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LEONARD SUMNER
Rez Poetry (2014)

On 06, Mar 2016 | In Artists on Artists | By jane

Leonard_Sumner

It’s evident from the get-go that Leonard is a talented wordsmith with wisdom to share that would likely earn him the title of song-man if he hailed from Australia.  All the way from the Little Saskatchewan First Nation in Manitoba, Leonard is an Anishinaabe MC and singer song-writer whose music and lyrics hold something so precious that they often leave audiences with goose bumps and tears in their eyes, as they accompany him through life’s lessons.

Aptly titled, Rez Poetry, this record showcases the voice of one of Canada’s most important new roots music artists. Effortlessly blending spoken word and rap with acoustic roots, blues and country, Leonard’s music transcends boundaries, reaching audiences’ ears who may be closed to rap and R&B in its usual context.  If you have the opportunity to see Leonard live, don’t hesitate.

Breathtakingly honest, Leonard’s potent lyrics fearlessly communicate life stories and philosophies, central to modern life on the rez (reserve). The collection of songs on Rez Poetry resonate deeply with the spirit of humanity, and echo the importance that First Nations’ voices be heard.

Tackling hard truths from the outset, this album is extremely emotionally evocative, yet uplifting in the revelations it unveils. Speaking passionately of wisdom passed down from his elders, this album is essentially medicine, filled with the truth and light of the ancestors’ teachings. A conduit and translator of these truths into an accessible modern context, Leonard’s rising star shines bright.

Rez Poetry captures the essence of Leonard’s powerful live performance, and allows the listener time for deeper contemplation of his intricate lyrics. In the track Tears and Time, Leonard sings in his signature raspy tone ‘Storms happen for a reason, they help your roots to grow’.  It is evident that this artist has weathered many storms for such a young man, yet the depth and grounding it has afforded him reveals the spirit of an old soul. With each listen this album inspires. It is a profound celebration of the greatest of all human conquests, the ability to transcend hardship, and overcome.

 

Buy a copy on iTunes

Visit Leonard’s Website

 

Review written by Aurora Jane for Mojo Junction – ‘Artists on Artists’

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