"Living in the Woods’ is bliss | SummitDaily.com

"Living in the Woods’ is bliss

FRISCO – Leon Joseph Littlebird started writing songs when he was 4, but it wasn’t until he had a life-threatening bout with cancer that he decided to follow music wherever it took him.

Littlebird discovered his love for music under a grand piano when he was 4. He would prop himself up with pillows and sing into the soundboard, which caused his voice to reverberate. He made up songs to the instrumental pop music his mom listened to on the radio and found his first fan: His mom would lean into the piano and tell him, “I like your words better than the real words.”

He started his first band, called The What Next, when he was 12 and played at pool parties, sock hops and high school dances for six years. He started playing solo gigs in coffeehouses, but a career in the fashion industry sidetracked him from playing music full-time.

After 18 years – including a few years in New York – in the fashion industry, doctors diagnosed him with leukemia and told him he had 18 months to live. He went through chemotherapy and one day, experienced a “miraculous recovery.”

The second chance gave him the freedom to fully follow his passion, which he always knew revolved around music.

“If you receive (cancer) as a gift, it can be the best thing that’s ever happened to you,” Littlebird said. “It can transform your life and bring you closer to what’s really here for you.”

He wrote the first song on his new CD, “Living in the Woods,” about the day he decided to let go of his city-based, high-paying fashion job and follow his bliss – being a singer and songwriter.

The rest of his songs on the new CD are a collection of original folk, rock and blues – with a little humor thrown in for good measure. He wails about the “didn’t know what to choose blues” when he went to Starbucks Coffee for the first time in “Global Caffeine Blues.” “I’d Rather Get the Blues” talks about a Summit County man who works three jobs and spends all of his money on a woman, even though he’s not getting anywhere in the romance.

He recorded the CD with Kim S. Anderson – a friend he has known and performed with since he was 19. Collectively, the two musicians play 13 different instruments on the CD.

“We dreamed of doing a CD of my original music,” Littlebird said. “(While recording), our faces would be hurting we’d be smiling so much. It’s a celebration of friendship. It’s a celebration of following your dream, of following your bliss, which is all this CD is about.”

Littlebird showcases his songwriting ability in the CD.

“I really see myself not only as a good songwriter, but also as a lyricist,” he said. “Those two have to go hand in hand. I really work hard at weaving the craft – taking catchy, simple melodies, building them into a musical phrase and telling a story. I love that combination of taking musical phrases and weaving them with great lyrics so that there’s a texture to it. I like to take each song and give it its own stand-alone texture and feel.”

Littlebird’s CD release party starts at 9 p.m. today at the Blue Spruce Inn in Frisco.

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at


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