It's been a heck of a week for Leon Bridges. (We're watching our language this time, in the spirit of Bridges' vintage sound.) Hot off a much buzzed-about run of shows at South By South West over the weekend, the Fort Worth R&B singer picked up the festival's prestigious Grulke Prize for the best "Developing U.S. Act." Then last night he followed it up with his network television debut, performing "Better Man" on CBS' The Late Late Show.
And he accounted pretty well for himself last night, too. Dressed in a sharp blue suit and tie with a pencil-thin mustache, Bridges already seems more confident and self-assured than he did just a few short months ago. No doubt having a contract with Columbia Records is the sort of thing to add an extra bounce to your step -- or in this case, an extra step to your dance moves.
The timing of all this is no coincidence, either. No longer the place for unknown bands to be "discovered," South By has become the traditional kickoff for labels and sponsors with their latest artists' promotional campaigns. Already one of the buzziest artists from Austin over the weekend, snagging a gig on something like The Late Late Show is the perfect way to build on that momentum.
Throwback or not, Bridges clearly has a sound that people are into, and he's delivering it with more and more panache. This kid is going places.
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