Leslie Mendelson on Long Island, her new album & her Apr. 25 show at Berlin
A native Long Islander, Leslie Mendelson turned a lot of heads with 2009's Grammy-nominated Swan Feathers, as recorded for Rykodisc. This week, Leslie returns to the spotlight with her first new album in eight years, Love & Murder. Produced by Mark Howard -- who has worked with Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams -- Love & Murder features songs co-written by Steve McEwan and a cameo by The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir. The album's first single is "Jericho."
In support of Love & Murder, Leslie will be performing at Berlin on April 25. No Place Like Long Island spoke with Leslie about her new music and her Long Island roots. More info on Leslie can be found at www.lesliemendelson.com.
Where on Long Island did you grow up?
Leslie Mendelson: South Setauket/Centereach -- I'm not sure why it had two names.
Do you still have family on the Island? How often do you get back?
Leslie Mendelson: My dad still lives there. I'm actually on the LIRR heading out to Ronkonkoma right now to visit the old man.
Do you have a favorite restaurant on the Island?
Leslie Mendelson: Anywhere that has a pasta night and the Grey Horse Tavern.
What was the first concert you attended as a Long Islander?
Leslie Mendelson: Steve Miller Band at Jones Beach Theater.
Your new album is Love & Murder. Do you have a favorite song on there?
Leslie Mendelson: My favorite song is "Crazy." Patrick Warren, who did the strings just killed it. So beautiful.
Having taken eight years between albums, how many songs had you written for Love & Murder?
Leslie Mendelson: This album is a combination of older and newer songs. I have a lot of stuff that hasn't yet been recorded!
How did you and Steve McEwan first meet? It's wonderful that your collaboration has lasted so long.
Leslie Mendelson: Yeah! We met in a bar. We had some mutual friends playing in a cover band called The Skirt Chasing Drunks.
You'll be performing at Berlin on April 25. What else is coming up for you?
Leslie Mendelson: I'll be doing some touring on the West Coast in May and June, including release shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
When not busy with your career, how do you like to spend your free time?
Leslie Mendelson: Drinking coffee in various shops.
What was the last concert you attended for fun?
Leslie Mendelson: Ryan Adams solo at Rough Trade.
Finally, Leslie, any last words for the kids?
Leslie Mendelson: Listen to some music from before you were born.