|| WRAL’s Bill Leslie Launches Latest CD with Celebration at Quail Ridge Books
Sunday, October 13th at 3pm
WRAL-TV Anchor Reporter Bill Leslie releases his sixth CD this Sunday, saying it’s his best work yet. Leslie created “Grace of the Wild” as homage to his Scottish heritage and a graduation trip he and his wife took with their son, Will. Leslie will launch the record at Quail Ridge Books on Sunday, October 13, 2013, at 3pm.
Leslie worked with long-time recording partner John Plymale on the album. Plymale prodded him to hire Greg Calbi of Sterling Sound in NY for the mastering. Calbi has mastered albums for Paul Simon, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Norah Jones and Bruce Springsteen and many others.
“I think it really made a difference in the 14 tracks on the album – all instrumental,” said Leslie.“I think this is my best album. The sound is a little sweeter.“
Then he shared the story behind the creation of “Grace of the Wild.”
WRAL’s Bill Leslie was inspired to write his latest album while on a trip to Scotland.
“The album is based on a trip I took to Scotland with my son two years ago as a graduation gift,” explained Leslie. “Will Leslie wanted to see the land of the ancient Leslie clan. He wanted to taste the food and drink of Scotland and spend late nights chatting with the locals. He wanted to walk the grouds of castle ruins and reflect on the haunting histories. It was my third trip to Scotland. Early morning forays to scenic locations for photographs really got my creative juices flowing. I found a profound grace in the wild grandeur of moor and mountain”.
Leslie wrote nine original tunes for the album and created arrangements for five traditional pieces.
“New melodies grew out of those quiet moments just before and after dawn,” said Leslie. “Other tunes emerged while traveling with Will and my wife Cindy during Scotland.”
Leslie worked with a variety of musicians on the record.
“The quality of this album rests heavily on the shoulders of the musicians,” said Leslie. “Violinist Jennifer Curtis is one of the finest in the US. Cellists Nancy Green and David Oh are also exceptional. New England Conservatory of Music graduate Bill Covington played grand piano and accordion and help produce and arrange the album. Melanie Wilsden played oboe and did a terrific job as she does with the NC Symphony. I did my usual Celtic whistle and flute, acoustic guitar and keyboard routine and my son played percussion.”
Leslie’s WRAL co-worker Bill Burch did the graphic design for the CD cover.
Leslie will play music, talk about making the album and share a multi-media presentation at the one-hour launch event.
He shared one behind-the-scenes tidbit with capcom.
“One of the more interesting stories is just days before Bill Covington was to go into the studio and record his tracks he suffered a broken finger while slipping on some ice while walking his dog with lunged at another dog,” said Leslie. “That delayed the album for two and a half months but it gave me more time to work on some of the other arrangements and I think that paid off.”
“Grace of the Wild” is already winning accolades. Indie Music Critic chose the record as it’s pick of the week on September 22nd.
“Grace of the Wild” is the ninth album Leslie has produced since 2001. That list includes two with his Celtic band Bragh Adair. Six of Leslie’s CDs have hit number one or two on the world music charts.
Thanks to WRAL-TV’s Bill Leslie for these capcom photos.