Leeland (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
L-R: Leeland Mooring, Mike Smith, Jack Mooring, Jake Holtz
Background information
Origin Baytown, Texas, United States
Genres Christian rock, CCM, progressive rock[1][2]
Years active 2000–present[3]
Labels Essential, Provident Label Group, Sony BMG, Reunion
Website www.leelandonline.com
Members Leeland Mooring
Jack Mooring
Mike Smith
Shelly Roberts
Casey Moore
Past members Jake Holtz
Jeremiah Wood
Matt Campbell
Austin Tirado

Leeland is a Christian rock band from Baytown, Texas. The band was formed in 2004, although lead singer Leeland Mooring had been writing songs beforehand. Leeland is composed of Leeland Mooring (lead vocals, guitar), Jack Mooring (backing vocals, keyboards), Casey Moore (guitar), Shelly Roberts (bass, backing vocals) and Mike Smith (drums). The band's original line-up included Jeremiah Wood, who left the band in late 2006 and was replaced by guitarist Matt Campbell in late spring of 2007.

Leeland has released four studio albums, receiving a Grammy Award nomination and two Dove Award nominations for their debut album Sound of Melodies (2006).[4][5] The band's third album, Love Is on the Move, was released on August 25, 2009.

Leeland's fourth studio album, The Great Awakening, was released on September 20, 2011, and received a nomination to the 54th Grammy Awards for Best Contemporary Christian Music Album.[6]

Band history[edit]


Lead singer Leeland Mooring wrote his first song, "Shine," at the age of 11.[7] After giving a successful performance of the song at a church in Illinois, the Mooring family began touring the United States.[8] When he was 14, Mooring entered into Embassy Music’s Ultimate Talent Search contest in Nashville, Tennessee, becoming a finalist in the songwriting and artist divisions.[3] Although he did not win the competition, one of the contest's judges, Kent Coley (now the band's manager) took interest in the young teen.[3] A year later, Eddie DeGarmo, President of EMI CMG Publishing, also expressed interest in Mooring, and the two signed a songwriting contract on EMI/Capitol Music Group.[3] Less than a year later, Leeland Mooring, his older brother Jack Mooring, their cousin Jake Holtz, and friends Jeremiah Wood and Mike Smith, whom the Moorings had known for several years,[9] officially signed as a band onto Essential Records, a subsidiary of Sony BMG's Provident Label Group.[10] The five members began practicing at night after youth group in their church's building, which doubled as a funeral home.[3][11] Leeland Mooring's first name was used as the band's name because the members said that "it sounded cool".[12]

Sound of Melodies[edit]

Drummer Mike Smith in 2007

Leeland began recording for their debut release, Sound of Melodies, in 2005, with Matt Bronleewe, Marc Byrd, and Steve Hindalong producing the album. It was released in the USA on August 15, 2006. At the 49th Grammy Awards on December 7, 2006, the album was nominated for Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album.[13] In 2007 the band received five GMA Dove Award nominations, including "New Artist of the Year"[14] and two nominations for their debut album Sound of Melodies.[5] The album was also released in Japan on March 21, 2007, with the title song, "Sound of Melodies," peaking at No. 6 on the general Japan radio chart.[15]

The band has worked closely with Christian music legend Michael W. Smith, who remarked, "Leeland is the best thing I have heard in a long, long time".[16] Leeland Mooring co-wrote six songs on Smith's album Stand, and wrote one song by himself.[17] Jack Mooring married Smith's daughter Whitney Smith-Mooring on June 1, 2007.[18]

After four years as a member of Leeland, Jeremiah Wood left the band in October 2006 to pursue other endeavors.[19] Austin Tirado was hired as a temporary guitar player until February 2007. In February, Matt Campbell was hired as a temporary guitarist; he was added as an official band member after three months.

Opposite Way[edit]

Leeland's second studio album, Opposite Way, was recorded in Nashville, Tennessee.[20] In November 2007, the band announced that the album would release on February 26, 2008.[20] Lead singer Leeland Mooring commented, "[Opposite Way] is primarily a call to our generation to passionately walk the 'opposite way' from the world, that it’s OK to live the Christian life and to be on fire for God, even if it makes us look different."[21][22] In its debut week of release, Opposite Way peaked at No. 72 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart,[23][24] and also reached No. 1 on the iTunes Christian Albums chart.[25] Starting in September 2007, Leeland began touring with Grammy Award-winning band Casting Crowns on their The Altar and the Door tour. The tour continued until May 1, 2008,[26] and was named the "highest-grossing Christian tour of the year" touring through 83 cities.[27]

The band's song "Tears of the Saints" from their debut album received two Dove Award nominations in 2008.[28] Lead singer Leeland Mooring was nominated for "Songwriter of the Year" and co-writer of the song "Be Lifted High" with Michael W. Smith.[28] Their song "Brighter Days," from the Opposite Way album, was featured in the June 22, 2008, episode of the television show Army Wives.[29] The show's music supervisor, Frankie Pine, commented, "We thought the use of 'Brighter Days' in this episode of Army Wives was moving, and was the perfect fit for what we were looking for".[29] The song was also featured on the soundtrack of Fireproof, a film featuring actor Kirk Cameron.

In December 2008, the band's Opposite Way album was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category Best Pop/Contemporary Gospel Album.[30]

Love Is on the Move[edit]

Leeland's third studio album, titled Love Is on the Move, was released on August 25, 2009, in the United States.[31] The album's lead single "Follow You", which includes vocals from singer-songwriter Brandon Heath, was released to Christian radio on August 7.[32] In September, the band launched their "Follow You" Tour, co-headlining with Brandon Heath and featuring Francesca Battistelli as an opening act.[32][33]

In early 2011, only a few months before the release of their fourth studio album, bassist Jake Holtz left the band to pursue a career with the US Army.[34]

The Great Awakening[edit]

Leeland's fourth studio album, The Great Awakening, was released on September 20, 2011.[citation needed]

Musical style[edit]

Leeland's musical style has been defined as "alternative CCM"[35] and "progressive rock".[16] The band's songs have been defined as "melodic" with "Brit pop/rock" influences,[36][37] being compared to Coldplay, Keane, Travis and U2.[36][37]

Their first album, Sound of Melodies, has been described as "sometimes worshipful, always melodic".[37] Leeland's style moved in a more rock direction with their second album Opposite Way. Allmusic reviewer Jared Johnson noted that the band "cemented their sound by creating electrifying walls of guitar" with their second release, having the same "energetic and melodic" sound as their first album.[38] Of their third album Love is on the Move, Christian youth magazine StreetBrand said the album shows "just how much they have matured musically as a group, creatively as songwriters and spiritually as a band with a penchant for God-pleasing worship."[39]

Band members[edit]

  • Leeland Dayton Mooring – lead vocals, guitar
  • Jack Anthony Mooring – backing vocals, keyboard
  • Casey Moore - lead guitar
  • Shelly Roberts – bass
  • Mike Smith – drums

Former members[edit]

  • Jake Holtz – bass (2004–2011)
  • Matt Campbell - guitar (2007–2009)
  • Austin Tirado - guitar (2006–2007)
  • Jeremiah Wood – guitar (2002–2006)


Grammy Award nominations
GMA Dove Award nominations
  • 2007: New Artist of the Year
  • 2007: Rock/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year – "Sound of Melodies"
  • 2007: Worship Song of the Year – "Yes You Have"
  • 2007: Praise & Worship Album of the Year – Sound of Melodies
  • 2007: Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year – Sound of Melodies
  • 2008: Song of the Year – "Tears of the Saints"
  • 2008: Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year – "Tears of the Saints"
  • 2009: Praise & Worship Album of the Year – Opposite Way


Studio albums 4
Singles 10
Music videos 2

Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Label(s) Chart positions
US Billboard 200 US Heatseekers US Top Independent Albums Top Christian albums NZ Album Charts
2006 Sound of Melodies Essential 2 14
2008 Opposite Way Essential 72[23] 9 4
2009 Love is on the Move Reunion 84 5 21
2011 The Great Awakening Essential 164 11

Other albums[edit]


Year Title Peak Chart Positions Album
2006 "Sound of Melodies" Sound of Melodies
"Tears of the Saints"
"Yes You Have"
2007 "Reaching"
"Count Me In" No. 10 on CHR Radio (March 5, 2008)[23] Opposite Way
2008 "Opposite Way"
2009 "Follow You" No. 7 Billboard Hot Christian Songs Love is On the Move
2010 "New Creation"
2011 "The Great Awakening" The Great Awakening
"I Wonder"

Music videos[edit]

Compilation appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Progressive Progress: Texas prog rock band Leeland set to release album". Cross Rhythms. 2006-05-20. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Leeland". Your Music Zone. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d e "Leeland - Biography". CCM magazine.com. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  4. ^ "Leeland Ready for Grammys, Visit Canada". Soul Shine Magazine. 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  5. ^ a b 38th Annual GMA Dove Awards Album of the Year Nominees & Winners, About.com: Christian Music
  6. ^ Nominees And Winners | GRAMMY.com
  7. ^ Whitfield, Lindsay (2006-07-19). "A Sound of Melodies Rises Up". Soul Shine Magazine. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  8. ^ "Featured Worship Leader". www.worshiptogether.com. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  9. ^ "Leeland - Music". Christian Music Today. Archived from the original on 2008-05-16. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  10. ^ Price, Deborah Evans (2008-03-02). "Touring fuels songwriting for Christian band Leeland". Reuters. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  11. ^ "Leeland Biography". 1 Cubed. Retrieved 2008-05-11. 
  12. ^ Breimeier, Russ (2006-08-21). "Leeland, 08/06 - Interview". Christian Music Today. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  13. ^ "Leeland Receives Grammy Nomination for Sounds of Melodies". CMSpin. 2007-12-08. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  14. ^ Jones, Kim. "38th Annual GMA Awards Nominations & Winners". About.com. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  15. ^ "Leeland's Debut Album Drops in Japan". BREATHECast.com. 2007-03-30. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  16. ^ a b "Biography". Artist Direct. Retrieved 2008-05-28. 
  17. ^ Swartzendruber, Jay. "Michael W. Smith and Leeland Mooring: Eye 2 Eye". CCM Magazine. Crosswalk.com. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  18. ^ Farias, Andree (2007-07-09). "The Scoop". Christian Music Today. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  19. ^ "Leeland Guitarist Departs". Soul Shine Magazine. 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  20. ^ a b "Leeland Announce New Album Details". Soul Shine Magazine. 2007-11-20. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  21. ^ "Leeland : Opposite Way CD". IndependentBands.com. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  22. ^ "Opposite Way - LEELAND". BREATHEcast.com. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  23. ^ a b c "Leeland’s Opposite Way Going in the Right Direction". CCM Magazine. 2008-03-05. Retrieved 2008-04-06. 
  24. ^ "Opposite Way". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-04-07. [dead link]
  25. ^ "Leeland's Opposite Way Reaches No. 1 at iTunes Christian Albums Sales Chart During Street Week". CCM Magazine. 2008-02-29. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  26. ^ "Leeland Shoots Music Video for "Count Me In"". Provident Label Group. Jesus Freak Hideout. 2008-01-07. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  27. ^ "Casting Crowns' The Altar And The Door Tour Named Highest-Grossing Christian Tour Of The Year". CCM Magazine. 2008-05-08. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  28. ^ a b "Dove Awards 2008". DoveAwards.com. Archived from the original on 2008-04-06. Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  29. ^ a b "Internet Exclusives: Leeland's Brighter Days used on Lifetime Network". HM Magazine. 2008-06-29. Retrieved 2008-07-16. 
  30. ^ Kim Jones. "2009 GRAMMY Awards". About.com. Retrieved 2009-01-04. 
  31. ^ "Leeland Discography". Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  32. ^ a b "Christian pop crew Leeland links up with Nashville's Brandon Heath for album, tour". The Tennessean. July 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-02. [dead link]
  33. ^ [1][dead link]
  34. ^ "Jake Holtz Departs Leeland". February 17, 2011. Retrieved 2012-12-10. [dead link]
  35. ^ Monger, James. "Leeland > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  36. ^ a b Breimeier, Russ. "Leeland - Opposite Way". Christian Music Today. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  37. ^ a b c Breimeier, Russ. "Leeland - Sound of Melodies". Christian Music Today. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  38. ^ Johnson, Jared. "Opposite Way > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-05-22. 
  39. ^ StreetBrand. "Love Is On The Move > Review". StreetBrand. Retrieved 2009-08-07. [dead link]

External links[edit]