Of Time”. Here he speaks of his wife and babies and him leaving them alone. I take he means when he is away on tour.      

 

                                                      Maurice Hope 

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April 2018

1
Courtney Marie Andrews
100 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
PK,CVL,DHO,JB,LK
2
Mary Gauthier
59 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
3
Caleb Caudle
49 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
TJ,TK,MP
4
Western Centuries
48 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
DD,GS,FS,HM
5
Vivian Leva
44 pts.
Time is Everything
Free Dirt Records
 
6
Ed Romanoff
42 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
7
Grant Peeples
41 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental
AN
8
Joan Baez
32 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
 
9
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
29 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
MF,HDB
 
Sam Morrow
29 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
JV
11
Chris Smither
27 pts.
Call Me Lucky
Signature Sounds
JSM,JD
12
Michael McDermott
26 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
CRS
13
John Prine
24 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
SP
14
Mary Chapin Carpenter
23 pts.
Sometimes Just The Sky
Lambent Light Records
 
15
Dean Owens
22 pts.
Southern Wind
At The Helm
PJ
16
6 String Drag
21 pts.
Top of The World
Schoolkids Records
FCE,JS
 
Haley Heynderickx
21 pts.
I Need To Start A Garden
Mama Bird Recordings
 
 
Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
21 pts.
Tearing At The Seams
Stax Records
RM
19
Abe Partridge
20 pts.
Cotton Fields And Blood For Days
Skate Mountain
MVP,RK
 
Adam James Sorensen
20 pts.
Dust Cloud Refrain
Continental Song City
BM
 
Ben Reel
20 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
 
 
Chip Taylor
20 pts.
Fix Your Words
Train Wreck Records
LM
 
Kesia Nagata
20 pts.
Looking For Horses
Caramal Productions
GC,EZ
 
Sheesham & Lotus & 'Son
20 pts.
Clear The Table
SepiaPhone Records
SZ,PG
25
3hattrio
18 pts.
Lord of the Desert
Okehdokee Records
 
 
Marlon Williams
18 pts.
Make Way for Love
Dead Oceans

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