"Growing up on a farm in Northern Ireland, I suppose I was always close to the land, never far from a river and permanently surrounded by sea. I worked and still work some of my time in the landscape and it worked its way into me."
"Song for Charlotte written for my then 6 year old neice is about an imagined walk with her father Jamie in the early morning listening and watching the world wake up. The album has an overall rhythm which comes from the pulse of the land, the flow of the rivers and the sea. Maybe I could be described as a rock/folk/ruralist.
Northern Irish Songwriter John Graham Leslie’s music is diverse. The songs are scattered from folk, through country and rock, a diverse mix of styles from Scots/Irish/English/Americana and rock/folk.
His instrumental skill is well displayed on many of the instruments on this album The Land The River The Sea including guitar, mandolin, mandola and melodeon. This album provides a hint of the diversity of his song writing and instrumental style.
John’s previous bands include The Wright Brothers 1986 – 1990 (2 Albums released) and The Plough 1991 – 1995 (1 Album released). Both in the country/folk/rock style. Memphis 1985 ( 1 single release)
Music for theatre includes `Cuchullain` 1996 national tour and 2007 tour.
`The Flight of the Swans`. Musical 1978 and 1981
`Nursery Crimes` Play with music. 1985
Reviews of The Land The River The Sea and The EP
“Well, this is singer/songwriter stuff with a pop/rock production. 'Cool Rain' for instance has very cool and smooth vocals, your usual bass, guitar and drums and also a fiddle. The fiddle is extra texture rather than upfront, but that works well. The close of the song is great, pretty dramatic. Good stuff and it's distracted me from my managerial hypnosis. Even better stuff is the more stripped back 'Fields Of Rye', just John and guitar to open before gently and delicately fleshed out, just enough. It's a lovely song and no mistake, the female backing vocals helping John out and the whole thing sounds slighly Irish fields, sunshine, beautiful landscape and a pint of guiness. Yeah, it's good.
Goal! 1-0 to Plymouth within 30 seconds, get in there! Where was I? Oh yes, 'Sugarman' continues this Irish feel. It also continues this albums solid, agreeable tone. This is a good listen, is 'The Land, The River, The Sea'. You know, the instrumentation is good, the songs are well constructed and when, such as during album highlight 'Sugarman' we get a little jig of sorts whilst the rhythm section suddenly pound away quite scarily actually - we also get goosepimples. Well, we do in our house at least. This is a great song! Ah, the fiddle!.” adriandenning.co.uk
”The songs do flow with a sense of purpose and each one is beautifully produced ‘Ballygan’ particularly affecting with its tablas and haunting female refrain. The vocals pushed to the front and the melancholy and loss resting on the repeated guitar motif. Lovely”. americana-uk
"Making music has been a constant throughout my life. I started out earning a living as a Stage manager in Theatre, and then got into Stage design, sound engineering and designing for theatre. Sometime along the time line I helped develope an open farm project, wrote a musical, a short play and a dance music piece. And now along side a reflourishing music career, I run a small landscaping business and I ocassionaly do art direction on commercials."
" I am currently working on a new album which will be a more acoustic affair , more of a ruralist/folk vibe. Like most people doing music it`s a thing that I have to do to what ever level. I hope some people out there relate to the songs and enjoy them, certainly judging by sales through my site it does seem to be quite popular despite rather limited marketing! try it you might indeed like it !"