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Fallen Angel reviews


Once every few years a song appears that sounds like it’s always been here, something that has to be heard immediately. That’s Leeann Atherton’s “Smack Dab in a Miracle.” It rises and falls and fills in all the missing pieces like an answer to life. Atherton’s mighty voice is powered by that secret source of emotion, the one which cannot be questioned. And that’s just the first track on Atherton’s new album. Followed by a whole other side of the singer, “Joy” is a soaring ode to everything that turns up the fire and keeps things burning. It feels like it comes from several different styles, which are melted down into one. In fact, all twelve songs paint a portrait of someone who’s been chasing the sound long enough to know it’s the journey and not the destination that supplies the kicks, and eternity can often be found in the questions that never really need to be answered. For now, grace and giving is where this music lives, from top to bottom. And with producer-guitarist Mac McNabb so steadily guiding the players, these are songs that feel like they’re built out of stone, ones that were always hiding here until Leeann Atherton came along to free them with her strong voice and sure heart. Collections like this have a way of finding their way out of a dark corner and walking right onto the stage to grab the spotlight and demand to be heard. As a special sign-off, Atherton’s a capella “Motherless Children’s Club,” sung spontaneously at her mother’s memorial, reminds us all where we came from, and where we’re going. Right on time. Bill Bentley- Americana Highways

Leeann Atherton’s new album, Fallen Angel reflects the singular talent of a woman who easily navigates between a variety of genres and manages to avoid being typecast in any one in particular. She shifts styles as easily as she navigated her musical journey, one that led her from Charleston to Nashville, and eventually to Austin, the place she currently calls home. Whether it’s the effusive energy of opening track “Smack Dab in a Miracle,” the compelling conviction of “Fallen Angel,” or the celebratory stance of “Cleaning House,” Atherton’s unceasing ability to transcend a remarkable range of emotion and expression makes her a singular presence, regardless of setting or circumstance. The blues and gospel filtered through “Lift Me Up” is as mesmerizing as it is masterful, just as the soul and sass that powers “Champagne and Pills” underscores her ability to combine her drive with defiance. Likewise, “Cheater’s Game” and “Little White Lies” spare no empathy for those that cross the transom from trust to betrayal.
Consequently, Fallen Angel boosts Atherton to a new plateau, one that is, in fact, the natural result of her determination to forge an identity that’s boundless in possibilities.   Lee Zimmerman- Goldmine

Janis Joplin – Earth mother oracle. South Austin’s harvested a few such natural wonders over the past 50 or so. Leeann Atherton channels all of them on Fallen Angel. Intro “Smack Dab in a Miracle” begins in a flush rock groove, and quickly proves entrée to “Joy,” a syncopated crier straight off the Monterey Pops stage sandwiched between Big Brother & the Holding Co., the Mamas & the Papas, and Hugh Masekela. Giddy from said flashback, Fallen Angel flies straight into the electro title track, replete with an Eighties drum-machine swirl, only that’s no Roland TR-808, but rather the late, great Barry “Frosty” Smith adding a human touch to a true curve ball. It might strike postmodern hippies as antithetical, but it works like indica. The whole of the disc strikes thusly: buzzing, unpredictable, self-possessed, while coalescing into a lively and varied sequence of songs, like a playlist of similar artists readymade for motivational catharsis. Cutting the rug are Fifties Kansas City (“Brand New Way Cool”), Southern voodoo-blues (“Lift Me Up”), and some Saturday night sinning (“Champagne & Pills”), whose brassy, good-time delivery drips most authentic. No song misses except “Cheater’s Game,” which syncs with “Little White Lies” in a combo that arcs the album from newfound ardor to bitter disillusionment as executed with a classic R&B bump-n-grind found also on “Cleaning House.” Instead of Joplin and Cass Elliot, Atherton throws down some Mavis Staples and Etta James.    Raoul Hernandez –   Austin Chronicle 

Working with producer Mac McNabb, who also leads the way on guitar, longtime Austin singer-songwriter Atherton serves up a dozen original songs that showcase her organic balance of soul, folk, blues and other styles. The album is notable in part for the presence on three tracks of renowned drummer Barry “Frosty” Smith, in what likely was one of his last sessions before his death in April 2017. The spiritual closing track, “Motherless Children’s Club,” was recorded live at the memorial service for Atherton’s mother. Here’s a recent live version of the album track “Straight From the Heart”: https://youtu.be/ka1AXIqUmPQ             Peter Blackstock –    American Statesman

Leeann hosts Live At The Barn Dance streaming every Sunday 12:30-1 pm

Join us for live streaming here- facebook.com/leeannsbarndance/live

Please consider a donation through Venmo or PayPal via the links below.

Step into the heart of the Barn and Leeann, from the comfort of your own home- until we can be closer together again. Via Facebook Livestream this Sunday and Every Sunday at 12:30 pm. 

Songs, stories, conversation, special requests! I will schedule special guests as the weeks progress and share music with y’all. Until we can eat, drink, dance, and be merry in our sweet crowd, let’s get to know each other a little better this way!

Donate here: venmo.com/Leeann-Atherton or use the scan code below or Paypal.me/LeeannAtherton

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Sweet Heart’s Full Moon Barn Dance

Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020

Mitch Webb and the Swindles,
Leeann Atherton

Time : 5-10pm
Venue : Leeann’s Hacienda
Address : 3600 S. 2nd St., Austin, TX 78704
Phone : 512 785-2517
Contact Email : leeannatherton@gmail.com
Contact Website : http://fullmoonbarndance.com


“Mitch Webb’s Tex-Mex balladeering and Spanglish twanging brings to mind being stuck driving through King Ranch on a Sunday afternoon in a pickup truck without A/C, the windows wide-open and radio cranking for a sing-a-long to pass the time.”    Benjamin Ortiz / Chicago Tribune


Sunday, January 5, 2020 @ 10:30AMUnity in the Heart of AustinUnity in the Heart of Austin, Austin, Tx
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 @ 6:30PMGiddy UPs HH with John Ohlinger and guestsGiddy Ups, Austin, Tx
Sunday, January 12, 2020 @ 10:30AMUnity in the Heart of AustinUnity in the Heart of Austin, Austin, Tx
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 @ 6:00PMSaxon Pub HHSaxon Pub, Austin, TX
Sunday, January 19, 2020 @ 10:30AMUnity in the Heart of AustinUnity in the Heart of Austin, Austin, Tx
Sunday, January 19, 2020 @ 12:30PMHippie Church at Taco XpressMaria’s Taco Xpress, Austin
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 @ 2:10AMLeeann AthertonSheraton, New Orleans
Thursday, January 23, 2020 @ 1:30AMFAI Lonestar Music LiveSheraton, New Orleans
Thursday, January 23, 2020 @ 11:45PMFAI Acoustic Preserve Traditional Gospel MusicSheraton, New Orleans
Friday, January 24, 2020 @ 12:45AMFAI All Music Starts Local ShowcaseSheraton, New Orleans
Friday, January 24, 2020 @ 11:10PMFAI Anderson Fair ShowcaseSheraton, New Orleans
Saturday, January 25, 2020 @ 1:45AMFAI Jim Patton & Sherry Brokus ShowcaseSheraton, New Orleans
Saturday, January 25, 2020 @ 2:15AMFAI All Music Starts Local ShowcaseSheraton, New Orleans
Sunday, January 26, 2020 @ 10:30AMUnity in the Heart of AustinUnity in the Heart of Austin, Austin, Tx
Wednesday, January 29, 2020 @ 6:00PMSaxon Pub HHSaxon Pub, Austin
Sunday, February 2, 2020 @ 10:30AMUnity in the Heart of AustinUnity in the Heart of Austin, Austin, Tx
Sunday, February 9, 2020 @ 10:30AMUnity in the Heart of AustinUnity in the Heart of Austin, Austin, Tx
Sunday, February 9, 2020 @ 6:00PMFull Moon Barn DanceFull Moon Barn Dance, Austin
Sunday, February 16, 2020 @ 10:30AMUnity in the Heart of AustinUnity in the Heart of Austin, Austin, Tx
Sunday, February 16, 2020 @ 12:30PMHippie Church at Taco XpressMaria’s Taco Xpress, Austin

Texas Radio Live Streaming!

Wednesday, Dec. 11th

Let’s dance and be jolly! Please come out to Gueros Oak Garden Leeann Atherton and her fabulous band perform live on Texas Radio!

Each week, Sun Radio presents the latest and greatest Texas singers, songwriters and musicians while also paying tribute to the myriad of Texas musicians who have gone before us.

This live radio show is broadcast across Central Texas on the Sun Radio Network and streamed worldwide at SunRadio.com. Texas Radio Live at Guero’s Taco Bar’s Oak Garden is a weekly fundraiser every Wednesday night that supports the Sun Radio Foundation.