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BEST VOCALIST (FEMALE) Minneapolis 2005 - Leandra Hagberg

She doesn't send out e-mails or postcards about her next big gig, because she doesn't have a next big gig. She doesn't hang out in any scene, because, as is usually the case, most great singers are scenes unto themselves. Sometimes, she doesn't even sing. When she does, it's almost reluctantly, with her husband Neal Hagberg, as part of the veteran local folk duo Neal and Leandra. Whenever she takes a solo turn, however, it's the sort of heart-stinging experience that makes ears prick up and pay wonder to her God-given talent. That she doesn't court success--or seem to care much about the career part of her singing career--is admittedly part of the allure. But it says here that if some smart record company was able to coax her and her Southern-kissed pipes towards some earthy, bloody, and decidedly non-granola-y material for a solo album, we could well be looking at a living, breathing incarnation of Eva Cassidy.

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