In the 1990’s, Seattle singer-songwriter Leah Kaufman released three recordings with popular acoustic quintet ‘The Wailing Strangers’, and her own solo debut CD, ‘Five Fingers’. Performing in festivals and venues throughout the Northwest, her songs garnered songwriting awards and accolades from the South Florida Songwriting Competition, Intermountain Acoustic Music Association, Mid-Atlantic Songwriting Competition and the Austin Songwriting Competition.
In 2017, relocated to Raleigh, North Carolina, Leah re-emerged with a new collection of songs that demonstrated resilience and a deeper commitment to writing, singing and performing. Her songwriting took a love for old-time music’s drive and melodic simplicity and married it with the evocative lyricism of contemporary songwriting. The result: songs with melodies that stick like glue and lyrics that tell stories you love hearing.
Her 2017 album 'On to Something Fine', produced by renowned songwriter and Piedmont Blues musician Jon Shain, features some of North Carolina’s best musicians: FJ Ventre (The Swang Brothers) on bass, Mike Rosado on drums and percussion, Bill Newton (Duke Street Dogs, Indigo Girls) on harmonica and soprano sax, Chris Frank (Red Clay Ramblers), Danny Gotham (Peter Ostroushko) on mandolin, and Isabel Taylor and Barry Gray on backing vocals. The songs pulse with rhythm and vibrant musicianship, from the sweetness of a lullaby to a driving honky-tonk dance tune, each starts with a backbone of articulate guitar playing and then layers on an ear-catching voice that pulls you in to each song’s unique story.
In 2019 Leah returned to the studio, teaming up with Jon Shain and FJ Ventre for a second album, 'Midnight Refrain' with this acclaimed production team. The new songs, once again show her ability to step across genres, finding the beat and style that serves the song best. Listeners are falling in love these songs that range from a love song Cole Porter would approve of to an uptempo finger-style blues of a hobo's tall tales. With shows booked this year, in NC, VA, MD, NY, and out to the west coast, we look forward to sharing the excitement everywhere that we can.