Photo Courtesy of Jeff LeBlanc
Food Musings with Singer/songwriter Jeff LeBlanc From Simon’s Beach Bakery to Joe’s Pub
By Maryann Kraker
Jeff LeBlanc’s first single Until We Get It Right quickly entered into the rotation of Sirius/XM’s The Coffee House and lead to his nomination as Sirius/XM “Singer/Songwriter Discovery of the Year”. His latest record, Worth Holding On To, released in August 2011 brought him to national attention, when it hit #3 on the iTunes top 200 Singer/Songwriter Chart. Jeff recently played to a sold out audience at the legendary Joe’s Pub in New York City and has toured with artists such as the Goo Goo Dolls, Shelby Lynne, Matt Nathanson, Chris Isaak and David Archuleta. Jeff recently released his new album My Own Way There which was recorded in Nashville and debuted in the Top 10 of the ITunes singer/songwriter chart.
MK: I understand you would sing near Simon’s Beach Bakery out in Westhampton. Do you have some favorite treats from the bake shop?
JLB: That place is legendary. It’s actually where I got my start. The crowds were so big in the summertime and they’re open all night. I could literally order anything there… I usually go with the mini-desserts; mini-cheesecakes, cream puffs and mousse pies. However the cream croissant is my new favorite.
MK: I also read that you waited on tables during the day while performing at night when you were starting out. Any lessons learned from waiting tables that helps you today with the music industry?
JLB: I did. Waiting tables teaches you patience. You also have to have to build a good rapport with your customers. When you’re on stage, the audiences are your customers as well. It also made me crave being on stage that much more.
MK: Do you have any food rituals on the day of a performance?
JLB: I really stay away from heavy and spicy food before a show, you have to feel your best on stage. Drinking water all day is major for me.
MK: What kind of places do you like to eat while on tour?
JLB: Depending on where I am, I try to go with something that’s popular in the local community. For example, every time I’m in the Boston area, you’ll probably find me at the Friendly Toast. but you have to try and find them.
MK: I understand you recorded two albums in Nashville? They have a great food scene there. Where did you find yourself eating? Any favorites from your time spent there?
JLB: The food scene in Nashville is incredible. Since I’m usually there for a few weeks at a time, I try to experience as many places as I can. Of course the classic “meat and threes” and BBQ joints are what Nashville is known for and they never disappoint. However, I really like the Calypso Café, which is Caribbean themed.
MK: Any thoughts on why so many musicians are expressing themselves not only through the music but with food?
JLB: I’m not really sure. So many people always say that music and food are so closely connected. I think people are really hungry (pun intended) for creativity with their food these days. The expansion of social media has also brought fans closer to their favorite artists interests than ever before. A lot of venues are also bridging the connection with music and food as well. For example, some of my favorite places to play are Joe’s Pub in NYC and World Café Live in Philadelphia. They also have amazing menus.