Sonia Leigh is an authentic songstress with southern grit and a weathered drawl. Combining the headstrong spirit of Loretta Lynn, the honesty of Lucinda Williams, and the versatility of Wanda Jackson, Leigh’s ‘1978 December’ (out late Summer 2011on Zac Brown’s label Southern Ground Artist, Inc.) embodies southern resolve at its finest, illuminating her sophisticated talent for blending country, blues, soul, and rock into one genuine, powerful sound.
Leigh’s Georgian roots are clearly evident in her songwriting. From the boozy saloon stomp of “Bar” to the Muscle Shoals shuffle of “I Just Might,” she balances her sweet southern twang with a devil-may-care rasp. She howls over scorching guitar licks on “My Name is Money” and hits the ground running on “Ribbon of Red,” paying homage to a dustier brand of bygone country. Her words show she’s old enough to have a broken heart, but young enough to heal, old enough to have regrets, and young enough to still learn from them.
Befriended by Georgia’s own Sean Costello and Zac Brown, Leigh has been deeply influenced by both musicians. Raw talent also flows in her blood from generations of songwriters before her, including grandfather Roy Harmon Rolling, who penned a tune for the legendary Hank Williams (though its gone uncredited). Brown instantly fell in love with the tenacious spirit that pours out of Leigh and her guitar and personally took her under his wing. He’s had her join him on the road, and recently signed her to his label Southern Ground Artists, Inc.
On performing live, Leigh gushes, “I almost feel like a different person when I’m on stage. It takes every emotion I can possibly have and lets it all out into the universe. There is nothing that could replace the feeling I feel on stage. It’s pure energy.” Leigh recently wrapped up her tour with Marc Broussard, and has previously cut her teeth as a supporting act for Zac Brown Band and Loretta Lynn.