Royce Leon and his Troubadour’s Journey from Living Room to Stage

Royce Leon
Photo Credit: Shannon Henry

Finding Royce was like finding a diamond in the rough. He’s still in the early stages of his journey as a professional musician, but with a voice reminiscent of Chris Stapleton and the songwriting skills to back it up, Jay Chavez of Thistle Dew Productions enthused, “I see great things for him and am very excited to be producing his first professional album for him.”

The Genesis of a Troubadour

Royce Leon’s musical journey didn’t follow the conventional path. Growing up in a household filled with talented musicians, he initially delved into classical music, studying Suzuki piano. However, the structured form of classical music didn’t quite capture his rebel spirit and creative yearnings. 

“As I was packing up to head out on the road, I knew that I was willfully choosing to sling-shot myself into the unknown. Once this new album makes its way out of my mind and into the world, I’ll find out where exactly I landed: daisies or dive bars.” He chuckled.

Growing up in the small town where Bret Micheals and Bobby Dall cut their teeth, Royce Leon convinced his parents to trade the piano keys for blues lessons.

Though white suburbia posed challenges for finding a blues mentor, his determination led him to explore other musical passions. He found solace in singing, from church choirs to high school  a cappella groups. Yet his love for literature and poetry remained dormant until a major back injury sidelined him, giving him the time to explore his musical talents further.

The healing power of music became evident as Royce Leon spent countless nights playing the guitar while singing songs, nursing his wounds both physical and emotional. His artistic process evolved, primarily driven by words flowing through his mind, creating a unique approach to songwriting.

“The process of telling people where you are going to be in 6 months is always unnerving. Finally getting to those places I’ve only fantasized about, and making meaningful connections with people I meet along the way, will keep me ticking for a lifetime.”

For the past five years, Royce Leon has honed his skills while raising his young children, blending life’s experiences with his newfound passion for music. Now, he stands at the threshold, ready to share his soulful tunes and heartfelt lyrics with the world.

Royce Leon: The Troubadour’s Brand

Royce Leon’s music embodies authenticity and substance, qualities often overshadowed in today’s music industry. His debut album, “For Freedom,” marked the commencement of his musical career at the age of 33. Since then, he has embarked on a journey from the rugged landscapes of the Olympic Peninsula to the vibrant music scene of the Bay Area.

His dedication to the art of the troubadour shines through in every note he plays and every lyric he sings. There’s no smoke and mirrors in Royce Leon’s performances; what you see and hear is an artist pouring his heart and soul into his craft.

Royce Leon’s stage presence and lyrical depth have earned him the privilege of sharing the stage with renowned acts like The Muddy Souls, Electric Tumbleweed with Barry Sless, Matt Sircely, Sebastian Saint James, and The Highway Poets. In an era dominated by auto-tuned pop hits, Royce Leon offers listeners a contemplative experience, offering perspectives born from introspection and exploration of both the inner mind and the outer world.

One astute listener once remarked, “Ahh, not another God song… actually, this reminds me of Leonard Cohen with a hint of Jackson Browne.” Such comparisons highlight Royce Leon’s unique ability to weave spirituality and introspection into his music without falling into clichés.

Royce Leon’s musical influences span a wide range, drawing inspiration from legends like Jerry Jeff Walker, Blaze Foley, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Todd Snider, Colter Wall, Mac Miller, and a host of “Johns” including Mayall, Mayer, Prine, Hartford, and Craige. Brent Cobb’s tunes and the eclectic selections found on community radio also contribute to his sonic palette.

A Troubadour’s Journey Continues

Royce Leon’s journey has been a testament to the enduring power of music to heal, inspire, and connect. His recent adventures include a summer tour that began with six shows but expanded to eight, including a spontaneous late-night campfire performance at the High Sierra Music Festival and a lively 4th of July Private Block party in Petaluma.

For years, Royce Leon limited his gigs to a three-hour drive radius to ensure he could return home to his family. However, this year, he embraced the troubadour lifestyle, hitting the road solo to explore new horizons, share his stories, and serenade audiences with his tunes. Notably, his serendipitous encounter with musician and producer Jay Chavez of Thistle Dew Productions has opened new doors for his musical journey.

Royce Leon’s collaboration with Jay Chavez promises to yield his first fully professionally recorded and produced album, with finishing touches to be added at Hilltop Studios in Nashville. This exciting development marks a significant milestone in his career, propelling his music to greater heights.

Royce Leon’s musical odyssey from childhood piano lessons to troubadour stages is a testament to the transformative power of passion and determination. His unique brand of music, marked by authenticity and introspection, sets him apart in a music industry often dominated by trends. As Royce Leon continues to journey from his living room to stages across the nation, his captivating voice and heartfelt lyrics will undoubtedly find their way into the hearts and ears of music enthusiasts willing to embrace an old soul’s melodies in the 21st century. Royce Leon is a true diamond in the rough, and his journey has only just begun.

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