Reviews

bob1  patreon

The Barren Fig – full of jewels” (March 2019)

It’s great when you have a competent musician who is a good song-writer. Even better, to have one who has such a terrific grasp of history and language. Bob Leslie’s new CD release, The Barren Fig, is full of these jewels that carry us from hope to humor and from the Orkney Islands to the Western Plains of North America, all in a memorable and very Scottish way.

Liz Browning Fox
Celtic! Old World to New Age
Radio Hatteras, Buxton, North Carolina
www.radiohatteras.org

The Barren Fig – a piece of art” (March 2019)

Songs such as the opener Up, Carles, Dance!, Upon A Foreign Shore, the deep sadness and enlightening response of  Already Walking So TallYe’ll Nivver Find A Souter Down In Hell, and the thought provoking Lands o the Sioux an the Cree leave a bountiful harvest of fruit and productive memories.

Sometimes the modern critic will look away from such works, it doesn’t suit their personality or agenda, they are the ones missing out on a piece of art that is timeless in its delivery, passionate in its fertile imagination; a wonderful successor to 2017’s Land And Sea.

Ian D. Hall
Liverpool Sound and Vision
liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk
…………………………………………..

Land and Sea – seriously well-crafted songs” (August 2017)

After many years on the band circuit, Glasgow-born Bob Leslie has gone acoustic, written some seriously well-crafted songs in the Scottish vein and re-launched himself into the folk scene with two well-received albums and his new Land And Sea.

From the despair and the smouldering anger of the razed engine works in The World Came to Springburn and the bitter Highland Clearances (Cape Breton) to the typical Glasgow irony in Big Dead Bob, his wit and his writing are much to be commended.

Mick Tems
FolkWales Online Magazine
folk.wales/magazine
………………………………………….

Land And Sea – comes with a guarantee that you’ll
listen and enjoy” (August, 2017)

Craft a perceptive lyric, possess a voice suffused with richness, and write tunes that linger in the mind, and there’s a fair chance your work will generate considerable repute. True though that might be, it’s my contention that Bob Leslie deserves wider recognition as lyricist, songwriter and singer.

Following on from In a Different World and Fat Cat comes his latest album: Land and Sea. It’s a collection of memorable narratives with inspiration taken from legend, history, folklore and personal invention. The World Came to Springburn glories in the Age of Steam and laments its passing, the old ways and tales permeate The Seanachai, and the ever-roving Scots are remembered in Sir Alexander Leslie.

There’s a sense of identity to these songs, driven by an understanding of the art of telling stories in song – listen to Tho We Lang Syne Landit oan Fair Isle, the mournful Cape Breton, and the moving The Church of San Pedro, el Viejo,and you’ll understand.

Charlie Elland
Folk Words
folkwords.com
…………………………………………..

Land and Sea – the man can write” (August 2017)

Bob Leslie sings in a strong pleasant baritone voice, and his four female backing musicians really deliver the goods. Her Father Called Me Frankenstein was the track of the album, for me, and had me laughing out loud.

Not that his serious songs did not have their lighter moments. Sir Alexander Leslie  is an interesting description of a remarkable free spirit, and, like I said, although a serious song, Bob uses some artistic licence in the last verse to really make me chuckle.

Of the slow, looking-back-on-yesteryear ballads though, it is the opener that most convinces. The World Came to Springburn tells well the story of the de-industrialisation of Springburn in North Glasgow.

The man can write, alright.

Dai Woosnam
The Living Tradition
livingtradition.co.uk
…………………………………………..

Land and Sea – a gemstone of the folk genre” (August, 2017)

Bob Leslie performs incredibly well, a statesman with more than a declaration of intent or a piece of paper suggesting politically ideal folk in our time. In tracks such as The World Came to Springburn, Orkneyjar, Tho We Lang Syne Landit oan Fair Isle and the excellent Her Father Called Me Frankenstein, the Land and Sea join to make one storm and tidal wave of enjoyment, of reckoning and sincere thought, one enough to set the sail and weave a passage across time and personal memory, the reflection of all that has gone before.

Land and Sea never stands in the way of the truth, time and tide only adds
perspective to the grace in which the story teller excels; it is one in which Bob Leslie strides out into the deeper waters and plunges his hand into riptide, only to pull out a gemstone of the Folk genre.

Ian D. Hall
Liverpool Sound and Vision
liverpoolsoundandvision.co.uk
…………………………………………..

Land and Sea – you will be hooked until the very last song”
(August 2017)

It’s a delight to hear such a well-written and produced collection of original music. Bob Leslie had me laughing, then crying, and then singing-along with his new CD, Land & Sea. His breadth of knowledge and experience shows through in every line. Listen to the first track, The World Came to Springburn, and you will be hooked until the very last song – Big Dead Bob – a funny song to bring the album to a close. Well done, Bob Leslie!

Liz Browning Fox
Celtic! Old World to New Age
Radio Hatteras, N. Carolina, USA
………………………………………….

Land and Sea – more gusto than a chill highland wind”
(November, 2017)

Land and Sea, an album that captures the mists and winds of the Scottish land and seascapes via twelve original songs from this fine singer songwriter. Each song presents an enchanting narrative wrapped in poetic Scottish dialect and backed by stirring strings and whistles. Sir Alexander Leslie, for example, tells the tale of the First Earl of Leven, Bess Millie pays tribute to the “spaewife o owld Stromness toun” whilst Cape Breton and Tho We Lang Syne Landit oan Fair Isle revisit historical subject matter with more gusto than a chill highland wind.

There’s also a generous serving of Bob’s singular humour, especially on Her Father Called Me Frankenstein and Big Dead Bob, each providing some giggles on this tapestry of historical ballads and heartfelt odes to Leslie’s beloved Scotland.

Liam Wilkinson
Northern Sky Magazine
www.northernskymag.com
…………………………………………..

Land and Sea – A folk club favourite”
(November 2017)

Bob has composed 12 narrative songs for Land and Sea, and as per the title of one of these songs, he literally is The Seanachai, or traditional storyteller/historian. His reach is Springburn, Orkney, Fair Isle, and further afield.
The most fascinating tale is that of Sir Alexander Leslie, the 17th century Scottish soldier about whom, allegedly, the nursery rhyme ‘There Was a Crooked Man’ was written.  The song’s theme is reminiscent of  that of Scots Abroad by the McCalmans. Listen though to hear the unexpected ending.
The story songs are, I suspect, what must make him a folk club favourite, as well as the comic numbers such as Her Father Called Me Frankenstein.

Colin Bailey
RnR Magazine
rock-n-reel.co.uk

…………………………………………..

 

Bob Leslie is a Scottish Traditional Songwriter & Singer