"I arrived just as Dorothy LeBlanc started her set. Dorothy is better known around town at Miss Dorothy, the Shaky Egg Lady, Baton Rouge’s most indefatigable children’s musician, or as a member of The Buskers, performing bluegrass and folk favorites at the Farmer’s Market and Whole Foods. Tonight, we see
another side of Dorothy. She took the stage with a resonator guitar, sheepishly admitting that she was new to playing in bars, and appropriately opened with “The Brass Rail,” a song about “drinking quarter shots of bourbon” with a boyfriend at the long-lost LSU watering hole. Dorothy has a well-honed stage charm and an unsinkable ego when she gets on stage, opening up her life through her songs. In one about her parents’ death, she offers “It was easy to clear out that old house/Not so easy to clear out my mind.” by Alex V. Cook, Country Roads Magazine, August 2009.
Dorothy LeBlanc is a 54-year-old mommy turned singer/songwriter. Her metamorphosis from stay-at-home mom to performing musician and writer of songs has been an interesting ride. Her kids grew up, her husband retired, she got cancer, she found her voice as a musician. That’s pretty much how it happened.
By day she works as a music therapy facilitator for senior citizens (with Alzheimer’s and various levels of dementia) and for children (with various speech and communication disorders). For the past 5 plus years, she has performed in an acoustic duo called The Buskers in the Baton Rouge, LA area. The bulk of her non-performance time is spent writing her original, heartfelt folk songs. These tunes are written and performed with the wit, compassion, and innate sensibilities of a middle-aged wife, mother, daughter and friend.
In “Wander”, Dorothy explores the simplicity of an earlier time. Two Little Gifts tells of her families’ unique Christmas story. Filled with imagery and an appreciation for the simple things in life, she sings of her parents’ 1943 Christmas: “Two little gifts under the tree, but they were living in the lap of luxury, to spend Christmas with the one they love.” Decades passed, the family grew, but “some things never change.” Prayer with Every Stitch and Grandma’s Biscuits speak of her love for everything homemade. Simplify is her earnest plea to regain this style of living, at this stage of
her life, in the year 2011.
Expect the unexpected from Dorothy. The Answer showcases her jazz chops as she sings of a great love affair that was unlikely at best, but which lasted 53 years. In the tune In His Eyes, you’ll hear the desperate plea of one family member coping with the addiction of a loved one. Scooter Blues takes you on an ironic and humorous journey, as she tries to “reorganize and reprioritize” now that she’s “traded her 4-door for her scooter.”
Angel speaks of the ultimate gift of friendship. The use of guitar fingerpicking and dulcimer give it that heartwarming, reflective tone. And finally, the title track Wander speaks of the art of letting go.
Under the exemplary production of veteran Baton Rouge musician/videographer Daniel Lee, “Wander” is a beautiful body of work that truly speaks of that universal journey of life…designed for men and women, young and old alike.