Mind Scammer is modern classic Bay Area rock born from an acoustic heart and blanketed in cosmic electricity. His self-titled debut album (released online 5/22/22) puts a new spin on the traditional album with a distinct, closer opening on each side, but rather than an overworked “concept” album, it is of an album with concept creativity — a Theater of the Spirit in two acts. Imaginative songs are mini-movies inspired by real-life experiences and turned into animated audio art.
Spirit Hustler will perform June 24 at Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, California. Doors at 8 p.m. and show at 9 p.m. | GET TICKETS HERE
Other concerts include the High Sierra Music Festival, July 1-3 (Quincy, CA), Sunshine of Love Festival, August 20 (Santa Cruz, CA), and Burning Man, Labor Day weekend. (Black Rock City, NV)
Originating in the space-rock epic “The Spirit of ’69,” the listener embarks on a hero’s journey during “Circlin’ the Sun.” The hero encounters the enchanting “Angels of Summer,” strikes a “Devil Deal” with a succubus at Burning Man, and wanders the high desert via “Mine is a Gypsy Soul” before finally reckoning with “the spirit of the stupid”.
“Wow, it’s a masterpiece! Perfect, honest, unaffected psychedelic folk-rock vocals and lyrics to match. A true modern San Francisco album.” Luther Dickinson (North Mississippi Allstars, Black Crowes)
Listen to the album on your favorite streaming platform.
1) The spirit of 69 – look amazing video!
2) Gratitude Raga
3) Go around the sun – Listen to the last single
4) Summer Angels
5) Devil Deal (with Jetta Cole)
6) Relentless Magic
7) Honeymoon (feat. James Nash)
8) WhiteOut (Jimmy Leslie acoustic solo)
9) Mine is a Gypsy Soul (with Jetta Cole and Jason Crosby)
10) Spirit of the Beast
Jimmy Leslie is the writer and sound film star of Spirit Hustler. A staple of the Bay Area music scene, Leslie’s eclectic resume is insightful. He is internationally respected as a fret editor at Guitar Player, and both of Spirit Hustler’s instrumentals feature his percussive “freehand” fingering style. He uses examples from Spirit Hustler for school readers on his highly original approach to writing and recording acoustic rock in the magazine’s June, July and August issues.
He’s interviewed everyone from Carlos Santana to Jack White, and coordinated GP Presents events ranging from Paco de Lucia to Buddy Guy. Jimmy shared the stages with Tab Benoit, Luther Dickinson, Sonny Landreth and Devon Allman. Leslie co-founded the Star City and Guitarfish music festivals and is the author of the eco-musical Guitarfish Adventures. The solo recordings of Leslie Surfin’ the Swamp and Dance Until Forever with players from Galactic and the Honey Island Swamp Band, respectively.
Cameos from the Spirit Hustler album include strings by Jason Crosby (Jackson Browne), mandolin by James Nash (The Waybacks), guitar by Eric McFadden (P-Funk), keyboards by Alex Jordan (Midnight North ), backing vocals and acoustic guitar courtesy of champion Christie Lenée. Tahoe diva Jetta Cole delivers Grammy-worthy vocals on “Gypsy Soul” and plays the demon to perfection on “Devil Deal.” The beating heart of the band is drummer Jeremy Hoenig (Melvin Seals & the JGB). Steven La Bella provides funky, melodic bass while slide guitar ace Jules Leyhe provides laser-sharp lead lines that complement Leslie’s open-chord acoustic in an uncharted yet hauntingly familiar way.
Spirit Hustler was recorded at Lucky Recording in Brisbane, California, where the Go Go’s recently recorded “Club Zero”. Producer Mikel Ross has worked extensively with Corrosion of Conformity. Travis Kasperbauer, disciple of Butch Vig, designed and mixed. Grammy winner Jake Eckert and Jeff Watkins mastered the album, and both are New Orleans suspects. Artwork courtesy of Alan Forbes (Black Crowes). Considering all the talent, Leslie has adopted the moniker Spirit Hustler, emerging from the pandemic era like a butterfly from a cocoon.
“Leyhe cuts the best blues shots since Derek Trucks, maybe even Duane Allman.” —First guitar
“Oh yeah, I dig that. Tasty AF I really like it.” —Devon Allman
“Totally dig it! Epic and trippy with tons of cool sounds that make the stories speak. I love the slide work, very lyrical. “Angels of Summertime” kept playing in my head for days. I also liked the power of the sections.” —Sonny Landreth (John Hiatt, Dr. John, Eric Clapton)
Celebrating the release of Sweetwater Music Hall on June 24 with Pamela Parker and James Nash
Spirit Hustler represents a modern take on classic Bay Area rock, and Jimmy Leslie embodies the imaginative essence of artists like Michael Hedges, Santana and the Grateful Dead. Bob Weir owns Sweetwater Music Hall, where Leslie has a story. He was on stage with Shana Morrison (Van’s daughter) on the very last night at Sweetwater’s original location. It made its full Spirit Hustler show debut at the new location almost exactly a decade later, and the band are back to celebrate the release of the debut album, now available on all digital platforms as well as CD and heavyweight vinyl. .