Album Reviews

Tales From The Tropics

"The album starts of with the escape song ‘Away From It All’ that gives the listener a chance to temporarily escape the daily grind and stress of life and the promise of something better. ‘Dance for Jake’ is an instrumental boppy little dance tune followed by ‘Meet Me In Hawaii’ which invites the listener to the holiday feel. ‘Makawao’, ‘Big Island’, ‘Island Girl’, ‘Shangri-la’ and many more songs all give the listener the break from our work world and lets the listener escape into a stress free, relaxing and peaceful time listening to Leonard’s wonderful instrumentals and his sense and feel of a tropical freedom through his words and music. Leonard has produced a wonderful album with a therapeutic feel to it and every song is a delight to listen to. If the music doesn’t take you all the way to paradise, then the front cover will boost it along even more. BUT BEWARE, if you have work to do, or a CD to review, do not listen to this album, it has taken me ages to …ummmm to...ahhh hmmmm… on the Mariposa...(slips a hat over the eyes, sips on a cocktail and puts the feet up and goes into a tropical trance) “ (Trad & Now)

“This is a wonderful array of songs. The mood is tropical and soothing, as the name implies. ‘Meet Me In Hawaii’ …has a beautiful instrumental and vocal arrangement. AJ has a rich baritone but he can also reach the tenor range with comfort. ‘Makawao’…is a song that could easily become a standard in the islands. ‘The Sound Of Rain’… is a beautiful piece. ’Watching The World Go by’ is a great ending to a great CD.” (Ukulele Player Magazine)

Blue Heaven

“I really like this rendition of Cole Porter’s ‘Night & Day’. It sounds ethereal and somewhat mysterious. Well done. A.J. Leonard has another great CD here and I strongly recommend it if you enjoy tunes of this genre.” (Ukulele Player Magazine)

American Songbook 

“A.J. Leonard and David Billings have produced a great collection of songs from Americana, beautifully played with excellent vocals...they have arranged an intricate tapestry of music. ‘I Can See Clearly Now’…this rendering is the best I have ever heard. I LOVE THE VOCALS! I’d love to see international recognition for this duo.” (Ukulele Player Magazine)

Australian Songbook

"When A.J. Leonard teams with co-folkie Dave Billings, magic tends to happen-as was the case in their bewitching first collaboration American Songbook a few years back. The lads return with an Australian feast of acoustic charmers...there's a gentle and respectful spin on timeless melodies and lyrics that simply makes you smile." (The Herald Sun)


“AJ continues to release wonderful CD’s filled with quality arrangements, excellent vocals and top-quality musicianship. Classical Gas is a classic and this rendition of it kicks. I love it! My favorite rendition of this number has always been Tommy Emmanuel and now here is a great interpretation on ukulele! (Ukulele Player Magazine)


“Very beautiful...sweet and so musical...great work, AJ Leonard can be proud.” Wil Greenstreet (Billy Green)

“I loved it…AJ really did a wonderful job on all the songs. In addition to the instrumental segments I think his vocal quality is very special - warm, inviting and with just the right touch of melancholy.” Randy Starr (songwriter for Elvis Presley)