Dylan Leblanc’s painful folk arrives today in Santander with his latest album, ‘Coyote’

Dancing on the edge of the knife. This is how Dylan Leblanc, a musician from Louisiana born in 1990, defines his usual state, marked by a nomadic spirit that leads him to not spend too much time in the same place. A feeling that not only applies to his way of life, as an artist on continuous tour, but also to the animal that gives the title to his latest album: ‘Coyote’.

Led by Los Huesos de Portobello, always attentive to bringing to Cantabria sounds and sensibilities that are far from the commercial radar, Leblanc will open the first edition of the Golden Horse Autum Festival with his band today, Thursday. (Santander Stage, 9:00 p.m.).

‘Coyote’ is their fifth album, after ‘Pauper films’, ‘Cast the same old shadow’, ‘Cautionary tale’ and ‘Renegade’, between 2010 and 2019. Always with shades of folk, rock and country within the compositional darkness that has accompanied him since his early days.

Like the species itself, Leblanc identifies with the insatiable and somewhat scavenging nature of the animal he came face to face with when he was climbing a mountain in Austin. “We stayed looking at each other and I thought: it’s you or me,” he says, “and in that case, I was going to throw him off the mountain; “I wasn’t going to fall.” It was, he remembers, “an intense man-animal moment that I will never forget; “He was trying to survive and so was I.”

‘Coyote’ is Leblanc’s first self-produced album, boasting what he calls killer session musicians, such as drummer Fred Eltringham, who played with Ringo Starr and Sheryl Crow; the pianist Jim ‘Moose’ Brown, who accompanied Bob Seger, or the bassist Seth Kaufman, a regular with Lana del Rey. Also participating is his father, James Leblanc, who worked as a session musician at Fame studios, where Dylan cut his teeth as a musician, giving rise to his first band, Jimmy Sad Eyes Blue, when he was just a teenager.

‘Coyote’ is both an autobiographical story and built around the concept of a coyote and a man on the run. Partly from his own turbulent past, with chapters of drugs, prison, lost opportunities and starting over. The outlaw spirit transferred to music and life.

On the album we find compositions such as ‘No promise broken’, the honest love story of two people who come from the same dark past or ‘The outside’, in which a prisoner spends his last moments in freedom before returning to the cell. In his thirties, but with the patina of a much more spent life, Leblanc, with a partner and a daughter whom he adores, is “closer than ever” to being the guy he always wanted to be.

Meanwhile, he has had the voice of Emilou Harris, who recorded ‘If the creek do not rise’ with him and has opened concerts for bands like Calexico and Lucinda Williams.

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