Leo Rondeau returns to Bristol with new music


LEO RONDEAU WILL play with Lowell Thompson and “Big Night” Friends at Hatch 31 in Bristol on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m.

BRISTOL — Leo Rondeau deals in stories — candid, honest and plainspoken. And like all great story tellers, he examines life in all its twinges, sorrows, victories and joys. Here him tell his tales at Hatch 31 in Bristol on Tuesday, Aug. 27, at 7 p.m., where he’ll play with with Lowell Thompson and “Big Night” Friends. Or if you want to see him play out of town, check out the Lampshop in Burlington, on Aug. 26, 9:30 p.m., and Philo Ridge Farm in Charlotte, on Aug. 24, at 6 p.m.

As a child of the rural American west and owning lineage within the Chippewa Indian tribe, Rondeau’s narrative finds roots in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota, where he grew up surrounded by country music listeners and pickers spanning three generations. Influenced by Hank Williams, Doug Sahm, Townes Van Zandt and the Flying Burrito Brothers, Rondeau possesses a unique history and worldview that informs a nuanced perspective.

The result is a confident, timeless tribute to devotion, loss, and atonement, all through the distinct voice of a modern country troubadour unafraid to explore life’s somber realities while illuminating the subtle hope within. He will not impress you with a flashy stage show. His appeal is not evident in some dashing display of brilliant country music musicianship. Looking for some obvious gimmick or a style marker from Rondeau to slot him nicely into a segment of the country music universe is to come away empty, and to completely miss the underlying magic to him, which is his steady appreciation of life in all its twinges and sorrows, victories and joys.

Local musician Jacob Weiss of Big Night says of his time playing with Leo on recent tours, 

“Leo is a bona fide American troubadour,” said local musician Jacob Weiss of Big Night. “[He’s] able to capture the full range of emotion and deliver songs with a wit and style that recalls the best country songwriters of generations past.”

As a master-craft song writer with a unique presence, combined with his Texas 2 Step straight from Austin and multiple influences including North Dakota and Nashville, Rondeau will perform tunes from his new release “Right on Time.”

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