Singer and songwriter Jeff LeBlanc is no stranger to Westhampton Beach. Growing up in Center Moriches, he honed his craft playing outside of the Beach Bakery Café on Main Street. He later graced the stage of the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, just down the street, as an opener for Duncan Sheik and Brett Dennen. Now, on Friday, June 9, LeBlanc will headline WHBPAC for the first time.
LeBlanc will bring his band from the city to play in the show. “A lot of people have only seen me do acoustic,” he notes. “It’ll be a cool feeling to go from singing outside the bakery to [headlining] here.”
LeBlanc comes to WHBPAC fresh off of a North American tour with Boz Scaggs. “I’m touring like a madman,” LeBlanc says. After the Westhampton show, LeBlanc will be back on the road again with Scaggs, playing all over the country. “I love taking in the nuances of each place,” he says of his live performances.
Despite all of his traveling, Leblanc has been getting back to writing music again, and is now considering releasing individual songs as he finishes them—as opposed to a full–length album. “People don’t have the attention span for a full album all the time,” he notes. LeBlanc says that a challenge for any artist is to “create tension,” whereby you give people just enough content that they ask for more.
LeBlanc released his last album, Vision, in 2015. “It’s funny, because people are re-discovering the album now,” he says. The album’s songs are on various Spotify playlists, which has helped to increase its momentum. “With that album, I dug deeper than I ever had before. Half of the album was inspired by a recent breakup, half was about turning 30,” he says. The album was produced after a successful Kickstarter campaign, where incentives included LeBlanc playing living room concerts for donors.
LeBlanc’s path to music began at Center Moriches High School, where he took a recording techniques class. He attended Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, and decided to pursue music full time after graduation. He released his first EP, Singles, in 2009, and has since released three albums that have reached the Top 20 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart—Worth Holding On To (2011), My Own Way There (2013) and Vision.
LeBlanc has toured the country with a number of artists, including Gavin DeGraw, Chris Stepleton, Colbie Caillat, Daughtry, Parachute, Chris Isaak and Rachel Platten. He cites Platten in particular as an inspiration, as she released three independent albums over a decade before rising to international acclaim with her hit “Fight Song.”
“You just never know,” says LeBlanc about the life of a musician. Over the years, LeBlanc has grown as an artist, and he has tempered his outlook to be more optimistic than pessimistic. “I try to work in my own world now,” he says. “If I made a few hundred people happy [with my music], that’s worth it. I’m trying to grow and enjoy the moment and appreciate what I have.”
He’s currently working on releasing a music video for a cover of “Fly Me to the Moon.” LeBlanc recorded the song on SiriusXM The Coffee House, and the performance received an overwhelmingly positive response.
LeBlanc is looking forward to a similar reaction to his set come June. “The pressure is on,” he laughs. “I’m really excited to play, and I’m looking forward to a homecoming vibe.”
Jeff LeBlanc plays Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach, on Friday, June 9 at 8 p.m. For tickets ($25) and info, call 631-288-1500 or visit whbpac.org.