Since September, like so many other young adults across the United States, 19-year-old Connor Leimer has been spending plenty of time in a college environment.
Leimer’s reason for being on or near a college campus, however, has nothing to do with the pursuit of a degree. Last month, the Nashville, Tennessee-based singer and guitarist launched a U.S. tour of dorm rooms and other atypical venues that began in the South and traveled up the East Coast, and it is scheduled to wrap up this month in the Midwest.
“It’s made me realize how glad I am not to be in college,” Leimer says about the tour, which has six dates remaining. But he’s quick to add, “I do want to attend college one day, but I am focusing on my career now.”
Leimer’s music career got rolling in 2013 with the EP Like It’s June; last year, he released Coast to Sea, an acoustic five-song collection that he classifies as “my songwriter record.” Throughout his senior year at Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas, Leimer worked on his first full-length album, Postcard, released Oct. 2, which happened to be a day off from his tour (and fell between two tour dates in Manhattan).
Believing that music is best spread through friends and via word of mouth, Leimer says he booked the aptly named Dorm Room Tour himself through various connections, including people he met on a recent trip to Copenhagen.
“All my friends were leaving for college,” Leimer explains, “so why not visit them and play for their friends? It all came to be this past summer when I started reaching out and asking people to host concerts for me. I’m not old enough to play in the clubs yet.”
Leimer’s family and friends have provided funding for travel expenses, friends have helped with lodging, and his mode of transportation has been his mother’s Buick. (He’s not alone on the road: Videographer Grace Powell is his traveling companion.)
“They believe in my music and my professional goals,” says Leimer, who plans to work on new material after the tour concludes.
— By Chris M. Junior
Connor Leimer’s Dorm Room Tour (schedule subject to change):
• Oct. 9: Wittenberg University — Springfield, Ohio
• Oct. 10: Indiana University Bloomington — Bloomington, Indiana
• Oct. 11: Loyola University Chicago — Chicago
• Oct. 14: Saint Louis University — St. Louis
• Oct. 15: University of Arkansas — Fayetteville, Arkansas
• Oct. 16: University of Kansas — Lawrence, Kansas
Photo by Tim Duggan