Nashville—Extraordinary guitarist, songwriter, and rock artist Leah Marie King ended her life on June 24, 2014, at the age of 34.
Leah captivated audiences with her sensational skills as a guitarist and her passionate lyrics as a songwriter. Her music is loved by over 35,000 fans and followers across North America and around the world.
Leah Marie King moved to Nashville in 2011. It was there that her brilliant playing, engaging performances, and songwriting skills gave rise to a growing fan base and worldwide audiences and music industry attention.
Leah Marie King was born in Vancouver, Canada. Growing up in both rural Western Canada and the suburbs of New York City, Leah drew upon a wide range of experiences reflected in her strong lyrical content and unique songwriting style. She picked up her first guitar at the age of 15, highly influenced by her music-loving family. She was a self-taught guitarist and songwriter.
Leah attended the University of Lethbridge and graduated with distinction. She held a Bachelor of Arts and Science in Psychology and Philosophy. It was at University where one of her professors had a band that inspired her to consider a music career.
Popular Rock Artist Leah Marie King Ends Life
Photo provided by Raven Child Music
At 19, she bought her first guitar, a Stevie Ray Vaughan Signature Fender Stratocaster. The first modification she made to her guitar was to change the strings and tune down a half-step, SRV style.
Her family owned a horse ranch where Leah was considered a “horse whisperer” and became a successful horse trainer. She was a first-rate horsewoman (she turned down a job as a cutting horse trainer and performer) which gave her the strong fingers and hands that allowed her to play the heavy gauged strings on her SRV guitar and achieve the sound she wanted. At her first jam, much to the surprise of the house band, Leah walked on stage, pulled out her Fender Stratocaster, played and sang Pride and Joy and Love Struck Baby. She was a hit.
Leah grew up listening to an eclectic selection of music from the rock sounds of the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, and Credence Clearwater Revival, to the country folk styles of Chet Atkins, Neil Young, and Ian Tyson, to the heartfelt blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King—all of which are reflected in her songwriting and guitar work.
At the age of 20, Leah became obsessed with the electric guitar and fell in love with the blues. It was then that she knew what she was meant to do in this world: play guitar, write songs, and sing.
In Vancouver, B.C., Leah Marie King met blues guitarist Paul Kype, and in 2003 she joined his well-respected blues rock band, Texas Flood, touring Canada for six years. She played everywhere from underground blues clubs to large outdoor festivals. She proved herself to be a vitally important member of the band as her combination of haunting vocals and fierce guitar work wowed audiences. In 2008, she decided to launch herself into a solo career in order to concentrate on song writing and fronting her own band.
In the spring of 2008, Leah released her first album The Raven Child, recorded in Vancouver, B.C. The following months were spent in Chicago, Illinois; Nashville, Tennessee; and Austin, Texas as Leah learned up-close from some of her heroes and influences such as Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan. In the summer of 2009, Leah recorded her second album Back to the Bridge, in Lethbridge, Alberta. This was followed by a U.S. tour that took her through 23 states in over four months before she decided to permanently relocate to Nashville.
After moving to Nashville, Leah quickly established herself within the local music scene, creating a new band. Instead of the 5-piece that she had led in Canada, she decided that the edgier sound of a 3 piece would suit her style better. Her pure talent and edgy, raw, and brilliant sound – expressed with her beloved Fender Strat - invited comparisons to Hendrix, Band of Gypsies, Crazy Horse and Double Trouble.
In early 2012, Leah began working with Ghezzi - Music Manager/Consultant and Founder/CEO of CJG Innovative. In September 2013, Leah began recording at Mitch Easter's Fidelitorium Studio in Kernersville, NC (former clients include Joe Walsh, Suzanne Vega, R.E.M., Ben Folds and many others). By this time, she had developed excellent working relationships with Ghezzi and Jason Richmond (Engineeer/Producer/Consultant); Scott Sawyer (Guitarist/Consultant); and David Stern (A&R; formerly of Capitol and Atlantic Records), whose collective experiences include Grammy nominations/wins, charting on Billboard, recordings and international tours with legendary artists, and licensing songs for major TV shows (including 90210, FOX Sports, Entourage).
Photo provided by "What's Up Ohio
Leah played with John Salaway at the Mando Blues Festival in Nashville, and was featured on Whit Hubners Mando Blues Radio Show in May 2013. The show was re-broadcast last week in respect of her talent.
In May of 2013 Leah received an endorsement from Traynor Amplifiers which she had been using for many years. After the endorsement Leah’s amp of choice was the YCV40 because it had the tone that she loved best. She was also under consideration by D'Addario for their 2014 artist roster.
She established a popular weekly jam that was attended by many great musicians from the Nashville area. It became common knowledge that Leah would “jam” with whoever came to perform, and make them feel great about their music --whether they had been playing for a month or 50 years!
To satisfy her acoustic side she played a weekly show at a local landmark bar on the Tennessee - Kentucky border.
Locally, Leah headlined the main stage at BB Kings Blues Club in Nashville; the famous Whippoorwill in Gallatin, and Chases in Hendersonville (TN). She also performed at Whabah’s (Bowling Green, KY), and headlined the inaugural Southern Roots Music Festival. Starting to tour venues around the U.S. she played at The Canal House (Tuscarawas, OH); Treasure Island (Dubois, PA), and Legends (Cincinnati, OH).
Leah was scheduled to headline this summer at the Kent State University Festival (Canton, OH). Other Summer\Autumn 2014 Tour bookings included Cartoon’s Oyster Bar (Springfield, MO); Knuckleheads (Kansas City, MO); GT Jam (Lancaster, OH); The Fling Barn (Hillsboro, OH); Ocean 41 (Apollo Beach, FL) and she was in negotiations in with The Cat's Den, Al's Bar, Bluegrass Brewing Co., and Old Talbotts Inn (KY); Fitzgeralds and The Castle Theatre (IL); Bluegrass Brewing Co. (Louisville, KY); Darwins (Marietta, GA); BB’s Jazz & Soup (St. Louis, MO) and The Rudder at Anchor High Marina (Hendersonville, TN).
Scheduled for 2015 were tours to Canada and Europe, where she had large fan bases clamouring for her live show.
Leah Marie King continues to receive radio airplay in the USA, Canada, Mexico, UK, Australia, France, Holland, and Italy. Several radio stations in these countries have aired tribute shows in the last week.
Leah’s heart and soul are reflected in her music. Her fanbase and the popularity of her music continues to spread, despite her untimely death. Her brilliant guitar playing and haunting melodies will continue to live on, for as long as music is played.
© Raven Child Music 2014