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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Singer/Songwriter Leeann Atherton Shares New Music and Pecan Pie Recipe

Leeann Atherton’s Plain Ol’ Pecan Pie aka Twice Baked Pecan Pie

This Pecan Pie took home first place in the Peace Thru Pie Social. Winning a pie social in Texas with a Pecan Pie recipe is a big deal!

Growing up as a child in the newly integrated south, I remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s message of equality and peace. He inspired me as a person and songwriter. He is my Hero.

I think the only thing separating this pie recipe from other pecan pie recipes is that I had come in late from a gig, baked the pie with a lot of love and some heartbreak, and then got sleepy – so I left the pie in the oven to cool, and finished baking it in the morning before the pie social. Thus “Twice- Baked Pecan Pie”- extra flaky crust and crispy pecans= perfection.

1 pie shell- homemade or use a roll out pie dough, NOT a pre-formed pie crust

½ cup melted salted butter

1 cup sugar

½ cup light corn syrup

3 eggs

1 cup pecans (or more to cover entire top)

1 tsp vanilla (I always pour more)

½ tsp salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake pie shell partially- 5-7 minutes. Poke a few fork marks in it first, though. Allow it to cool and reduce oven heat to 375 degrees.

While pie shell is cooling, cream together the butter, sugar, corn syrup and eggs. Mix in some pecans, vanilla and salt. Fill the shell with the yumminess, then decorate the top with whole pecan pieces to completely cover the top of the shell. Bake about 30 minutes .Turn off the oven and leave the pecan pie in the oven to cool. Go to bed! Finish baking 15-20 minutes in the morning without preheating, just set at 375 degrees. The pie is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Serve warm or room temperature, with or without vanilla ice cream.

Singer/songwriter Leeann Atherton is known far and wide for her powerful, larger than life vocals, imbuing every performance with a stirring passion. Her voice is a force of nature, as electrifying and volatile as the weather in her hometown of Austin, TX. It has been said that she combines Bonnie Raitt’s grit and Billie Holiday’s understated soulfulness with her own exuberant spirit into a sound all her own that is equal parts honey and gunpowder. Like the singer herself, who came to Austin via Charleston and Nashville, her songwriting suitcase is full of a seamless blend of twang, soul, gospel and blues owing a lot to Leeann Atherton’s background. Steeped in southern roots, stewed in Texas blues, raised by a hillbilly housewife and an Alabama gentleman in Charleston, SC, she put herself through college singing in a beach music dance band. Leeann studied the spirituals of the South Carolina islands, sat in with a rural black choir, and joined the hardened professionals at work in Nashville song factories. “I loved the way those Ft. Worth boys sang 'baby,'” she gleams. A road trip to Texas was all it took, and Leeann’s independent roots flourished in the fertile musical ground of Austin Her first Texas recording sessions at Willie Nelson’s Pedernales Studio introduced her to acclaimed guitarist and producer, Rich Brotherton where the two quickly formed a musical friendship resulting in her first independent release Only Glory. Rich was then chosen by Steppin Stone Records to produce her acclaimed Americana recording Lady Liberty, garnering #1 in local and independent charts (Austin Chronicle, No Depression), and receiving international airplay. Her journey continued with self-produced releases Mama’s House an acoustic/electric blend of twang and folk and Every Day Dream a soulful look at the blues. Along the way Leeann caught the attention of the legendary Slim Richey resulting in the two recording a CD of Jazz standards together titled Limited Edition before returning to her roots with Heart Traveled Road, once again with Rich Brotherton in the producers’ seat, along with a hand-picked cast of Austin’s #1 List of session players. Barefoot Fields would come along next for Leeann and Rich and is an intimate collection of low-key torch songs and Leeann admits, “I wanted something that reminded me of my folky, hippie days. It’s stripped down, laid back and cozy.” Atherton added, “I like to lose myself in a song and working with Rich made that easy to do. His ability to flesh out the harmonies brought out the best in the songs.” Her latest release Fallen Angel takes the singer in a new, but not unfamiliar, direction complete with a full-band sound that covers a wide range of emotions brilliantly and highlights the veteran performer’s extensive range. Produced by Mac McNabb the record features some amazing performances by another group of great Austin musicians including a resurrected drum track featuring Barry “Frosty” Smith, one of Leeann’s longtime friends and former bandmates. In a recent review of the new album for Americana Highways, Bill Bentley had this to say: “… all twelve songs paint a portrait of someone who’s been chasing the sound long enough to know it’s the journey and not the destination that supplies the kicks, and eternity can often be found in the questions that never really need to be answered. As a special sign-off, Atherton’s a capella “Motherless Children’s Club,” sung spontaneously at her mother’s memorial, reminds us all where we came from, and where we’re going. Right on time.” Margaret Moser of the Austin Chronicle affirms, “When it comes to barn burning vocalists from Austin, TX, they don’t come any hotter than Leeann Atherton. She’s got Southern fireball pipes that don’t quit and an indefatigable spirit.” She’s able to shake your body and lift you up, while keeping your feet firmly anchored to the earth. Truly a Fallen Angel among us


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