A powerhouse at the mic, Leslie Hudson can cut through a crowd of sound with a caress. With eight solo albums under her belt (and one more on the way for 2016) her songs span more than 25 years of writing every genre from rock to geek to faerie and demonstrate not only her versatility as a musician but her refusal to be contained.
“I like to be unexpected. If you’ve never heard me before, you wouldn’t know how I sound by how I look. You wouldn’t expect this girl at the piano to start playing Metallica riffs or belting out Alanis, but I do. I can give you a taste of every redhead from Tori Amos to Jessica Rabbit.”
Currently based in the Toronto area Leslie plays local venues and events, travels abroad to festivals and conventions and will be touring in the States next summer. Her latest mainstream album Into The Mirror (June 2015) is a collection of rocking piano anthems about turning a new page with grit, fire and soul.
“I perform as many different personas that shift with the gigs I play. At a geek convention you’re going to hear songs about science fiction franchises and cartoons from the 80s sung by a quirky redhead with Poison Ivy hair. But you’re going to have a different experience when I put on faerie wings to sing about ancient Irish goddesses or when I’m rocking out about lust and betrayal in a bar.”
With a background in Celtic culture and a lifelong interest in folklore, Leslie’s songs are rooted in the art of storytelling. Whether those tales are inspired by modern media, pop culture, ancient myths or twisted retellings of childhood fairytales, every song she writes tells a story.
“I started writing the Wanderlings several years ago. They’re songs based on female characters in folklore and mythology. I want to paint the full spectrum in sound of women in story: all our glories, our shortcomings, our reactions to failure and loss, our emotional range. The project’s about depth and honesty. Modern heroines are often perfectly rounded, unrealistic caricatures, but there’s more to feminine than pink and more to strength than fight.”
The Wanderlings are being released in four seasonally-themed volumes (52 tracks overall). Volume One (winter) debuted April 2015, Volume Two (autumn) was released January 2016. Volumes 3 & 4 are forthcoming.
Leslie’s geek band Copy Red Leader retired in August, but her geekiness did not. She has two new geek albums for 2016: The Redhead League (April) inspired by nine female comic book redheads, and Yeoman on the Bridge (November) a tribute to the entire Star Trek universe.
“Yes, I’m prolific. I wasn’t always this way, but these days the songs keep coming and I need to keep sharing them. If I can make you laugh, break your hearts or bring you to the boiling point I’ve succeeded. It’s my Bardic calling and my privilege; it’s my life.”