Feb 8, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff WriterLebeau to perform concert Sunday at the Lander Bar.
Lander native Garrett Lebeau is returning to his hometown this weekend to celebrate the upcoming release of his debut album.
His Sunday concert at the Lander Bar will be part of a month-long tour taking Lebeau from his home in Austin, Texas, north to Wyoming and back. He plans to perform at the Folk Alliance Conference in Toronto, Canada, before returning to Austin again Feb. 28.
"It's busy busy," Lebeau said. "We're just getting ramped up (with) all the type of things they try to put in place to try to sell a record."
Despite the packed schedule, he said he wanted to find time to visit friends and family in Fremont County and play a local show. He invited people to join him for a private concert Sunday evening in the Coalter loft above the Lander Bar. Doors open at 5 p.m. and the $10 show is at 6 p.m. Lebeau also will play at the Mangy Moose in Jackson on Saturday.
The album, "Rise to the Grind," won't be available until May 7, but Lebeau said it contains only original songs that he wrote and performed live for the recording. He called his musical style a mix of soul music and rhythm and blues.
"The type of music we're doing is reminiscent of Al Green and Dr. John," Lebeau said. "There's a whole big scene they call Americana music; it's roots music really."
He signed to the label with singer-songwriter Jimmy LaFave, and Lebeau said they collaborated with several other notable musicians to make his album. For example, "Rise to the Grind" features bass player Roscoe Beck, a musical director and producer who worked with poet and musician Leonard Cohen. Lebeau said the record also includes J.J. Johnson, drummer for John Mayer and the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
"He's one of Austin's kind of great exports in," Lebeau said. "Both him and Roscoe are like some of the best musicians in the world."
He also mentioned Red Young, a "legendary keyboard player" who also performs for the record. Lebeau said Young plays the Hammond organ and has been associated with Eryc Bird and Amos Lee.
At 32 years old, Lebeau said he feels fortunate to have found success in the music business. He got into blues when he was a teenager, and he continued to play music on the side when he moved to Texas with his wife.
"I didn't mean to be a full-time musician -- or, I wanted to be, but I hadn't really made it a priority," Lebeau said. "But I'd gotten noticed by some fairly well-known people, so with the economy going in the tank I started playing music full time."
He has spent the past four years playing shows in Austin and trying to get an album produced.
"This is the fifth record I've made but the first that's actually come out," Lebeau said. "It's been rough. (But) I've had good luck for the relatively short time I've been at it."
This fall, Lebeau, who calls himself a "small town guy," is planning an overseas tour to Denmark and the Netherlands.
To follow his progress, visit his website at GarrettLebeau.com.