Austin rock/rhythm-and-blues band Leopold and His Fiction plan to take a deep breath before Friday’s 9 p.m. show at Waco’s Truelove Bar.
It’s not that Waco is intimidating — they’ve played here enough over the years to consider themselves among friends — but what follows is a string of 42 shows, including a European trip, and the release Jan. 27 of a new album, “Darling Destroyer.”
Hard work is no stranger to band leader Daniel James, who also goes by Daniel Leopold, who notes he and his band have played more than 250 dates annually for several years. It’s just that — whew.
James, 35, started five years ago writing songs for the new album and it reflects more of the Detroit native than earlier efforts, he said. “Five years ago, I was a first-time father, filled with new feelings — and fear, mostly,” he laughed. “ ‘Who Am I’ is one of the titles, and so is ‘I’m Caving In,’ so it’s evident what I was going through.”
Though a bit introspective, “Darling Destroyer” also is upbeat and positive and shows more of the bluesy, gritty rock ‘n’ roll of James’ Detroit youth than the sound Leopold and His Fiction had when he founded it in San Francisco, then later moved to Austin. “I ditched the cerebrial aspect of my songwriting,” he said.
James, who sings and plays lead guitar, has found a balance between work and home life in the five years since his daughter was born, even if one tempers the other. “The only aspect (to touring) that feels like a job is that you have to leave your family for a while,” he confessed.
Listeners at Truelove on Friday will hear much of the new album, which came about, in part, from fans of the live show.
“I’m real excited this time we can play the whole thing. These are songs you don’t have on the merch table . . . We go from folk to gritty R&B to super electric,” he said.