Chuckanut Drive is an alt country band from Bellingham, Washington spearheaded by Texas born singer/songwriter Stephen Ray Leslie. The band has released 3 full-length albums in the past five years and sold copies in over 10 countries.
Over the years, the cast of characters in this raucous alt county collective has changed several times, but anchored by Leslie’s songwriting and raw emotive voice one thing remains the same – great songs that bypass pretension and go straight for the gut.
The release of their 2006 album “The Crooked Mile Home” garnered the band national attention when it reached #13 on the Freeform American Roots Chart in July of 2007 and made it onto several DJ’s end-of-the-year lists. This ambitious country/rock concept album chronicles the wanderlust adventures of a young man through the back roads of Middle America. Leslie’s penchant for story tellin’ songs is well displayed on this album.
The band’s current album “Fidelity Grange” has recently been release to much applause. It quickly made the top 30 on the Roots Music Report and also reached #13 (tied with John Hiatt) on the Freeform American Roots Chart. “Fidelity Grange” was also picked by influential DJ, Don Slack, as one of his top 12 favorite new album to be added to the Swinging Doors program on Seattle’s KEXP.
Chuckanut drive is also known for its feverish live performances. “Chuckanut Drive is a great band to see live. The band members command their instruments and the energy of a room with aplomb, wrangling the crowd from a group of disparate strangers into a dysfunctional family reunion” - Seattle Sound Magazine. The band’s skill on the stage has allowed them the honor of playing with some of their favorite contemporary artists including: Bobby Bare Jr., The Sadies, Split Lip Rayfield, The Meat Purveyors, Richmond Fontaine, and Jonathan Byrd.
See what the critics have to say about Chuckanut Drive:
“Two albums, and every song is a keeper. These guys cycle through so many sounds (from Tom Petty to the Band to the Gram Parsons to a wee bit of the Big Star) it seems impossible that they could possibly master each one. Perhaps the secret is taking those influences and melding them to some semblance of a well-defined band sound.” - Aiding and Abetting
“Interestingly enough, my favorite tracks on THE CROOKED MILE HOME are the ballads. There is one track in particular, “Juanita,” that could have been written by Townes Van Zandt. I wanted to open a vein. And that’s a compliment.” - Music-Review.com
\"Steve Leslie\'s vocals are unmistakably powerful in their simplicity. During the first spin, I heard some great songs. The second spin is when the real story came to life and it hasn\'t left my head since.\" - Jonny Attitude’s Ramble
\"Chuckanut Drive recalls the Old 97\'s (Rhett Miller\'s band before he became a sheeny alt.pin-up). Both bands possess a willingness to wear their influences on their sleeves, while still managing to write engaging, original country rock, making it look (and sound) far less difficult than it is. . . one of the more enjoyable releases this year.\" - What\'s Up Magazine