Notes and photos by Wanda Callagy
When one listens to Leslie Barkman sing a cover tune by Willie Dixon or Carole King it may sound familiar. As she weaves in her own original music, delightful stories are shared with the audience during her sets.
Barkman recently played at the Eden Café in Loudonville, NY. The cozy eatery supports artists in the area by providing a venue that not only promotes live music but also provides the opportunity for artists to display their craft, from watercolors to photography.
When hearing a story one knows to follow closely.We may hear something that may be familiar to us too, bringing in a memory, something we can share and nod to. Barkman is good at including the audience in her performance. She even invites folks to sing along.
With ‘Strawberry Hill’ she spoke about family sing-a-longs riding with siblings in the car in much younger days. She sang her piece that she wrote for friend and mentor the late Buck Malen. She tells you personal history in ‘River’ and about a friend down the street disclosing that there is an ‘Angel Coming’ and above all, hope.
As a member of the Capital Region Blues Network, Barkman won the opportunity to travel to Memphis as a single artist and represented the area in the International Blues Challenge two years ago. She can be heard at the CRBN Sunday Night Blues Jam in Albany and local venues. And very often when the weather is warm, in her own back yard.