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words and music
from the north woods



Leslie Alexander grew up on an Alberta sheep farm and couldn't wait to hit the road, make a bunch of mistakes and write about them. She wound up singing on a Vancouver street corner for spare change and does not consider this a mistake. It all led to her new incarnation as Mrs. Jeb Butler, and life in the North Woods.

She quit her first "real job" as Editor for Vancouver's Personal Success Magazine, taking her songs from coffeehouses to concert halls and folk clubs to festivals. From Victoria to St. John, San Francisco to New York City, she toured with her own band, Barney Bentall's Grand Cariboo Express and Jenny Allen, also opening for and appearing with the likes of Jane Siberry, Corb Lund, Mary Gauthier, and Harry Manx. Along the way, she created four acclaimed collections of original recordings with the multiple award-winning producer John Macarthur Ellis. Her songs were selected for compilations including such artists as Bruce Springsteen, Randy Bachman, the Barenaked Ladies, and the Odds. Meanwhile, she became a regular contributor of features and reviews for Roots Music Canada, BC Musician, Words and Music and Vancouver Parent Magazine.

Her music has been compared to Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Rosanne Cash, Kathleen Edwards and Ray LaMontagne. It has been licensed to television shows DaVinci's Inquest and Roadtrip Nation, as well as the National Film Board of Canada. Artists including Taylor James, Angela Harris, Shane Chisholm, and many more have covered Leslie's songs on their own releases. Three tracks from her records Garden in the Stones and Nobody's Baby received honourable mentions in Billboard's World Song Contest.


She returned to her home town of High River, Alberta, just in time for the great flood of 2013. Her single and career retrospective compilation "High River Strong," produced by Leeroy Stagger, raised funds and spirits across Alberta, and prompted a career change from touring musician to her second "real job" as a nurse. She went to work in mental health and kept her chops up with her classic rock cover band "Four Wheel Drive," appearing for community and fundraising events. 

Today Leslie Alexander is better known as Leslie Noel Butler - married to wilderness survival expert and photographer Jeffrey Eaton Butler - aka "Jeb." Her "real job" is writing and learning in a heritage hunting camp in Northern New Brunswick, playing her music mostly on the back porch with friends. Her current work in creative non-fiction has appeared in literary magazines including Queen's Quarterly, the Humber Literary Review, Open Minds Quarterly and Existere.  

Check out her take on the Canadian music scene at Roots Music Canada.  Follow her on Quora and subscribe to her blog to receive news, stories, and free downloads.


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