Leah Calvert Expands Palette for Solo Debut

Leah Calvert’s first solo album, Satellite, beams down rocking transmissions that stray a bit from her roots-influenced work with Atlanta bluegrass band the Dappled Grays.

She doesn’t toss out the Southern music baby with the bluegrass bath water. The serene “This is Now” and such comparably upbeat tracks as “Two Lines on the Page” and “Sleep” maintain a little twang. They’re not country or bluegrass songs by any means, but something about them leaves little doubt that Calvert can go from violinist to fiddler at the drop of a dime.

Calvert’s acoustic cover of Tom Waits’ “Day After Tomorrow” looks back to regional roots that pre-date the late 1940s birth of bluegrass. It’s a stripped-down interpretation of a beloved favorite, in the spirit of old-time folk singers. Despite Calvert putting together a solid backing band and writing smart and memorable originals, the Waits cover has me hoping I catch her around town interpreting more of her favorites acoustically.