Leatherbag – Love and Harm

by oz on April 3, 2008


My favorite part of SxSW is discovering bands I’ve never heard of. I know lots of people race from venue to venue trying to squeeze in all of their favorite bands, but my approach was simple this year. Find the good day parties and let the afternoon come to me. Chances are, if you like two out of five bands on any lineup, it’s safe to say that you’ll enjoy the others. If they are serving free beer, who really cares? Pound ’em.

We were one of the sponsors at the Go Entertainment Showcase on the first day of SxSW 2008 and I was excited to see Frank Smith and Golden Bear live for the first time. I’d sipped down a few free pale ales before strolling inside the Scoot Inn to see Leatherbag, a songwriter/band I had never heard of. Leatherbag’s twang pulled me in and the Dylan-esque vocals kept me hanging around. I sat down at the bar, ordered another, and grinned for the entire set. SxSW had begun.

I’m back in the real world now, but was able to get my hands on Leatherbag’s upcoming release Love and Harm. The album starts off with a bluesy number, “On Down the Line,” which sounds like it belongs on a Jon Spencer album. From there, the album bounces from up-beat, rootsy-americana to laid back indie-folk. It’s really the songwriting and vocals that make the album a big winner and tracks like “Growing Old” would fit in well on early Wilco albums A.M. or Being There. Love and Harm‘s title track deserves to be heard on a long drive through a sun-soaked countryside, while the finger-plucked “Caroline” requires some attention by candlelight on a rainy day.

Love and Hate is immediately accessible, but not simple. After a few spins, I noticed the attention to detail in backing vocals and layers of instrumentation. Thanks to SxSW for a chance encounter with yet another band flying under the radar. Watch out for its release later this month.

MySpace | Superpop Records

Leatherbag – Caroline

Leatherbag – Love and Harm

Past albums available for download on Amazon:

Leatherbag – Nowhere Left to Run

Leatherbag – Love You Like The Devil

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody April 3, 2008 at 8:48 am

Unfortunately, I was not there for this set but I have been enjoying this disc ever since. This was probably your best find down there.

Davis April 4, 2008 at 10:20 am

I have one word for these fellas!


beth April 6, 2008 at 9:06 am

Try and get hold of Love me Like the Devil too – it’s much more melancholic, packed with strings and cello – superb.

rickdog April 11, 2008 at 11:38 pm

I’m approaching 6,000 mp3 download sites in this custom google search:

Rickdog’s MP3blog search

Please leave your site in the comments if it is not in my custom search list. You can find out if you are included by using the search term:

site:[your subdomain]




c-side April 16, 2008 at 1:50 pm

yes, the new album is fantastic, as is his past work, and his various live incarnations.

check out another project he is in, No Bridges To Cross, a collaboration between superpop! and c-side records artists. it’s mighty tasty:


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