Top Contemporary Blues Final Roundup for 2004.....#7 & #21 in the Top 50 for the year 2004.

M.T. LEON

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  Born in the tobacco rich Piedmont of North Carolina, and later moving as teen to Muscle Shoals/Florence Alabama, M.T. Leon was baptized in the Blues early on. While working in the summer on the tobacco farm, cropping and barning tobacco, break times and sometimes early evenings were spent listening to old songs, and stories by the older black men he worked with. Late at night M.T. would lay on his pallet in that old farm shack, trying to catch the far off distant signal of WLAC radio in Nashville, Tennessee.

  Sometimes he was almost too tired to work in those fields after a night with the Hoss Man, John R., and the endless pitching of hypnotic Blues and Gospel of Randy's Record Mart. M.T. discovered that the rock hero's of the day were stealing songs and calling them there own. M.T. had begun to play the guitar by the fourth grade in school, so by the time he was 15 years old he already started playing some of the clubs in the area. He was so excited when he was paid that first $7.00. He developed a burning desire to discover where his first love originated. His school, became the Black Churches and the "Chitlin' Circuit," studying the extensive record collection he was acquiring and playing guitar throughout the South and Eastern Seaboard, developing what eventually became his nickname, "MT" / "Magic Tone". Before he was 20 he had performed at Carnegie Hall, and the Apollo Theatre in New York, and on the same stages with the likes of Candi Staton, Clarence Carter, Tower of Power, Graham Central Station, Sly Stone.

  Barely a man, he had the wonderful experience of meeting one of his mentors, Freddie King , and was able to jam with him in a motel in Florence, Alabama after bringing Freddie and his band some "party favors". M.T. tried to raise a family on the road, but ended up putting the guitar down for a while and went into business in Florida, becoming the Music Director of a Baptist Church, and working in sales and marketing for a Nashville record distributor. After a couple of failed marriages, and much heartache, and troubles, the Blues really began to mean more to M.T. than they ever had as a young man. He decided in 1999, to "come home" to his roots, and begin his career all over again. He resides near the Devil's Backbone, or the famous Natchez Trace, where he cattle farms between rare concert perfomrnaces.


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