Don Leady

Road To Enchanted Rock

Referring to an artist as a city’s “institution” is cliché, but in the case of Don Leady and Austin, it fits. As co-founder of the LeRoi Brothers, leader of the Tail Gators, one of the Big Guitars From Texas, and accordionist with Los Cadillos, in addition to his solo releases, he typically has two or more projects going at any given time. Somehow, he is never spread too thin.

Following his Cumbia Meets The Blues and Panther Pink EPs, his eclectic tastes, rootsy guitar playing, and prolific songwriting are evident on this all-instrumental set of 10 originals. Expertly exploring Latin rhythms, it’s less rockin’, less swampy than much of his catalog, but features melodies you’ll be humming days later.

The pretty “Rattler Run” employs nice bass-string tremolo, as does the cha-cha “Oasis Mirage.” The bluesy “New Orleans Swirl” is reminiscent of “One Mint Julep,” while “Il Pendelo” is hypnotic and majestic. No telling where Leady will land next, but it’s sure to be interesting.

This article originally appeared in VG’s February 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

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