Electronic Press Kit

King Leo album cover
King Leo album cover
Hi-res photo, image by Aria Nader-Turner
Hi-res photo, image by Aria Nader-Turner
Photo by Nick George Creative
Photo by Nick George Creative

Bio and press:

“King” Leo LaDell is one of Aotearoa’s best kept musical secrets. Born in Norfolk Virginia,  LaDell has shared the stage with legends such as Pinetop Perkins and Bo Diddley. Leo brings his own powerful and dignified presence to a blend of traditional blues idioms and original music. After moving to Dunedin, New Zealand in 2004, Leo has been delivering some of the country’s best, most deeply felt live performances and has built a loyal following. With his voice, harmonica, guitar and piano, Leo has crafted a distinctive, compelling blues sound.

In June 2022, King Leo went into Pōneke’s Surgery Studios with a hand-picked band to record an album on his terms. The result is an organic 11 track project spanning Blues, Gospel and even Country, featuring compositions by Leo, producer/guitarist Chris Armour and his son Oscar. The album bursts with life and passion and conveys Leo’s love both for other people and for the music itself.











From the Radio NZ review of King Leo’s LP Revival:

“LaDell’s songs are heartfelt and personal, and while secular, sometimes employ religious

metaphors to carry a general message of being kind to others, and grateful for small mercies. King Leo’s Revival is a lovely album, which I’d recommend to anyone with a taste for blues of almost any kind. And it’s on vinyl as well as CD, and the vinyl sounds – feels and looks – particularly good.”

From NZ Musician about the band:

“Firing on all cylinders they sound like true survivors of the Chess Records’ era, stripped back they sound like the perfect Muscle Shoals’ session band.”

From roots music journal No Depression:

“If the audience is a soulful bunch of fish then King Leo has hooked them by now and they’re in the boat. Blues enthusiasts won’t be able to turn away from this tasty presentation. It’s all done with expertise and no flash – nothing over worked or top heavy.