Photo by Lorena Pena/KUTX
Dylan LeBlanc actually lived the cautionary tales he sings about. The young Southern singer-songwriter (he grew up in Louisiana and Alabama) burned bright with critical acclaim for his first two albums, but he also lived hard, falling into a drinking and depression-fueled hole. Expectations are hard for any artist, maybe doubly so if, like LeBlanc, you’re in your soul-searching early twenties.
Cautionary Tale, his third album, obliquely addresses his personal demons from this time period, fleshing out his soft rasp with dreamy country and folk touches. But live in our Studio 1A with his band, LeBlanc sounded truly free. The softness literally gets electrified to life, like waking up from a nightmare with your heart pounding in your chest. “Cautionary Tale” does not float like it does on record. Instead, it explodes, a bar band wiping away the tears with grim determination.
–Art Levy // host, Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; producer, My KUTX