Songs My Mother Sang (Grassroots 2013)
[A] charming collection of traditional folk and hymns, this feels like solid front porch music or a parlor singalong.
SingOut! Magazine (Feb 12, 2014)
An album of traditional American folk with an Appalachian feeling; fans of Karen Dalton and Jean Ritchie take note. Most songs have well developed harmonies with two female voices, some with fascinating arrangements which almost delve into wyrdfolk. Normally, I might wonder if it were important to seek out new traditional albums like this, but when something sounds as timeless as this album, with just a dash of modern flourish, it is certainly worth seeking out.
Folk World #51 (Jul 2013)
After a prolonged absence, Jennifer Leonhardt has returned with a truly moving album.
Adobe & Teardrops (Jun 7, 2013)
Sovereign (Grassroots 2010)
Almost primeval in the way the album has been constructed, Leonhardt’s raw, refreshing vocals are the perfect delivery.
Leicester Bangs Magazine (Oct 18, 2010)
Minstrel’s Daughter (Waterbug Records 2009)
A master class in mournful music.
AmericanaUK (Sep 10, 2009)
Well out of the storms, occasionally, a rainbow, a bird singing to ya sweetly from the Tower of Song, the vision rising on weary eyes. My friend Helen Degen Cohen has a book called “On a Good Day, One Discovers Another Poet,” and sometimes it seems like there are not enough good days. But I had a feeling about this recording, even before I heard it, and well, this is something extraordinary. Poetic, forthright, redemptive songs.
Andrew Calhoun, Waterbug Records (Jul 20, 2009)
Jennifer is a spirit-singer. No gimmicks, just a raw authentic voice. Listening to her I felt instant memory, a sense of place. A rare talent.
Women in Music with Laney Goodman (Jan 22, 2010)
I know too little about Jennifer Leonhardt. I know that one writer I trust, Luke Torn of Pop Culture Press, gave her his endorsement and for me, that counts for a lot. I know that various people in the music community talk highly of her. And I know the music of 2009’s Minstrel’s Daughter. I have been listening to it for a couple of weeks now. Sometimes an album comes along that you have to listen to until it is time to let go. This is one.
On Minstrel’s Daughter, Leonhardt plays and sings loose music supported by looser musicians and if you don’t hear it right away, give it time. It grows on you. It is mountain music without the mountain—a collection of tone poems from the backwoods and the high plains.
Because it was so obviously personal to her, it is personal to me. It is melodic paisley in the rough and, to my ears, a triumph.
Frank Gutch Jr, No Depression (Jul 26, 2015)
Jennifer Leonhardt’s Minstrel’s Daughter is a statement of innocence and wonder wrapped around gratitude. Leonhardt touches on folk-chamber parameters for this intriguing and mysterious music.
All Music Guide
Opening on the sound of a melancholic cello, the Ft Worth singer-songwriter’s album serves an opening course of minimalist, atmospheric rural chapel folk before shuffling around on a brushed country melody, followed by the title track’s psych blues jam. Production values are largely non existent but it does give the album a similar down-home cabin feel to the likes of Bon Iver and Co as Leonhardt’s strength with words and beguiling melodies slowly work their magic.
The broken and destructive relationships respectively fueling the mournful, fiddle-stroked backwoods hymnal folk of “More Rope” and the late night hillside stargazing mood of “Line Of Fire” provide album highlights, while the acoustic “Kerby Lane Jubilee” wraps it up in classic early-Joni style.
NetRhythms (UK) (Nov 9, 2009)
An industrial take on Americana, it’s a little reminiscent of Emmylou Harris recording with Daniel Lanois but even more stripped down and atmospheric. A left leaning set in an already left leaning genre, Leonhardt delivers the kind of set the cognoscenti will refer to in hushed tones as they pass the mp3s around.
Midwest Record (Oct 23, 2009)
Capitalizing on first takes and atmospheric mixes, [MD’s] arrangements are experimented with, turning folk and country formats into something more original and esoteric.
Bob Maplethorpe, iTunes New Music (Jul 5, 2009)
Leonhardt manages to NOT fall into the trap of presenting “pretty, lonely girl music”. Most “folks” who pick up an acoustic guitar start in a warm, intimate space and eventually take the songs to a cold, mechanical studio where a producer grinds off al the interesting bits and leaves us with something that is shiny but ultimately rather dull.
Not so with Jennifer on her second album. The sound is understated, as lo-fi as it is low-key. Yes, the basis is still talented voice, good songwriting, a bit of guitar and some friends on back up. Yes, it still descends from Dylan and works in bits of roots music, Americana and honest-to-god twang, but this isn’t the same thing bandied about at open mics in coffee shops. The grit at the edges add a legitimacy to these pieces that most folk music loses in the recording process.
My favorite is “Let the Wretched Come Home”, a ghost room romp with dashes of dirge and echoes of the Breeders.
Sepiachord (Aug 13, 2009)
Replicating the approach of the late Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer in the latter’s Portland, Oregon kitchen on the classic When I Go album, Minstrel’s Daughter’s impressionist musical territory is a wistful tale of love’s trials.
Maverick Magazine (Jan 19, 2010)
Gods & Nations (Grassroots 2007)
The arrival of a major new talent. From the sound of the trenchant folk/blues of Gods & Nations, and the driving, impassioned emotion at the heart of “Patron”, Leonhardt is a gale force to be reckoned with.
Luke Torn – Pop Culture Press (Mar 12, 2008)
A Paste Recommends Indie Album, April 2008
Paste Magazine (Apr 4, 2008)
Top 20 Americana Songs of 2008 [“Homeland”]
Tupelo Honey Show, KRVM (Eugene OR) (Jul 23, 2008)
A great album.
Martin Vowles, Wildcards guitarist & RootsCD.com (UK) (Jun 1, 2009)
A stirring songwriter, Leonhardt plays blues with vivid modern lyrics and harmonies. For her latest album, she wove the influence of her family of artists and musicians with the impact of Katrina into flowing Americana ballads.
Austin American-Statesman (Jan 28, 2008)
It’s a muggy summer night. Rustic, propulsive rhythms and sinuous melodies surge through the humid air. Such is the feeling you get when listening to Jennifer Leonhardt’s new album, Gods & Nations. Impressive overall, the album comprises a mix of songs evoking folk and blues in ways that sound contemporary, relevant, and more importantly, compelling.
Weaved seamlessly through the album is Leonhardt’s voice, a striking and soulful instrument, which deftly varies in tone to suit the architecture of each song. The axis where the most stirring music meets with the most impassioned vocal is “U Wear It Well”, possibly the finest track on the album. Crafting quality songs with versatility in conveying them, Leonhardt proves herself a genuine talent with a promising future.
Donald Gibson – Write On Music (Jun 29, 2007)
Gods & Nations is as raw and genuine as you’re going to get.
David Baker, 1340 Mag (Dec 20, 2007)
My favorite singer-songwriter out of Austin.
Crossroads Bob, KYRS-FM (Spokane WA) (Oct 24, 2008)
Jennifer the Lion-hearted sings big songs. They sneak in and swallow me up.
Jesse DeNatale, musician(Aug 30, 2007)
An up-and-coming unique artist out of Austin.
Austin Music Download (Nov 24, 2007)
Great songs, great singer, great soul. I spin the record often.
Rough Draft Freeform Radio, WDVR-FM (Jan 13, 2007)
Gods & Nations is packed with the genius I’ve come to expect in her work.
Doug Reed, composer The Lion King, NYC (Apr 12, 2007)
Fantastic, heart-felt album. Leonhardt’s music is totally unique, and totally moving.
Eric Anders, musician (Nov 11, 2007)
Hard X (Grassroots 2005)
Moments of brilliance Leonhardt has a beautiful voice, a cross between Rickie Lee Jones and Allison Krauss. This is minimally produced, a lone acoustic guitar and Jennifer’s vocals are all you get but that gives the album a very intimate feel which works well for her. I really like what I hear.
JR Oliver – Ear Candy Magazine (Oct 16, 2005)
LIVE SHOW REVIEWS
“Why this girl is not one of the top acts in the country is beyond me- her singing is like throwing a lit cigarette out a car window, she’s an absolute runaway wildfire. Her band’s live show is some of the hardest, rootsiest rhythm-n-blues-n-bluegrass ever.”
Don Wolff, Talent Buyer-South Padre Island Music Festival
“Jennifer Leonhardt knocked our socks off. Easily the best Sandbox concert ever.”
Lucinda Wierenga, Sandbox Inn House Concerts
“Jennifer leads the Whalers with a delivery touching on everyone from Chrissie Hynde to Edie Brickell.”
Dante Dominick, Austin.com
“Her performance is very free and spirited, reflective of time spent with old jazzmen and young dreamers.”
Duggan Flanakin, Flanfire Blogspot
“Some songs she did soft and soulful; on others her voice had a raw, ragged urban-blues pathos. Her tunes are tremendous. She’s a music phenomenon who’s star is rising- very much one of a kind.”
KPAS-TV, Los Angeles
“Jennifer makes music with so much abandon and passion and still with such delicacy and finesse that her performance both mesmerizes and invigorates.”
Pricilla Gilman, literary agent
“The first time I met Jennifer was onstage. We were playing songs from her latest CD and cut #5, which is [her cover of Billie Holiday’s] “Strange Fruit”, jumped out at me. As I plugged in I knew I was in for a deep experience. I’ve checked out her website and earlier music since: if she ever runs for office, she’s got my vote.”
Ritchie Mintz, musician