Lisa LeBlanc - Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted

Highways, Heartaches and Time Well Wasted is the newest release by musician Lisa LeBlanc. According to LeBlanc, this six track EP was inspired by her travels through the U.S. in the beat generation tradition. It consists of five original tracks and her take on the American folk song "Katie Cruel". This EP surges ahead with a raw and at times grungy musical aesthetic, which is propelled by Lisa's powerful and pleading vocals. 

The first track, "You look like trouble (But I guess I do too)", sets quite the tone to this musical ride. While the song begins softly, it quickly erupts into a howling appeal to love lost. LeBlanc pleads and screams "for some odd reason I would like you to be more than just another song to sing." This is one of the most honest lyrics I have heard an artist sing, and it sounds as if LeBlanc is tearing at her throat to get this sentiment out. 

LeBlanc's take on "Katie Cruel" is beautifully done. It speaks volumes when an artist can mould and present a cover such that it seemingly feels as if it's an original, which is the case here. This old traditional song fits so nicely in the context of the EP that it didn't even register it was a cover, but rather a natural extension of the tales Lisa was sharing. 

There are several examples of the kind of "trash-folk" that LeBlanc is associated with on this EP, such as the driving "Gold Diggin' Hoedown" and the raw sounds of "Race Track"; however, it would be misleading to suggest that a softer side is not revealed. Tracks like "The Waiting List" and the instrumental titular track reveals for us a multi-dimensional artist.

For those who have not had the chance to hear Lisa then I highly encourage you to get on it because it is time well wasted. Her style of folk music has elements of bluegrass and punk. This may well be Lisa's first foray into the English language market but I hope it certainly is not her last. 

--Fredy M. Iuni hosts Hiway 1, eat some musical stew every Sunday at 10 AM on CJLO. Programming note: Hiway 1 moves to Monday at 7 PM starting November 24, 2014.