Sonia Leigh will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. As always, this Record Exchange in-store performance is free and all ages. Sonia Leigh is opening for the Zac Brown Band at Taco Bell Arena later that night (7 p.m.).

Record Exchange customers will have an exclusive opportunity to purchase Sonia Leigh’s new album 1978 December at the in-store 12 DAYS BEFORE RELEASE DATE!


Loretta Lynn certainly didn’t know she was seeing a future opening act when she spotted a five-year-old girl in the crowd at an Alabama concert. As the story goes, during a quiet moment the enraptured child exclaimed, “now that’s country, dad!” The crowd stirred and the coal miner’s daughter herself spotted little Sonia Leigh (, then bowed and waved, laughing, before moving on to the next song.

But nearly 30 years later, that little girl opened for Lynn, winning over audiences with her gritty vocal delivery and bold, disarmingly honest songwriting. Between her childhood concerts and her rising career today as a Southern troubadour were many hard days, battle scars and dues paid. Sonia Leigh has earned every bit of soulful, lived-in authenticity her songs and performances portray.

The songs on 1978 December, Leigh’s Southern Ground debut, range from the boozy barroom sing-along of “Bar”—a throwback redolent of the less well-behaved Nashville of yesteryear—to the soulful Muscle Shoals shuffle of “I Just Might,” the acoustic groove of “Virginia” (featuring Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls) and the keenly observed country-rockin’ “My Name Is Money.”

Categorization is futile. Is it country, blues, soul or rock? The answer is yes. Is it Southern? Add an exclamation point to the prior answer.

In this Leigh has a lot in common with one of her mentors, Zac Brown, who recently signed her to his Southern Ground Artists label. Leigh has been a part of Brown’s musical family for seven years now, having met the singer/songwriter in Atlanta musical circles. Brown’s right-hand-man John Hopkins served as producer for Leigh’s independent outing Run or Surrender.

Like everything else she’s done, 1978 December is the sound of Leigh expressing her soul. It’s not calculated, focus-grouped or target-marketed. In fact, Leigh wouldn’t have the slightest clue how to do that. “It’s hard for me to just sit down and write and try to write a hit,” she says. “That’s just not me as a writer. I write about what’s happening and what I see.”

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