FLORENCE — Dylan LeBlanc said his music has naturally been moving in a different direction so it should come as no surprise his upcoming album will reflect a more upbeat, rock sound, than previous releases.

LeBlanc's fourth studio album, "Renegade," is being released on vinyl, compact disc and digital formats Friday and Singin' River Live in Florence is hosting an album release show on Saturday.

LeBlanc, 29, said the 10 track album was recorded in October and November at RCA Studio A in Nashville. The album was produced by the red hot Dave Cobb, a four-time Grammy winning producer who has worked with Jason Isbell and Chris Stapleton, and produced the soundtrack to the film "A Star Is Born."

Once again, LeBlanc has teamed up with Shoals alt-rockers, The Pollies, who serve as his backing band for "Renegade."

"I wanted to write a more edgy rock and roll album and The Pollies and I have sort of been naturally going in that direction, so we recorded this record," LeBlanc said. "I wrote the songs to be more upbeat and a more rock and roll vibe."

To capture that raw, rock feel, the album was recorded live in the studio.

The Pollies, he said, are one of the reasons the album sounds the way it does, LeBlanc said. 

"They put their stamp on it as well," he said.

While he's recorded live in the studio before, LeBlanc said he hasn't recorded live in the studio with the producer in the studio directing the band, almost acting like a conductor.

"It was great," LeBlanc said. "He is so focused in the studio. He tracked with us, he played guitar with us live in the studio. He would sort of direct the way the music would go live on the floor. It was a very, very live atmosphere."

With Cobb's help, LeBlanc said the band would nail a track in two or three takes. 

Cobb let LeBlanc make the record he wanted and allowed The Pollies to make their mark, while also putting his own imprint on the recording.

"He does it in a way that feels good," LeBlanc said. "It doesn't feel forced, like in an ego-driven way."

LeBlanc said he wrote all the songs on the album, but let the band flesh out the tracks before they were recorded.

Many of the songs are related to current events and "the times we're in," people and characters he's met along the way.

"Honor Among Thieves" is about the immigration issue at the U.S./Mexican border and children being separated from their parents.

"Renegade" is about the difficulties in growing up in the inner city in Louisiana and "how hard it can be to be anything more than a criminal."

After the album release show, LeBlanc said the tour will start at The Earl in Atlanta on June 12, then move up the east coast, into the midwest, then to the West coast.

"Then we leave for Europe in August," he said. "We'll be touring non-stop until September, then will play Nashville at the Americana Fest, then Austin City Limits."

Pollies co-founder Jay Burgess said he and Jon Davis have been playing on LeBlanc's records and touring with him off and on for years. 

"I couldn’t tell you what makes us work well together," Burgess said. "It just does. It was that way from day one."

He said The Pollies have been working with LeBlanc for the past four years.


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