The Incredible Moses Leroy

Ron Fountenberry dubbed his musical persona the Incredible Moses Leroy, taking the "incredible" part as a nod to the stack of comic books that were some of the silent companions of his quiet childhood. He settled on the stage name Moses Leroy as a tribute to his great-grandfather, who fought for civil rights in his home state of Texas. As an only child growing up in a suburb of San Francisco, the alternative pop/rock musician saw himself as anything but incredible. The reserved youth who would grow up to become a substitute teacher filled himself up on a diet of television programs like Solid Gold and American Bandstand, music from his radio and his mother's vinyl records, comic books, and daydreams. A shy boy, he didn't even try to play the guitar until he went off to college in San Diego, and even then the instrument wasn't his own, but a roommate's.

College took Fountenberry away from his Belmont, CA, home and everyone he knew. He seized the golden opportunity to make himself over. When he tried the guitar, he was so taken with the possibilities represented by the instrument that he asked his mother for one as his Christmas gift. He bucked up his confidence by spending time in a couple of local grunge bands. All the while he wrote songs on the side, telling no one. By the late '90s, he recorded Bedroom Love Songs, his self-released debut, and interest in the once-shy Fountenberry quickly picked up.

Ultimatum Music offered him a contract the following year. Fountenberry began working on his next release, Electric Pocket Radio, in Chicago at Keith Cleversley's Playground Studios. Cleversley previously produced recordings for alternative pop/rock acts like Spiritualized and Flaming Lips. Work on the album also progressed in Los Angeles, with Fountenberry utilizing the talents of mixer and engineer Wally Gagel and drummer Joey Waronker. Gagel previously worked on recordings for alternative pop/rock bands such as Eels and Folk Implosion, and Waronker had played drums for Beck.

Leroy's band includes Morgan Young and Rick Sybrandy. He followed his self-released debut with the 16-track Electric Pocket Radio from Ultimatum Music. The album is a mix of quirky and at times eccentric original songs and his version of "Beep Beep Love," which was originally sung by Gruppo Sportivo in the '70s. ~ Linda Seida

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