Rugged, folk-oriented tunes with Leeroy Stagger

Born in Victoria and raised on a little island on the very west coast of Canada, Leeroy Stagger spent most of his youth with his grandparents who exposed him to the world of country music.

Stagger will be performing at The Hideout Jan. 25th

Developing his musical drive early on, he formed his first punk rock band at age 18.

Songwriting came shortly after with themes revolving around his childhood, traveling, relationships, substance abuse and the tribulations of life.

Having collaborated with one of his icons, Danny Michel, Stagger found commercial success in the song Just in Case which was featured twice on the television hit Grey’s Anatomy.

The life of being on the road and touring at a fast pace did not wear easily on Stagger, who at 26, realized he had an alcohol problem that was affecting his ability to perform with the commitment and heart his songs demanded.

Clean and sober since, Stagger has a strong desire to inspire young musicians that they do not have to succumb to the pitfalls of substance abuse, which can be prevalent in a musician’s touring lifestyle.

His latest CD, Truth Be Told, was released just last year and was proceeded by Radiant Land in 2012.

Truth Be Told is replete with standouts from the plaintive opening number Memo which leads seamlessly into the harder-edged Goodbye Berlin. Celebrity tones things down to a gentler pace while offering insights into some of the painful realities of those in the limelight. The ballad Break My Heart strips things down even further, effectively showcasing Stagger’s voice in another kind of light.

Radiant Land also gets off to a brisk and bold start with Dirty Windshields, and then take an engaging turn into more folk-oriented territory with Enough Love to Go Around and the storytelling richness of Maria.

While not abandoning his ability to give voice to the rebel kind, Radiant Land finds Stagger in a more reflective tone, offering light out of the darkness in Message of Love.

Recorded in just three days during a break in the band’s 2011 U.S. tour at famed Nashville studio Club Roar, Stagger continued to prove he is one of Canada’s most prolific and talented songwriters.

The album also includes a sobering political view of his home province of Alberta’s push for nuclear energy in the title track. All of this without sacrificing his ability to pull the best out of his band; who are certainly not afraid to lean more towards rock than roots when needed.

Other CDs released over the years include Little Victories, Beautiful House, Everything is Real and Depression River.

Over the course of his career, Stagger has shared the stage with plenty of talented musicians, including The Pixies, Los Lobos, Tegan and Sara, Ron Sexsmith, Joel Plaskett and George Thorogood and his songs have received placement on the hit TV shows Grey’s Anatomy, Sons Of Anarchy, Degrassi and Heartland.

He has garnered an international fan base after relentless touring both home and abroad.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

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