Singer/songwriter Lisa LeBlanc has had a few appearances in Ottawa within the past week including Outlaws and Gunslingers session at St. Brigid’s Centre for Arts for JunoFest, and attended the Juno Awards as a nominee for a contemporary roots album of the year, and her Ottawa visit culminated on Saturday night at the sold out show at Zaphod’s.
At 26 years old, LeBlanc has already been nominated for, and won multiple awards, released two full albums and an EP, and toured two continents for the past five years.
Opening for LeBlanc was the Ottawa folk rock band Jonathan Becker & The North Fields, who played a short half an hour set of their post punk and roots influenced tunes.
The anticipation was through the roof when LeBlanc and her band finally took the stage after 10pm.
LeBlanc, who fluently switches between her gold sparkle Danelectro guitar, her banjo AND the mandolin, (not to mention the triangle), admits loving Louisiana, and you can clearly hear the influences of hoedown, bluegrass and traditional Cajun songs on the tunes from her latest album ‘Why You Wanna Leave, Runaway Queen?’.
LeBlanc and her band started the show with ‘Voodoo Woman’ and ‘City Slickers and Country Boys’, which set the bar up high for the rest of the night.
After an energetic start, she mellowed down with ‘Kraft Dinner’ and ‘Race Track’, and picked up the pace again with ‘I Love You, I Don’t Love You, I Don’t Know’ followed by ‘You Look Like Trouble (But I Guess I Do Too)’ which got the crowd bouncing the night away.
As a second last song of the night, she literally pulled an ace out of her sleeve with the Motorhead cover ‘Ace of Spades’ and if the audience hadn’t been wax in her hands already, they sure were now.
The crowd was not going to let LeBlanc leave without encore, and she did not disappoint.
‘Could You Wait ’Til I’ve Had My Coffee?’ about a woman scorned, followed by the crowd favorite ‘Aujourd’hui, ma vie c’est d’la marde’ that got the crowd singing the chorus with her from the top of their lungs.
The one hour show went by way too fast, and it was full of travel tales, love letters and heartbreaks, and big fuck yous to old flames.
LeBlanc’s passionate energy is delightfully contagious, and her genuine songwriting is sure to conquer even more hearts in the future!
By Laura Collins