with Annie Stokes

Songbyrd Presents
Downstairs, All Ages

DOORS: 7:00 PM // SHOW: 8:00 PM

$10 / $12



Songbyrd Presents

Thursday September 26, 2019


At the center of Leslie Stevens’ music is that notoriously heart-catching voice. She can belt it out grandly when she wants to, but the Los Angeles singer also possesses a distinctively honeyed tone that imbues her new album, Sinner, with a radiant charisma that sparks both ebullient love songs and more intimate ballads.

Stevens’ voice is so beguiling that she has developed a thriving sideline as an in-demand singer who has recorded and toured with a litany of disparate musicians, including Florence + the Machine, My Morning Jacket’s Jim James, Father John Misty, Jenny O., Joe Walsh, Jackson Browne, Jonny Fritz, and John Fogerty.

Stevens might be a singer’s singer, but it is her bold original songwriting that elevates Sinner from a merely dazzling vocal showcase into an artistically ambitious, poignantly affecting and sometimes startling work. The new album is released on LyricLand LLC and out on Thirty Tigers/The Orchard, and Stevens is scheduled to head out on the road for a series of European festivals in August and September 2019. Produced by Jonathan Wilson (Dawes, Roger Waters, Father John Misty) -- who added to the record’s moody atmosphere by playing a variety of instruments (guitars, bass, drums, percussion and even Mellotron) -- Sinner is a stirring statement of purpose by the native Missouri singer.

Stevens’ two previous full-length recordings -- Roomful of Smoke (when she fronted the beloved country-rock combo Leslie Stevens & The Badgers) and her first solo album, The Donkey and the Rose -- led Los Angeles Times to declare that she is “one of the city’s best” and L.A. Weekly to anoint her as Best Country Singer in 2018. But Sinner represents something of a daring step forward for the singer-guitarist. Although the album features such quintessential Stevens folk-pop gems as “Sylvie” and the ethereal consolation of the country-rock ballad “You Don’t Have to Be So Tough,” Sinner also branches out into unexpected territory, like “Teen Bride,” a candied reverie that’s as close as Stevens has ever come to 1950s-style teen pop.


Annie Stokes is a dark Americana songstress from Virginia. Raised on bluegrass and musical theater, her lyrics recall moments you thought you forgot. She and her band have released an EP and two albums and are currently working on their fourth project. She's had the pleasure of playing Merriweather Post Pavilion, The Sylvan Theater, Jammin Java, Gypsy Sally's, Moon Valley Music Festival, DOAH Fest, Untitled Music Festival, Richmond Music Hall, The 9:30 Club, Songbyrd Music House and Record Cafe, and every little dive bar in between. She's also had the honor of performing with artists like The Hunts, EmiSunshine, Marie Digby, Sierra Hull, and many others. In 2016, she embarked on her first tour from the Midwest to Delaware, where she learned how to command different types of spaces, from living rooms to studios to busy night clubs in midtown Manhattan. In early 2017, she and her band toured in North Carolina, and in May of 2017, she travelled from Boston to Nashville with Maine artist Lucas Roy for the North X South Tour. So far, the biggest honor of her career has been partnering with non-profit organizations devoted to sustainability. In spring of 2018, she had the privilege of performing for amazing young activists at a youth summit at George Mason University, and is proud to be an example of the intersection between art and activism.