Folk-singing duo wows Border Concert

Neal & Leandra, a singer/songwriter duo currently causing quite a stir in the folk music world, appeared on the Backus Auditorium stage in International Falls on Sunday, Dec. 9 in the latest concert of this season’s Border Concert series.
The husband-and-wife team took little time in winning over the audience with their excellent musicianship, beautiful harmony, and finely-crafted original songs.
Their easy-going manner, self-deprecating, funny stories, and genuine warmth made the evening seem almost like a gathering of old friends around the fireplace.
Neal & Leandra’s show, entitled “Holiday Memories,” included many seasonal standards, as well as folk songs sung in German, Spanish, Swedish, and French.
Light-hearted numbers, such as “Santa Wants to be a Cowboy” and a parody of Hank Snow’s “I’ve Been Everywhere”—sung from Santa’s perspective—kept the audience chuckling.
The musicianship and vocal harmonies of Neal & Leandra were exquisitely beautiful, and their ability to emotionally move the audience with the simplicity of voice and acoustic guitar was remarkable.
Leandra’s honey-smooth voice simply melted the hearts of the listeners as she sang “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and “Silent Night.”
One could almost hear the collective sigh in the auditorium as the last note faded. Few singers have the power to capture the audience like Leandra can.
Many pundits in the music business are predicting Neal & Leandra are destined to go on to greatness in the world of folk music. If last week’s show was any indication, Border Concert members would agree heartily.
The evening spent with Neal & Leandra was over all too quickly but these “Holiday Memories” surely will linger for a long while.