BIOGRAPHY

Leslie Dowdall's solo career began in earnest with the release of her first album in 1997, the artfully entitled 'No Guilt, No Guile'. The album won high praise for the creativity, vision and the soulful vocals for so long hidden beneath the music of the past. As a result, Leslie won the 1997 'Best Solo Female' artist at the Heineken/Hot Press Music Awards. Also being nominated in the similar category at the IRMA Music Awards.

Included on 'No Guilt, No Guile' was Leslie's first single released in 1996. 'Wonderful Thing' did indeed become a wonderful thing achieving status as an all time favourite song from the ninties. 'Wonderful Thing' is currently receiving renewed interest as it is the featured music for the new National Lottery adverts on TV channels in 2002.

The album release was followed by a Irish tour in April 1997 playing to full houses across the country from Dublin to Cork, Galway to Wexford. The rest of the year was a schedule of touring, recording, and guest appearances on TV and Radio. It was in May that year that Leslie began recording the vocals for Ronan Hardiman's debut solo album 'Solas'. Ronan had received world-wide acclaim as the composer of the music for award winning 'Lord of the Dance'. Leslie and he had previous collaborations to their name.

This period of creativity and performing was, for Leslie, her emergence into the spotlight as one of Ireland's best live performers with a voice that had grown in expressiveness and confidence. 'Leslie's poise and style on stage is something special' as is her voice which appeared to strengthen with each performance. Comments were being made at this time that Leslie may have taken voice coaching but as she herself said, "If anything my voice has got stronger from lack of training and work." The truth may simply be that Leslie's voice was at last allowed to reign above the leaner musical arrangements.

Towards the end of 1997 Leslie formed her own record label, LD Records, under which the single "Freedom" was released, an appropriate title as the first song under a newly formed label. It was also the first of a new set of songs that would form the album "Out There" released in 1998. This new album was a continuation of the passage taken with "No Guilt, No Guile", a continued interest in gentler, more reflective, vocally driven songs.

'Out There' not only confirmed Leslie's ability as one of Irelands best female singers but also confirmed her talent as a songwriter. All the tracks on this album are original, the exception being the Jimi Hendrix song 'Angel' which receives tremendous attention from the songstress. Co-writing credits on the album go to such notables as Brendan Murphy from the Four of Us and Pat O'Donnell, former Fountainhead member, who also produces the album.


Since the release and subsequent promotion of 'Out There', Leslie had taken a break from writing to become involved in other projects of interest to her. In 1999 Leslie featured in a series of Beatles Celebration Concerts at the National Concert Hall. The concerts were conducted by the Beatle's producer Sir George Martin. Then renewing a previously successful partnership, she appeared as guest vocalist on Ronan Hardiman's second solo album 'Anthem' released in 2000. Leslie was the featured vocalist in the musical production 'The Flight of the Earls' composed and written by Mary Ronayne-Keane. This production toured Ireland in 2001, check back here for possible future dates of this show in 2002. In October 2001 Leslie was involved in Paul Brady's epic 23 date gigs in Vicar Street, with other guests such as Bonnie Raitt, Van Morrison, Sinead O'Connor and many more.


No biography of Leslie Dowdall would be complete without mentioning her involvement in the 80's band In Tua Nua. As the voice of the band that fused celtic traditions with rock for seven years, Leslie felt she needed to find her own style. That she has done and is rightfully considered one of the best female singer-songwriters in Ireland today. Her next album, currently being written, will prove that beyond doubt.


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