With only a single album and a four song EP to his name, Logan Ledger has garnered the kind of attention usually reserved for artists with a far lengthier track record and years of collected kudos behind them. Likewise, with a prestigious producer like T Bone Burnett sitting behind the boards, and a cast of collaborators that includes guitarist Marc Ribot, bassist Dennis Crouch and drummer Jay Bellerose, Ledger’s credibility was immediate and authentic.
Nevertheless, despite that accomplishment, Ledger came across as decidedly down to earth, when on April 28, he helmed a Behind the Mic session exclusively for American Songwriter. The fact that he shared his songs from his kitchen reflected his decidedly unassuming attitude. Wisely, he chose to open his three song set with one of the highlights from his eponymous LP, a song called “Starlight,” which is described on his website as “a love-sick paean to self-delusion.” That appraisal aside, he went into further detail after being asked about how the song actually came about.
“The lyrics came to me in the shower,” he explained. “I had the line about how starlight turns into daylight. It became the kind of country song that was once so popular in the ‘50s and ‘60s… kind of a hillbilly haiku. It sort of wrote itself, and I took a less is more approach by using fewer words… like a Willie Nelson song in a way.”
That suited the set-up just fine. “It was a one attempt wonder,” Ledger explained. “And that’s kinda unusual for me. I didn’t overthink it. It’s one of the more traditional country songs on the record. We ran through it once and it was already a keeper.”
According to Ledger, it all evolved spontaneously. He credits guitarist and pedal steel player Russell Pahl with coming up with the unusual instrumental break that leads into the final refrain. He noted that the arrangement emerged out of a jam, and after the initial run-through, the musicians were able to keep that instrumentation intact. Naturally, that bit of flourish was absent in Ledger’s simple acoustic read, but the sweet sentiments also became all the more apparent in the process.
“I’ve gotta keep things fresh,” Ledger noted as he summed things up. “Fresh for everyone, including myself.”
If you dig the tunes of Logan Ledger, you can make a purchase on his online store.