Rory McLeod In-depth Biography
An ex-fire eater and circus clown, Rory McLeod has fused a global range of musical influences into his unique sound. In a press release issued by Cooking Vinyl, McLeod's songs were described as "Catchy, poignant, celebrative, observant, incesive, witty, and passionate. They are songs about all kinds of people, richly colored characters, i.e., his grandma, mum (subjects taboo for the hip generation) and about school friends, family, parting, travelling, love, despair and politics." Other magazines and newspapers have confirmed this opinion. While the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that he "eloquently expressed ideas set to vibrant, dynamic music with bouncy rhythms, infectious riffs and nifty tunes," the Toronto Star claimed that he "takes influences from everywhere, Latin, Klezmer, folk, roots. He's wonderfully rhythmic and lyrical."
Initially attracting attention in 1980, while working for a small Aztec family-owned circus in Mexico, McLeod turned his focus toward music the following year. The Texas harmonica champion in 1981, he was named "street busker of the year" at the Edinburgh Festival four years later. McLeod's songs were heard in the Scottish Dance and Circus Theater Company musical production Shiftwork. In 1996, McLeod's song, "Invoking the Spirits," a musical recounting of his journey to Zimbabwe, was a BBC "pick of the week." In addition to his solo projects, McLeod has collaborated with Moroccan oud player Hassan Erraji, Northumbrian piper Katherine Tickell, West African guitarist Ali Farke Toure, Tex-Mex accordionist Flaco Jimenez, Irish banjoist Paul Rodden, and British-American singer/songwriter Michelle Shocked. McLeod appeared on three tracks, "Names and Dates and Times," "Egos Like Haircuts," and "God's Country" on Ani DiFranco's album, Puddle Dive.
McLeod has conducted numerous workshops for SHAPE, a non-profit organization that provides music for disabled patients in hospitals and psych wards. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi