Born in Mobile, Alabama, Leslie's family moved to Birmingham when she was seven and, apart from three years in Nashville, that's where the family spent the next twenty years. Leslie did time in the early 90's playing in duos and bands, performing in clubs and for private parties around Birmingham, but quit in 1996 when she moved to Austin, Texas.
That's where she met her now husband, Michael Braly. She and Michael moved to Denver, Colorado in 1997 and then back to Birmingham a year later. Sensing a pattern of frequent moving, Leslie hurried to form a band and play in Birmingham while she had the chance. She enlisted former duo partner, Luke Lucas, and friends Kelly Simpson and Kenny McDowell--they dubbed themselves Mary Jo's Daughter and played local clubs for the next few months.
Just as Leslie thought might happen, Michael came home one day with news of another move. Instead of being discouraged at the thought of starting over, Leslie decided to record a CD and have something to take with her to her new home.
Although Leslie is influenced heavily by musicians such as Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Willaims and Steve Earle (and, she says, the list could go on and on... Gillian Welch, Billie Holiday, Tom Waits, Maria McKee, Nanci Griffith, John Prine, Iris Dement, Rickie Lee Jones, Patti Smith, Janis Joplin... even Bette Midler), she claims that visual art has just as much influence in the sound and imagery of her songs:
"I always wanted to be a painter but knew in my heart that I was really a musician. But I wanted to be able to create a mood and tell a story with my art and draw people in as if they were seeing as well as hearing. What I see is similar to what (artist of Songs From Shannon cover) Tracie Noles-Ross paints. And what I hear is the sound you feel when you pass through one of her paintings."