VideoMusician George Leach is very good with his hands
Posted by Anna Lazowski, SCENE Producer | Thursday June 20, 2013
Musician George Leach with some of his pottery work. (courtesy the artist)
I get swept away by how a note makes me feel, and hover there for as long as I can.
—George Leach, musician
He's something of a Renaissance man.
Not only does George Leach wield a 12-string, 15 pound double neck guitar onstage, but when he's not writing or playing music, you'll likely find him firing his own pottery designs in a kiln.
And Leach isn't just about music and art, he's also an actor, and has appeared on This is Wonderland, North of 60, PSI Factor and Nikita.
George Leach with his double neck guitar
From Lillooet, British Columbia's Sta'atl'imx Nation, Leach is joining a concert lineup in Winnipeg that includes Crystal Shawanda, A Tribe Called Red, Tanya Tagaq, Sagkeeng's Finest and more for National Aboriginal Day on June 22nd at The Forks.
Leach's music is clearly influenced by the blues, but he says his main intention was to develop his own sound.
"What made me want to develop my own style was watching a lot of guitar players getting lost in their heroes," Leach says.
"I felt I had a better chance at being myself than being someone else. Listening to B.B. King and John Lee Hooker, no one sounds like them no matter how hard they try. You can easily pick them out. That was more appealing to me."
While many musicians learn to write by mimicking their favourite artists, Leach found his own path. The first song he wrote, "Black and Blue" was an instrumental track he penned in high school.
"I used to solo over these healing CDs that you get at health food stores. I would crank my amp and play guitar solos over top of them. Thing is, I could never stay focused long enough to learn a song verbatim from front to back," he explains.
"I would get through a few bars, stumble on a new chord, then I would vamp on that new chord for hours and would lose focus on learning the rest of the song. I still have troubles with that today. I get swept away by how a note makes me feel, and hover there for as long as I can."
Leach was first introduced to pottery by his daughter's mother and grandparents at Talking Earth Pottery. Though he was intimidated by their skill at first, once he tried it, he was hooked.
"I was writing my first record at the time, Just Where I'm At. I was bouncing back and forth between pottery and music. I would be designing a piece, and when I felt I as getting stuck on a design, I would go and write music."
Some of George Leach's pottery
Much like how he began writing instrumental guitar tracks over New Age healing CDs, Leach found another outlet for his creativity. One that grounds him.
"Pottery is a spiritual teacher. It teaches patience, timing, the importance of building a strong foundation, knowing when to push and when to back off," he says.
"It deals with the wheel, the circle, and the importance of being centered. It is also one of the few art forms that deals with all the elements: earth, wind, water and fire. [And] one of the art forms that will last the longest through time. It's the ultimate storytelling time capsule." George Leach joins Crystal
Shawanda, A Tribe Called Red, Dallas Arcand, Kathia Rock,
Sagkeeng's Finest, War Party and Tanya Tagaq at The Forks on Saturday, June 22nd for the Aboriginal Day Live concert which will be broadcast on APTN.