On September 8th, 2018, Saving Country Music warned you to remember the name Logan Ledger. As a songwriter and performer who’d been kicking around east Nashville for a couple of years, garnering incredible word-of-mouth buzz even before releasing a lick of recorded music, he was already on the radar and a ripe candidate for being one of the next fast-rising up-and-comers in independent traditional country music. Then when it was announced that Logan had signed to Rounder Records and was working with legendary producer T Bone Burnett, everything became that much more serious.
Now some seven months later, we’re finally getting the first taste of what Logan Ledger is all about, and if anything, the hype hasn’t done it justice. In a 2-song release of the tunes “Starlight” and “Imagining Raindrops” ahead of a full LP scheduled for October, Logan Ledger dazzles with a voice that sounds like cross between Dwight Yoakam and George Jones, brought to life through authentic, tasteful, and timeless country music magic. If you’re a fan of classic country, or its contemporary practitioners such as Zephaniah OHora and Joshua Hedley, stick your nose squarely into these tracks, take a healthy sniff, and be sated.
“On a compositional level, I chose to be very minimal on this one, to say as much as I could without using a whole lot of words,” Ledger says about the first track called “Starlight.” “This was always one of my favorite aspects of some the great country songwriters from the golden era. Willie Nelson, Hank Cochran, Floyd Tillman … they all used a kind of hillbilly haiku approach in their writing. Less really is more.”
Logan Ledger says of the second song “Imagining Raindrops,” “I looked out my window and thought it was raining, only to find on closer inspection that the sun was shining in all its glory. It is a song about the unseen world: the hidden realms that lie behind the veneer concocted by our physical senses—a meditation on the subjective nature of experience disguised as simple country heartbreak.”
Originally from the Bay Area of California, Logan Ledger started playing old time and bluegrass music at the age of 12. Once he discovered the songs of Hank Williams and George Jones, it was all over—he’d found his passion in life. After attending college, Logan relocated to Nashville where he’s been seen playing shows at places such as The 5 Spot, The Basement, and the infamous Honky Tonk Tuesday Nights at the American Legion Post for the last couple of years, making people take notice, and putting his name on the tip of people’s tongues of who could be the “next one.”
T Bone Burnett found out about Ledger when bassist Dennis Crouch sent him a recording of a song called “Let the Mermaids Flirt with Me” that Logan had recorded. He speaks of Logan as his last great project in a career where he’s amassed over a dozen Grammy awards. “[Logan] had, and has, a voice filled with history,” T Bone Burnett says. “I could hear echoes of one great singer after another in his tone. He sang without artifice. As we have been working together over the last couple of years, I have begun to discover the wide territory he is able to cover.”
Recording of Logan Ledger’s debut album commenced in 2018 at the House of Blues studio in Nashville, and comprised an incredible list of players under T Bone Burnett’s instruction, including Russ Pahl who has worked with Tyler Childers and Kacey Musgraves, the legendary Marc Ribot, Dennis Crouch, and drummer Jay Bellerose. For those versed in music lore, they’ll recognize this as the same basic lineup behind Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s Raising Sand record that won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2009.
“I’ve always believed that in order to create something new with purpose, one must be steeped in the past and work from within the tradition,” Logan Ledger says. “It has been a real privilege to work with T Bone on this record. We share a musical vision for the twenty-first century born from the deep well of American music. It has also been a joy to play alongside my gurus (both musical and otherwise) Dennis Crouch, Russ Pahl, and Jay Bellerose.”
The only catch here is that Logan Ledger’s self-titled debut will not be out until October 4th, 2019, so we’ll have to attempt to tide ourselves over on these two debut tracks in the meantime. However Logan will be showcasing at SXSW this upcoming week in a series of shows for those who want to catch him live.
Rest well classic country music fans. The future is in good hands.
Logan Ledger at SXSW:
March 12 – Continental Club (Official Showcase), 11:00 PM
March 13 – BMI Day Party at YETI, 220 South Congress, 1:30 PM
March 13 – Rounder/Fantasy Party at Lucy’s, 2218 College Avenue, 3:00 PM
March 13 – WMOT Broadcast at El Mercado, 1302 South 1st Street, 5:00 PM
March 14 – Luck Reunion Luck, TX, 11:30 AM
Logan Ledger Track List:
- Let The Mermaids Flirt With Me
- Invisible Blue
- I Don’t Dream Anymore
- Nobody Knows
- “(I’m Gonna Get Over This) Some Day”
- Electric Fantasy
- Tell Me A Lie
- Skip A Rope
- The Lights of San Francisco
- Imagining Raindrops