Emerson House

Kalispell, 420 North Main Street, Rockford, IL

LIVE SESSION The mission of Concert Conversations is to give the artist a comfortable (and acoustically delicious), space with professional sound and lighting in which to share with an attentive and intelligent audience, the passion of the art that drives him/her which speaks to the passion that drives us. Shane Leonard’s interest in songwriting and the banjo wasn’t passed down from family, as is tradition for most of the musicians he's come to admire, and he didn’t grow up anywhere near Appalachia. But then again, his music isn't exactly traditional. Imbued with the kind of countrified instrumentation heard most often in stringbands and old country music, armed with lyrics of a poet's caliber, and delivering songs that shape-shift their way through a range of lush sounds and emotion, this music moves ever-onward while remaining keenly aware of the past. Leonard's solo project, Kalispell, released its debut album, Westbound, to wide critical praise in May of 2012. The album features a wide array of instruments (mostly played by Leonard himself), and also benefits from an eclectic backing band (featuring members of Field Report, S. Carey, AA Bondy and The Barley Jacks). Kalispell has toured relentlessly in 2011 and 2012, gaining blog buzz and a growing fan base.