The Rocks Off 200: Leslie Krafka, Onward Through the Fog
Welcome to The Rocks Off 200, our portrait gallery of the most compelling profiles and personalities in the far-flung Houston music community -- a lot more than just musicians, but of course they're in there too. See the original Rocks Off 100 at this link.
Who? Leslie Krafka came late to the songwriting game; the bug didn't bite her until about four years ago. She spent a year making her first album, The White Cat Sessions, at Jack Saunders' studio. But she found a bit of success with the album, being nominated as a best emerging artist in the annual mytexasmusic.com awards.
Krafka is back with a new album, Onward, recorded in Austin with uber-producer Lloyd Maines and his cohort Terri Hendrix. Krafka's music runs in the Hendrix vein, although on this effort Krafka has found some country twang to go with her thoughts on cheating men and wild women. She even flips the Hayes Carll/Ray Wylie Hubbard doozie "Drunken Poet's Dream" over, telling it as though she is the woman in the tune.
Home Base: "I'm all over town," Krafka says. "A couple of places I play frequently are JP Hops House and the Old Quarter in Galveston. I'm looking for a home, though, a venue where I can have a regular gig. Let me know if you have any suggestions."
Good War Story: "Several years ago, I attend my first 'Life's a Song' songwriter workshop hosted by Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines in Port Aransas," she says. "Up until then, I hadn't had an ambition to write songs, but the workshop was a gift, so I went to it thinking it would be cool to hang with Terri and Lloyd, as I am a fan."
Photo by David Britton
About a week before the workshop, I thought maybe I should take a stab at writing a song. So after a trip to the Kroger, I sat in the parking lot and wrote this song called 'The Checkout Stand Blues.' At the workshop I sang the song a cappella, because I didn't play an instrument back then.
Lloyd approached me the next day and asked me to sing it to him again. We sat outside on some folding chairs while he played through it on his guitar. He said, "I think you should sing that tonight at the student concert," which would be in front of a public audience of about 150 people. He said, "I'll accompany you."
Well, in my naiveté, that sounded fine. Sure, why not? So I said yes. Now I look back at that and think, I can't believe I sang the first song I ever wrote in front of 150 strangers with Lloyd Maines backing me up.
Ignorance is truly bliss.
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