Bleeding Hearts was the brainchild of Rolling Stones-fixated singer / songwriter / guitarist Mike Leonard, who started the group with drummer Bob Herbers and bassist Rob Robello. In search of a second guitarist and having no luck, Leonard approached Bob Stinson of The Replacements at the Uptown Bar where both were regulars. They became roommates and, as journalist Bob Mehr’s notes relate, “the two played together daily, roughhoused like little kids, rehearsed with the band five times a week, and listened to music the rest of the time.”
Riches To Rags was the result of pure serendipity. Fiasco Records’ Sunshine Dunham found a complimentary copy of Spin Magazine in a CMJ Music Marathon festival gift bag featuring a piece on Stinson’s post-Replacements exploits, that mentioned his move from Static Taxi to Bleeding Hearts.
She tracked the group down, offered to record them, and they made Riches to Rags in Minneapolis in 1993, a tight well-crafted set of high energy rock tunes that owed a debt to the Replacements and showed once again what a stellar guitar player Bob Stinson was. The album’s filled with upbeat, catchy Minneapolis rock, with hooks galore and Bob’s ever present bright chords shining through.
Unfortunately, the overabundance of creative energy and artistic visions led to heated clashes and then Bob was out of the band right as recording completed. Bleeding Hearts carried on for a while without Bob, but their momentum was gone. Mike disbanded the outfit and joined the popular Minneapolis outfit the Magnolias. Stinson would pass away two years later, and the Bleeding Hearts recordings were left unreleased.
Finally, 30 years later, Bleeding Hearts will get their due, thanks to Fiasco Records preserving the session tapes for some three decades and Bar None taking the final steps to deliver this very special Record Store Day exclusive on April 23rd.
Today Glide is excited to premiere the standout track “Happy Yet,” a song that bleeds Replacements energy but with even more pop-punk craziness. Listening to the track, you can immediately hear what drew Bob Stinson to this band. Melodic, and hard-charging, the song is a driving barroom rocker that is also super tight. There is plenty of guitar shredding to be had and, between the vocals, lyrics, and musicianship, it equates to a song that exudes the kind of pop sensibility that could have made this band a big deal had the circumstances been different. Nonetheless, it is a welcome discovery after three decades on the shelf.
Mike Leonard, founder/frontman of Bleeding Hearts, reflects on the recording:
“I remember we did two takes back to back and then listened to the playback. We were surprised how fast the tempo was, and then looked at Bob incredulously and wondered how he had managed to play that rhythm all downstrokes.”