It’ll probably be a few more years before we can all talk about Dylan LeBlanc without talking about how young he is. But, like his bio points out, “Despite his age, Dylan’s worn yearning voice already has the mark of aged experience.”
Following the release of his 2010 debut, Paupers Field, LeBlanc was hand-picked by Lucinda Williams as an opener. In fact, his tour brought him through Asheville a number of times last year — he opened for Lissie at The Orange Peel in February before returning with Williams in March. he spoke to Xpress in advance of that show. In September of this year, he opened for First Aid Kit at the Orange Peel.
Here’s a live performance of “Innocent Sinner” from Sofar Nashville:
This year, LeBlanc released Cast the Same Old Shadow, which has received mixed reviews. “LeBlanc’s in possession of a breathier version of Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold’s woodland falsetto, which seems almost embarrassed to have grabbed attentions with its rugged purity,” reports the BBC. “He might only be 22, but LeBlanc’s seen a darkness, one which has him coming across as a more rustic Jeff Buckley.” Everyone seems to agree on LeBlanc’s immense talent; it’s just the album is a breakup album. Glide Magazine describes it as “steeped in a maudlin aura, filled with slow, almost dirge-like melodies and anchored by LeBlanc’s lilting wail.”
But LeBlanc isn’t all gloom: “LeBlanc shows up alongside Sharon Jones on Steve Cropper’s 2011 Dedicated, a tribute album to ’50s R&B pioneers The 5 Royales,” says Consequence of Sound. “He lets his throat open wide and becomes the weary singer he so strained to be on his two previous solo records. He’s free and loose, finally having some fun. ‘Where are you baby, I’m almost crazy,’ he moans. ‘And if you don’t come back to me, I’m gonna kill myself,’ LeBlanc deadpans, as if he’s never enjoyed himself more.”
Watch “If Time was for Wasting”:
On Tuesday, Dec. 11, LeBlanc headlines Emerald Lounge. Charlotte’s energetic Americana-folk-rock outfit Matrimony (fronted by husband and wife duo, Jimmy Brown and Ashlee Hardee Brown). Read more about that band here.
9 p.m., $8 in advance or $10 at the door.
Photo of LeBlanc by Jamie Goodsell.