Regardless of what she tells you, Johanna LeFever is anything but ordinary. Based in the hills of Santa Cruz, the down-to-earth singer/songwriter has conquered multiple musical genres and instruments since childhood—and enjoyed every aspect of her development. Not only a champion of music, LeFever is an avid and insightful writer. “The way I approach my music is to first write prose on my typewriter and then adapt it to music,” she admits, with a laugh. “I am primarily a songwriter. It’s my expressive outlet. When I write, I write about love … you know, the common denominator.”
LeFever has a profound appreciation for the outdoors and traveling, and her passion for love is a life-force, apparent throughout her debut album, which Santa Cruzans can hear live on Sunday, Aug. 26 at The Crepe Place. Take her moving original song “Restless Heart,” for instance: “Oh my sweet one did I run you to the line?/ Take you lightly, drink up all of the wine?/ And I just say that my hungry soul/ That I know your love even though it kills the soul.” Her ability to layer unique melodies and thought-provoking lyrics over simple instrumentation, is the secret to her success. But it’s her pleasant personality and endearing optimism that make her stand out in a sea of folk singer/songwriters. Whether alone on stage, accompanied by only a drummer, or backed by a full band, LeFever enchants with her jazzy tenor. Yet, her humility always shines through. “It makes me happy to be background music for someone,” she says. “A friend of mine sings my songs to her baby before bed. I love that. It is so simple to share love.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 26. The Crepe Place, 1134 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. $8. 429-6994.