Praised by Yo-Yo Ma as "one of the greats in modern Celtic music," Bill Leslie is back with another blockbuster album. “I Am a River” was voted one of the top five albums worldwide in 2006 by international radio hosts (NAR). "I Am a River" is a compilation of 15 new and original songs inspired by Bill’s love affair with rivers from the mountains to the coastal estuaries. Bill’s smooth, evocative and highly melodic songs are enhanced by swelling orchestral strings particularly on “Tall Ships,” the official song of the 2006 America’s Sail Maritime Festival. The overall mood of the album brims with nostalgia, sentiment, intimacy and anticipation. 12 tracks are instrumentals featuring Bill on Celtic whistle, acoustic guitar and grand piano along with Juilliard sensations Jennifer Curtis on violin and Susan Babini on cello. Three outstanding vocal tracks add a rich new dimension to this album including the title cut “I Am a River.” Back-up vocalist Marty Suttle Long and Bill’s son Will Leslie on percussion round out the rich reservoir of talent on this truly stunning collection dedicated to Bill’s musical mentor Mícheál Ó'Domhnaill (1951-2006) of Ireland.
I am a river flowing beside you,
I am a voice in your dreams.
Water like honey shimmering golden,
I am much more than I seem.
Bill describes the album as a lifelong labor of love: “Rivers flow with the lifeblood of civilization. They draw us near and nourish us with their sparkling waters, verdant vistas and soothing sounds. These songs were inspired by the remarkable rivers I loved as a child and later covered as an environmental journalist. My sincere hope is that we will all work diligently to protect the quality of our precious waters. Rivers also flow with rich romantic imagery. Water is the womb of visions, dreams and poetry. It invites us to dive into the subconscious and lay claim to our true selves. Come with me now and explore the brilliant light and the dazzling darkness of the deep and shallow waters.”
“I Am a River” is Bill Leslie’s fifth album in six years. He co-produced the two highly acclaimed CDs by the Celtic fusion band Bragh Adair “Grace in Stone” and “The Hunt.” As a solo artist Bill Leslie’s “Peaceful Journey” CD peaked at number one on the world music charts in 2005. Bill’s “Christmas in Carolina” CD was named Best Holiday Album of 2005 (NAR) and was number two on the international charts for two consecutive months. Bill’s website is www.billleslie.com Bill is also a veteran news anchor and environmental reporter at WRAL Television in Raleigh. His daily blog Tar Heel Traveler is the most popular on the WRAL website.