Leah, a vintage songstress hailing from South Carolina, is deeply influenced by her southern roots and the desire to carry the traditional Country and Rockabilly sound into the future.
Her deep love for country music from the 1950s and 1960s came from when her Aunt Joanne sang fascinating “death” ballads to her when she was a child. “The Knoxville Girl” and “El Paso” replaced traditional lullabies. Since then the sultry voiced singer, who holds down rhythm with her acoustic guitar, has mesmerized audiences up and down the east coast. Her obsession with authentic 1950s style and her undying enthusiasm for peroxide blend with her down home roots style of music to create the strange hybrid Hillbilly Chanteuse, her trademark stage persona. Leah and her J-Walkers is a Boston based band that offers a variety of country, rockabilly and blues influenced songs. The band released their debut self-titled album in January 2015. The album was recorded and engineered by Brian Charles of Zippah Studios who used recording techniques to emulate the legendary Elvis '56 sessions at RCA.
“It’s brilliant! Just buy it.” -- Krazy Kat Daddy, Rockabilly Radio.
“Leah and her J-Walkers rock it right. If you see them listed on a bill, go: it’s going to be a great show. Honky tonk, rockabilly, boppers, strollers—they’ve got it all, and more. Lucky New Englanders have been diggin’ this band for the past few years. Now, with the release of their debut CD, the rest of the world can join the party!” -- Dr. Easy Ed, WMFO, Medford, MA (easy-ed.net)
“She has a boozy starlet type act. I admire that she can sing like a lounge singer but still play a guitar.” Dollie Simpson, blogger at (www.therockabillysocialite.com).
Band name: Leah and her J-Walkers
Location: Boston MA
Band members: Leah O’Hara, Johnny Carlevale, Scotty Lyons, Russ Dawley
Booking contact: email@example.com
Merchandise purchase info: there is a link on www.leahandherjwalkers.com and https://leahandherjwalkers.bandcamp.com/releases
How would you describe your style of music?
Rockabilly, Traditional Country and Blues influenced tunes
How did you get into this style of music?
I was a punk rock girl followed the Rockabilly retirement plan. HA! No really, I had Stray Cats 45s when I was a kid in the 1980s. I always loved Elvis as a kid too. The most influential event that got me into Rockabilly scene was when I went to see Social Distortion in my hometown of Charlotte NC when I was 17. The Belmont Playboys, also from Charlotte, were the opening band. I was blown away. The music, the hair and clothing style, all of it intrigued me. I went from wearing leapord mini-skirts and combat boots to wearing poodle skirts and saddle shoes in my senior year of High School. I then searched out all the Rockabilly I could get my hands on. I became a fanatic, and it never ended! I then began writing and playing the style. The Traditional Country influence came from childhood too. I always loved Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams Sr, Faron Young… this list could go on and on. So I began performing and writing my own music in the style of those genres
How did you come up with your band name?
All the other band members had names that began with “J.” I jokingly said the name one day, and it just stuck.
What is the background of your band members?
I have Johnny Carlevale of Johnny Carlevale and the Rollin’ Pins, as well as his hundred other bands, playing upright. Carlevale is an institution in the New England rockabilly scene. He is an incredible front man and talented songwriter. On guitar I have Scott Lyons, who also plays guitar in Rhode Island’s The Bop Thrills. He is a rockin’ cat from way back and a veteran of the rockabilly scene as well. Russ Dawley will be playing drums with us. He is based out of Rhode Island and plays in The Red Pennies. He is a super talented drummer, all around nice guy, one heck of a good singer and one of the funniest stage personalities I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing with. Russ also played drums on our debut album.
Where can people purchase your music and or merchandise?
there are links on my website to purchase a physical copy of the cd at www.leahandherjwalkers.com
How long has your band been together?
What do you like the most about the Rockabilly scene?
As mentioned, I’ve been in the scene a long time. It is just home to me, and the Rockabilly scene, aside from my beloved punk, that I feel most at home in. There are like minded people who appreciate music that most people have never heard of. They understand and dress in the same style. It’s like a big family. I’m also crazy about classic cars. Of course the thing I love most about the scene is the music!
Who are your music idols, who influences your music?
Patsy Cline had a great influence on me from about age 5. I fell in love with Loretta Lynn after I saw Coal Miner’s Daughter. Janis Martin is also a big influence. All those ladies can flat sing! There is Elvis of course. When I discovered The Johnny Burnette Trio amazed me the first time I heard them. I love Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Carl Perkins and all those Rockabilly Cats. I also love Country music from the Honky Tonk era, for instance Earnest Tubb, Kitty Wells and Hank Williams Sr.
What future events do you have planned?
I have a new album in the works, along with a new band line up. The last album had quite a bit of jazz influence. This new one will be straight ahead rockin’ rockabilly, along with some down home traditional country tunes. We plan to record at Zippah studios again this coming Spring 2016.
"Leah and her J-Walkers"