Chris Leigh & the Broken Hearts Set to Launch New CD
Country/Americana singer Chris Leigh announces a February 12 release date for his new CD, Broken Hearted Friends, on Blue River Records. The new CD, produced by Jim “Moose” Brown and recorded at his Moose Lodge Studios in Nashville, showcases Chris Leigh’s exciting mix of honky-tonk country, rockabilly and roots-driven music backed by a host of Music City A-list pickers, including Brown on guitar/keyboards/bass/backing vocals, Troy Lancaster on guitar, Kevin “Swine” Grantt on bass, Scotty Sanders on pedal steel/dobro, Tommy Harden on drums and Curtis Wright on backing vocals. “Moose” Brown is also a Grammy-winning songwriter (“It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere”) and multiple ACM keyboard award nominee. The album was mixed by 10 Time Grammy-winner Benny Faccone.
“I was very lucky to have worked with such an amazing group of Nashville cats on this album,” exclaims Chris Leigh. “Each of these guys brought their own unique style and talent to my music, which really helped to shape the songs into what we hear. Most of the tunes were done in one take, which is pretty amazing when you consider they had never heard these songs before. The energy in the room was amazing!”
Broken Hearted Friends contains 10 all-original songs penned by Chris Leigh that feature his soulful vocals performed in a style influenced by blue-collar, hard-core country. It’s a sound that’s filled with rockin’ honky-tonk anthems and powerful ballads that tug at the heartstrings. The title track is destined to become a live sing-along favorite, as Chris and his rowdy friends blast out the chorus, “Here I am again, with my broken hearted friends,” in the tale of a poor soul whose girl’s “got something against football,” among other negative attributes. Chris Leigh is a bona fide barroom poet and prophet who clearly wears his broken heart on his sleeve in many of these songs.
The rest of the tracks on Broken Hearted Friends are chockfull of dazzling country music imagery, whether Chris is telling the story of a wild odyssey in “Ramblin’ Man,” offering up the powerful ballad, “If You Make It to Heaven,” laying down a cool rockabilly groove in “Heartache and Misery,” crafting a Western Swing dancehall two-step in “Who’s That,” spinning the crying-in-your beer lament, “Money” (another future live fan favorite), or closing the album with an homage to Willie Nelson, “Whiskey River.”
“I suppose I owe a certain amount of gratitude (in some weird way) to my ex-wife for this album,” reflects Leigh. “Had she not divorced me I probably would not have written these songs. Most of these tunes are based on actual events that took place after our divorce a couple years ago. It was a very tough time for me but it also gave me a chance to reflect on my life and what was truly important to me: my kids and my music."
Chris Leigh’s life story reads like a classic country song. One of 10 kids raised by very devout religious parents in a small red brick home in Kentucky, he hitched to California while still in his teens to try to make it in the music business; but after several years of trying he returned home to Kentucky. After additional years of trying, he abandoned his musical aspirations for a while, got a job as a salesman, married and raised a family. After his marriage ended in heartbreak, he picked his guitar back up in 2010 and started writing and singing again. All of those life experiences gave Chris the fuel for the songs that would become Broken Hearted Friends.
“Each of these songs - some funny, some sarcastic, some sad and some downright depressing - are all very real and very personal for me,” says Leigh. “They also reflect much of the music that I grew up hearing. It was the music my father listened to that I wanted to bring back to life on this album. The roots of my family run deep in Kentucky. The bluegrass is here, the people are real and it makes me happy when I think back about my dad singing along with the country radio in our old Ford truck or singing an old family folk song to me when we would go squirrel hunting or work on the farm. Sometimes the whole family would sing together when all 10 of us would pile in the station wagon and head to the Smokies. We worked hard but had a lot of great times, even though we were somewhat poor.”