Spirit Hustler is modern classic rock from the Bay Area born of an acoustic heart and layered with cosmic electricity. Its debut (released online 05/22/22) puts a fresh spin on the traditional album with a distinct opener and closer on each side, but rather than an overwrought “concept” album,” this is an album with a creative concept—a Theatre of the Mind in two acts. Imaginative songs are mini-movies inspired by actual experiences and rendered into animated audio art.
Spirit Hustler with opening band, The Silk Road Truckers will be performing on Friday, July 29 at The Chapel in San Francisco, California. Doors at 7:30pm and show at 8:30pm. All Ages
Other Spirit Hustler gigs include High Sierra Music Festival, July 1-3 (Quincy, CA), Sunshine of Love Festival, August 20 (Santa Cruz, CA) & Burning Man, September 1 (Black Rock City, NV).
Originating with the epic space-rock opener “The Spirit of ’69,” the listener goes on a hero’s journey while “Circlin’ the Sun.” The hero encounters the enchanting “Angels of Summertime,” makes a “Devil Deal” with a succubus at Burning Man and wanders the high desert via “Mine is a Gypsy Soul” before ultimately reckoning with the “Spirit of the Beast.”
Listen to the album on your favorite streaming platform.
1) The Spirit of ’69 - Watch the incredible video!
2) Gratitude Raga
3) Circlin’ the Sun - Listen to the latest single
4) Angels of Summertime
5) Devil Deal (feat. Jetta Cole)
6) Hard-Fought Magic
7) Honey Moon (feat. James Nash)
8) WhiteOut (Jimmy Leslie solo acoustic)
9) Mine is a Gypsy Soul (feat. Jetta Cole and Jason Crosby)
10) Spirit of the Beast
Jimmy Leslie is the writer and star of Spirit Hustler’s sonic cinema. A fixture on the Bay Area music scene, Leslie’s eclectic resume is insightful. He is internationally respected as the Frets Editor at Guitar Player, and the two instrumentals on Spirit Hustler showcase his “freehand” percussive fingerstyle. He uses Spirit Hustler examples to school readers on his highly original approach to Writing and Recording Acoustic Rock in Guitar Player magazine’s June, July, and August issues.
Leslie’s interviewed various types of musicians, from Carlos Santana to Jack White, and coordinated GP Presents events ranging from Paco de Lucia to Buddy Guy. Jimmy has shared stages with Tab Benoit, Luther Dickinson, Sonny Landreth, and Devon Allman. Leslie co-founded the Star City and Guitarfish Music Festivals, and authored the eco-musical Guitarfish Adventures. Leslie’s solo records Surfin’ the Swamp and Dance Until Forever feature players from Galactic and the Honey Island Swamp Band, respectively.
Spirit Hustler album cameos include strings by Jason Crosby (John McLaughlin), mandolin by James Nash (The Waybacks), guitar from Eric McFadden (P-Funk), keyboards by Alex Jordan (Midnight North) and backing vocals and acoustic guitar courtesy of champion Christie Lenée. Tahoe diva Jetta Cole delivers a Grammy-worthy vocal on “Gypsy Soul” and plays the she-demon to perfection on “Devil Deal.” The core band’s beating heart is drummer Jeremy Hoenig (Melvin Seals & the JGB). Steven La Bella provides funky, melodic bass while slide guitar ace Jules Leyhe provides Allman-esque laser lead lines that compliment Leslie’s open-tuned acoustic in unexplored yet hauntingly familiar fashion.
Spirit Hustler was recorded at Lucky Recording in Brisbane, CA, where the Go Go’s recently cut “Club Zero.” Producer Mikel Ross has worked extensively with Corrosion of Conformity. Butch Vig disciple Travis Kasperbauer engineered and mixed. Grammy-winner Jake Eckert and Jeff Watkins mastered the album, and both are New Orleans Suspects. Artwork comes courtesy of Alan Forbes (Black Crowes logo). Considering all talents, Leslie adopted the moniker Spirit Hustler, emerging from the pandemic era like a butterfly from a cocoon.
“Wow, this is a masterpiece! Perfect, honest, unaffected psychedelic folk-rock vocals and the lyrics to match. A real modern San Francisco album.” Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes)
“Oh yeah, I dig this. Tasty A.F. I really love it.” —Devon Allman
“Totally dig it! Epic and trippy with tons of cool sounds that make the stories speak. Love the slide work, very lyrical. ‘Angels of Summertime’ kept playing in my head for days. I liked the power in sections too.” —Sonny Landreth (John Hiatt, Dr. John, Eric Clapton)
Special Chapel Show Details
The Spirit Hustler show plays out theatrically as well, and for this special Guitar Player Presents album release celebration at The Chapel on July 29 Spirit Hustler will bring a extraordinary lineup featuring guest diva Pamela Parker, mandolin master James Nash, keyboardist Alex Jordan plus extra groovy stage production. The opening band is the Silk Road Truckers. Born in the basement of a Haight St commune in 2015, Colton Shrier leads five partially housebroken mother truckers bringing feel good originals, psychedelic riffs and frontline style. Silkroadtruckers.com
This promises to be a peak experience during what’s shaping up to be the second coming of the Summer of Love in the City by the Bay. Join Spirit Hustler and guests at The Chapel for an existential evening!