Alexander is almost local, she’s out of British Colombia, which on a good day is close enough to call our own.
The product was recorded by John MacArthur Ellis at Nashcroft Manor in BC. Alexander is found on vocals, writing, kazoo and piano, Ellis is on acoustic, electric, pedal steel guitars, keys and bass. Hank Hendrix works on Dobro, mandolin and banjo. Rob Becker takes up bass on the third track and is also on supporting vocal work. Mike Schmidt is behind the kit on tracks 1, 2, 5, 7 & 10, while Pat Steward plays drums on tracks, 3, 4, 9.
Alexander pens tunes that are in what I would call an eclectic mood, but she also has a bit of Tom Waits, living somewhere in her conscious or subconscious mind or memory. I like the way she moves from very alternative tracks to very ‘out there’ tracks that float through effortlessly. She takes risk, which makes me smile and has no fear about taking a bit of license with the tune, “Nola” with a nod to The Kinks and rock in general. The production values change effortlessly as does the lyrical content of her tunes.
Alexander is a vocalist and she risks much with her ballads or show tune vibe, but can belt out a straight ahead rock vibe. She’s her own woman when it comes to the nature of her vocals and writing, I kept listening for this or that influence, I’m sure there are artists that have impressed her, but she gives no quarter or illuminates little beyond her own style or tune. The production values are complimentary to writing as well as her vocal approach. There are some good players behind each the vocal and tune.
There is a very soft side to Leslie’s work, but there is also a forged edge also. Some of her tracks seem to be conversations with somebody that did her wrong, but she’s not getting even, she seems to just be telling her truth. I like the no self-pity approach to the inner and outer workings of life as a woman. She is very straight ahead with lyrical content, does not pull any punches, which works well for her rock tunes. She uses great imagery to convey her emotional vibe.
“What Did I Do”, the sixth track reveals another side to the lady. She becomes tender and beckoning with her plea. This is a very nice track, the production works well and the mix perfectly matches the mood of the piece. As I have already discovered, Alexander doesn’t rest on her laurels, the next track is more of a rock/bluegrass vibe that is unrelenting in it’s lyric and tale. Alexander shines on this track vocally and may be one of my top tracks on the project. Awesome playing going on within this for three minutes and forty-nine seconds.
“Gimme” slows down the train again and another character or side of Alexander is revealed. Alexander is not afraid to be rough or vulnerable, which to me makes an artist. She risks on each cut and it pays off in grand dividends for the ear. The title cut, “Nobody’s Baby” unfolds like an anthem for Alexander, but also for all of her genders side of the road. Again, the cut is lyrically straight ahead, the production illuminates her emotions well.
This is a very good product from our friend up North; Alexander is hopefully writing and honing the next piece of work to share with us.
[Christopher Brant Anderson]