Sapphire Storm are a powerhouse duo, performing a mixture of country, bluegrass, Americana & original songs, featuring Leanne Thorose on mandolin/guitar/vocals and Eleanor Wilkie on double bass.
Sapphire Storm is a spin-off collaboration from all-female bluegrass band Midnight Skyracer, who were the first bluegrass band in the UK to be signed to a major record label (Island Records) back in 2020.
Leanne and Eleanor decided that they wanted to form a duo in order to venture into the country music scene a little more, even though their love for bluegrass music still very much remains.
Leanne Thorose – mandolin, guitar & lead vocals
Leanne is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist based in London. She plays the mandolin, fiddle and guitar specialising in bluegrass and country music.
In 2011, Leanne travelled to Nashville where she recorded her first bluegrass album ‘Bluestack Mountain Girl’ at the age of 21. The album was recorded by Mark Moseley at Sound Control Studios and contains lyrics written by Charlie Boston and music written by Leanne. ‘Bluestack Mountain Girl’ features her father Ced Thorose on dobro, Bryan Sutton on guitar, Aubrey Haynie on fiddle, Scott Vestal on banjo, Adam Steffey & Andy Leftwich on mandolin, Mike Bub & Dennis Crouch on bass and Monty Lane Allen on harmony vocals.
Leanne has been a touring musician for over 10 years and has made appearances in a number of different bands and theatre projects including the critically acclaimed Irish Dance show ‘Essence of Ireland’ as their lead fiddle player where she completed tours around the UK with shows in Qatar and South Africa.
She also sang lead vocals and played mandolin in the all-female IBMA-nominated bluegrass band Midnight Skyracer. The band released their first album ‘Fire’ in 2018 and were signed to Island / Universal Records in 2020 where they released their second album ‘Shadows On The Moon’
Eleanor Wilkie – double bass & harmony vocals
Eleanor has predominately been on the bluegrass and folk music scene for over two decades and has played double bass and fiddle in bands such as Dulaman, Keep Off The Grass, Chill Until Blue, Shake the Roots, and more recently (2017-present), as the bass player for the all-female band, Midnight Skyracer.
Eleanor also plays piano, and tends to write many of her songs on this. Other instruments that Eleanor enjoys to flirt with include banjo, guitar and mandolin.
Eleanor has always enjoyed writing songs, especially for a band situation. Her songwriting styles include bluegrass, folk, country and pop, although songs that have been professionally recorded are those in the bluegrass genre.
In March 2022, Sapphire Storm released their debut album “Two Hearts & A Double Shot of Whiskey”.
Leanne’s inspiration for writing the title track came after being in a bar and imagining the type of things that the barman would likely see on a daily basis. Leanne already had a melody in her head but decided to write the lyrics from the bartender’s perspective.
The music video was filmed at The Black Lion in Nantwich, Cheshire.